By June 2021, Google is expected to implement a change in its policies for storage, whereby it could ask you to cough up payments for keeping all your information available on their cloud service – Google One. Simply put, if you have a free Gmail account and use Google Photos, you will soon have to pay a subscription to store your photos on the internet.
What is Google Storage Policy Change?
At present, every Google account is allocated 15GB of free online storage that can be used for Gmail, Drive, and Photos. All your emails and files in Drive have already been added up to that 15GB. Now, additionally, files in Docs, Forms, Slides, or Sheets will also be accounted for in the same storage limit. While these may all take up relatively less space, the big hit comes with high-quality Photo uploads now being counted in the same 15GB. Google Photos allowed you to store unlimited photos of maximum 16MP resolution, or you could choose to downgrade them – for free. With the change in policies, any new high-quality video or photo will be counted towards the free 15GB.
Is there Respite?
Yes. To enable an easier transition, high-quality photos or videos uploaded until June 1, 2021, will not be accounted for against the 15GB storage, although, Images of original quality will continue to be so. Count your lucky stars if you have a Pixel device, for you will be among the privileged who can still upload unlimited high-quality images after 1st June next year. To prepare you, Google will now show estimates for how long before your free storage gets full, and by June, a free tool being released could even help you clear out dark or blurry images.
What Else to Expect?
Apart from storage updates, you might want to know about a few other changes too. If you have a Gmail, Photos, or Drive account that you haven’t used for more than two years (probably because you prefer another service), there is a possibility that Google will delete any content in that account. This policy could also be extended to accounts that have exceeded storage limits for more than two years.
Withdrawing a free or an unlimited service is rarely a welcoming move. With people uploading 4.3 million GB worth of content to Photos, Gmail, and Drive every day, Google argues that maintaining free storage policies just as it did when it first began, is not in the best interests of its users. The company wants everyone to have an excellent storage experience and, at the same time, be able to pace itself to the rapidly growing demand.