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Home / Tips and Tricks / The unlimited free storage of Google Photos is over. This is what you should do now

The unlimited free storage of Google Photos is over. This is what you should do now



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As of June 1, Google has ended its unlimited free storage policy.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It’s finally here: Google Photos has ended its unlimited free storage policy for photos and videos. Starting Tuesday, any new photos and videos you upload will count towards the free 15GB of storage that comes with every Google Account. But don’t worry, the photos or videos you’ve previously uploaded aren’t part of the limit. And Google has added a new free tool to help you manage your storage quota.

The move announced in November is intended to encourage people to sign up for Google’s storage subscription service. Google One. Google One plans start at $2 per month in the US for 100GB of storage and other features, such as Google Store discounts.

Here’s what you need to know about what the change means for you, including how to manage your Google Photos storage, subscribe to Google One, and more.

How to best manage your Google Photos storage

All the photos and videos you’ve backed up Google Photos before the June 1 deadline is considered free and is exempt from the storage limit. Even though that deadline has passed, you can still check the quality of your backup in the Photos app by going to Settings > Backup and Sync.

Even with the change, more than 80% of current Google Photos users should still be able to store about three years of content with that free 15GB. Google will notify you in-app and by email as you approach your 15GB limit. You can also find a personal estimate of how long your free storage should last, based on how often you back up photos and videos to your Google Account.

In May, Google added a new tool to the Photos app to help you manage the photos and videos you’ve backed up that count against your 15GB storage quota. It shows photos or videos that you may want to delete, such as blurry photos or screenshots, or videos that are large, to better manage the storage space you have.

Should I subscribe to Google One now?

If you’re someone who uploads a lot of photos and videos to Google Photos and thinks you’re running out of free space soon, it might be worth subscribing to Google One. A variety of subscriptions are available (check out our in-depth look at each Google One plan and what it includes here):

  • 100 GB: $2 per month or $20 per year
  • 200 GB: $3 per month or $30 per year
  • 2TB: $10 per month or $100 per year

You can sign up on the Google One site. Make sure you’re signed in to the Google account you want to use.

Or you can check out other options for saving photos available.

google-one app

Many features of Google One are easily accessible through the app.

Shelby Brown/CNET

If I have a Google Pixel phone, will my photos be restricted too?

If you have a… Google Pixel phone, you are exempt from Google Photos limits. That means you can keep uploading as many photos and videos as you want, with no limits.

More than 4 trillion photos are stored in Google Photos, the company said in November, with 28 billion new photos and videos uploaded every week. In May, Google unveiled new Photos features, including the ability to delete photos from your memories and new AI-powered techniques to make your photos come alive.

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