Google Are To End Unlimited Photo Storage

December 10, 2020

I have always been a fan of Google. They have given me many free services that I use daily: Search, Maps and Photos to name but a few.

But I know there is no such thing as a free lunch. Google support these services–and makes billions–through collecting data and advertising. It’s OK, though; I don’t mind sharing a bit of my not too interesting life with them in exchange for these handy apps and products.

One of the most generous of these services is Google Photos. Take a photo on your Android phone or tablet, and it stores the images “in the cloud” for free. If you lose your phone or have it nicked, all those beautiful memories are safe. Get a new phone, sign in and they re-appear as if by magic. You can also view, download, edit and share them on many other devices too.

Unlimited Storage

All these photos take up space in Google’s cloud, but they have always been generous with this. You get 15GB of storage for just signing up to a free Google account. This storage is to cover everything you may put into Google’s World, be it documents, emails, photos etc.

Saying that, if you press the right button, you can store unlimited images. These images are compressed and capped at 16 megapixels but, unless you are into your photography, that is not an issue. Any average snapper like me will never notice.

Upsetting The Apple Cart

This more substantial offer from Google has always been a selling point over Apple with its more limited 5GB free cloud storage. If anyone fills up their allowance on any system, it is nearly always because of photos or videos.

That is why this blog is the bringer of bad news. From June 1st, 2021, Google will end the free unlimited option. All photos you store from then on will count towards your 15GB and, if you go over, you will have to either move or delete what you have stored – or pay a monthly subscription for more cloud storage.

Not All Bad

While this is frustrating, it is unlikely to affect many of us. It takes a lot of photos and videos to fill up 15GB. And if you also don’t use their storage for anything else–emails, documents, etc.–then it is unlikely to be a problem.

Also, be aware that it is only new photos taken after June 1st that will count; it does not affect your current images stored using the unlimited option. And storage costs are not exactly expensive – currently £1.59 a month for 100GB.

But Take Note

Do keep it in mind, though. If you use your camera a lot, use Gmail email and store documents in Google Drive, then you may need to get your wallet out in the future.