Google has announced that it will end the unlimited backup of photos and videos from the Google Photos app. The change will be applied on June 1, 2021 and, as of the date, all content saved in the cloud by the app will be counted in the 15 GB of free storage that accompany the company’s services.
Google Photos currently allows smartphone users to back up all photos and videos without worrying about storage. According to the company, the change will not affect files already saved in the service, only new uploads made from June 2021.
“To make the transition easier, we will exempt all high-quality photos and videos that you back up before June 1,” explains the company. “This includes all the high-quality photos and videos you currently store with Google Photos.”
High volume of use
According to the company, the limitation serves to ensure a “better experience” for all users of Google’s cloud services, since the demand for storage is high. The company estimates that more than 4.3 million GB of files are added daily on the company’s platforms, including Gmail, Drive and Photos.
Google said the limitation would allow the company to “continue to invest in these products” for years to come. The web giant also stressed that Pixel smartphone users will not be affected, as they have unlimited cloud storage linked to their cell phone.
The company also stressed that it will change its policies to inactive accounts. If the user has not used a service for more than two years, Google may begin to delete files stored in the cloud. If the 15 GB storage limit is breached for more than 24 months, the company may also erase some files.
“We will notify you several times before we try to remove any content so that you have ample opportunity to act,” said Google.
How to increase storage
Although the free 15 GB is shared by the company’s services, Google is optimistic about the change. The company estimates that the vast majority of users may take “many years” to fill the free quota for cloud files, even with the addition of Photos to that account.