You can still use Google Photos for Free

Unlimited number of photos and videos in Google Photos

There has been a lot of outcry over the Google announcement that Free Unlimited storage for all your photos and videos will be ending on June 1, 2021.

Three things to know:

  1. All photos and videos uploaded in “High Quality” before June 1 are stored for free and will be grandfathered in beyond June 1. So upload everything NOW. See this video: 670.GP-Gather Photos from Phone and Computer
  2. Even after June 1, Google will still offer unlimited storage for all photos and videos – there just may be a fee.
  3. Even after June 1, Google will still offer Free storage for all photos and videos – it just has a limit of 15GB.

In other words, even after the change, Google will still provide unlimited storage and they will still provide free storage. They just will not provide unlimited free storage. If you upload everything you have now, then starting June 1 you keep your storage needs under 15GB, it’s still FREE!

15 Gigabytes of Google Storage

The 15 Gigabytes of storage that Google gives us for free covers Gmail and Google Drive files as well as Google Photos. So, it’s not just your photos and videos that you need to consider, it’s your emails and Google Drive files also. To see what storage you are using, go to your Google account Storage page. It will give you the breakdown among the 3 services.

Find your 15 GB info at https://one.google.com/storage

On June 1, Google Photos should be using 0 storage

Google Photos should be using 0 space. If Google Photos is taking up any storage space now, you can recover that space by compressing all existing photos and videos.

  • Go to https://photos.google.com/settings
  • You should see a button for “Recover Storage” – click that and then OK to compress all existing photos and videos to “High Quality” and they won’t count against your 15GB.
  • If you don’t see a “Recover Storage” button, but instead see “Manage Subscription” – that means you are already paying for one of the paid storage plans. You can still recover any storage used by Google Photos by clicking the “High Quality” setting. Or, if it’s already set to High Quality, then click Original and back to High Quality – that will prompt a message to:

After June 1, keep a watch on usage

After June 1, High Quality size will count against your storage, but it takes up less than half the space that Original Quality does, so it is still to your advantage. You can keep tabs on how much you are using by visiting https://one.google.com/storage. You will also find tools there for finding large files and other data you may want to delete. If you keep your storage under 15 GB, you stay free. If not, then the plans for paid storage start at $2/month for 100 GB.

For more detail, including which Pixel phones continue to give you free storage, see this article: Google Photos free unlimited storage is ending – here’s everything you need to know

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