One of the best things about Google Photos is the unlimited free storage of “high quality” photos you take but that is all set to an end because Google Photos has been too successful.

Today on their blog Google has announced that more than 4 trillion photos are stored within Google Photos and another 28 billion are added each week. This demand for storage has seen Google have to re-evaluate their policy with regards to the free storage of photos and videos.

Starting on June 1, 2021, ALL NEW photo and video uploads will count towards your 15GB of free storage included with every Google account.

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. 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.

Any and all photos and videos that you have already uploaded in high quality prior to June 1, 2021 will not count towards your 15GB of free storage. Those of you who upload at Original Quality will not be affected by these new changes (you already use your Google storage for these). There is some fine print too — that remember when Pixel devices lost their free unlimited storage? This time they keep their free high quality storage.

If you have a Pixel 1-5, photos uploaded from that device won’t be impacted. Photos and videos uploaded in High quality from that device will continue to be exempt from this change, even after June 1, 2021.

Google say that using high quality backup of photos and videos will allow you to store around three years of your memories before you fill up your 15GB of free storage. When you get close to that 15GB they will notify you in the app and via email. Google will also provide a tool to give you a personalised estimate to see how long your storage will last for.

Come June 2021 there will be a new free tool in the Photos app to easily manage your backed up photos and videos to help decide just which ones you want to keep. Of course Google will also sell you more storage if you need it through their Google One packages.

It is great to get things for free but even with that we are always upset when these free things are taken away. There will be a lot of people upset with this decision by Google. It makes you wonder whether this is about funding the storage, increasing Google One uptake or increasing the attractiveness of a Google Pixel purchase.

I’m a little miffed about the decision by Google and will eventually have to increase my Google One subscription to more storage. I dare say I won’t be the only one. How about you?

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What photos and images I do have stored on Google Photos, I’ll be making sure I have local copies of, and then nuking what’s on Google, solely to maximize my available space.


I have been using Google Photos to upload photos for sharing, especially with extended family. Either I need to get busy or start setting up multiple accounts.

Makes me more annoyed there isn’t an API to upload photos in ‘High Quality’.


looks like their python wants to diet :p


I don’t even know what quality my photos get stored at


Look inside Photos at the backup and sync settings.


Aren’t Google’s services free to use, in exchange for our delicious data? Sounds like a reckoning may be on the way…


Pixel 3 user here so I have til 2022. By that time I’ll convert to high quality or just buy a Pixel 5a/6 or whatever than pay for paid storage on top. Hopefully the high quality offer for Pixel still exists when they release 5a/6/6a and not force users onto One plans.

Last edited 3 years ago by securityblanka

Looks like the offer is only good for Pixel 1-5 and not for future Pixels. Very sad.