One of the biggest perks of Google Photos is free unlimited storage, but that benefit is going away next year. In a new blog post explaining its latest storage policies, Google revealed that users would no longer be able to upload unlimited photos and videos under the high-quality setting starting on June 1, 2021. All media uploaded on or after that date will count toward the free storage allotted to Google accounts (15 GB).
“Starting June 1, 2021, any new photos and videos you upload will count toward the free 15 GB of storage that comes with every Google Account or the additional storage you’ve purchased as a Google One member,” Google wrote.
“Your Google Account storage is shared across Drive, Gmail and Photos. This change also allows us to keep pace with the growing demand for storage.”
The good news is that preexisting content will not count toward that 15 GB of limited storage. Additionally, this change does not affect Google’s first-party smartphones – Pixel owners can continue shooting and uploading to their hearts’ desire. This is presumably Google’s way of weaning more users onto its mobiles.
“If you have a Pixel 1-5, photos uploaded from that device won’t be impacted,” Google noted. “Photos and videos uploaded in High quality from that device will continue to be exempt from this change, even after June 1, 2021.”
As noted above, Google says that it’s making this change due to a mind-boggling increase in data (28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded every week, the company claims), but boosting Google One subscriptions might also have something to do with it.
Google One is the company’s cloud storage subscription service. For just $1.99/month or $19.99/year, users can get 100 GB of extra storage. The plans go all the way up to 2 TB ($9.99/month, $99.99/year).