Free unlimited Google Photos storage ends today
Google Photos has been offering free unlimited storage for your photos in the past five years, but starting June 1st, 2021, the policy changes and all photos uploaded from that date on will count towards the 15GB free storage limit with your Google account.
Keep in mind that your previously uploaded photos will not count towards that storage, so only the newly uploaded files will count towards that cap, so there is no need to worry you may lose any older photos.
However, this is definitely a setback for what is considered a blissful, worry-free service that millions of people use. Google still points out that its 15GB storage cap is a lot more than the 5GB of free storage that you get with iCloud or other services, and it says that the 15GB cap will be enough for the average user to upload photos for three whole years.
This is a good time to remind you that Google Photos still provides users with two options to upload images: one is "high quality", which compresses your photos so they take up less space, and the other is "original quality" which preserves all the details of the uncompressed, original files. We have tested the Google Photos compression and found that it makes for an almost imperceptible drop in quality, so unless you are dead set on quality, it would be a great idea to make sure that you are using the "high quality" option so that your photos take up less space. Another step that you may consider to make sure only the photos you want are uploaded, is to go into the Google Photos app and turn off the automatical upload option and instead manually cherry-pick and upload only your truly valuable photos and not just everything on your device.
And if you are a heavy user, you should know that Google One prices start at just $2 a month for 100GB of storage.
There is one little bonus, however, that Google gives to Pixel users. Those who own a Google Pixel phone don't need to worry about any of that as they will be able to upload their photos for free even after the June 1st, 2021 policy changes.
And if you are wondering about other options now that Google Photos has changed its terms, we suggest you check out how our own Peter K set up his own NAS cloud service as a Google Photos alternative and now has more than 200GB of storage without any monthly fees.