Google Photos is ending unlimited free storage. Here’s what you need to know


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Sarah Tew/CNET

Google Photos is ending its unlimited free storage policy for photos and videos, Google said Wednesday in a blog post. After June 1, 2021, any new photos and videos you upload will count toward the free 15GB of storage that comes with every Google account. But don’t worry: Any photos or videos you’ve uploaded before that day won’t be part of the cap. 

The move is meant to encourage people to sign up for Google’s storage subscription service, Google One. Google One plans start at $2 a month in the US for 100GB of storage and other features, like Google Store discounts.

Read more: 6 of the best photo storage options for 2020

It’s a good idea to make sure your existing photos and videos are backed up in Google Photos before the June deadline, since those will be considered free and exempt from the storage limit. You can check your backup quality in the Photos app by going to Settings > Back up & sync

Once the change takes effect, more than 80% of current Google Photos users should still be able to store about three years of content with that free 15GB. Google will notify you in the app and by email once you get close to hitting your 15GB limit. You can also find a personalized estimate for how long your free storage may last, based on how frequently you back up photos and videos to your Google Account. 

More than 4 trillion photos are stored in Google Photos, according to the post, with 28 billion new photos and videos uploaded each week. In June, Google gave the Photos app a refresh, with a map view and three tabs to organize your pictures.

For more, check out the best online photo book services of 2020.


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