Google Photos ending Free Unlimited Storage – Here’s what you can do

I got one of those emails from Google Photos today. Google told me there’s an important update about Google Photo. Storage. So I guess starting June 1, 2021, all new photos and videos backed up in high quality will count towards the free 15 gigabytes of storage. Everyone who has a Google account gets a minimum of 15 GB of storage free. That could be a lot of photos for you; you may never hit that amount. However, for those that work with photos and media, you’re going to need to look at other options if you want free data storage.

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What about your current photos?

The new terms mean that all your photos and videos you back up as high quality before June 1st, 2021 are exempt from this change and will not count toward the Google account storage. But everything after that will impact the 15 GB storage. So, if you have more photos that add up to 15 GB, Google’s gonna start looking to offer you more storage plans.

What are Google’s Storage Plans?

You can refer to Google One (one.google.com) for more information on your personal data storage plans ($CDN):

  • 100 GB: $28 CDN /year
  • 200 GB: $40 CDN/year
  • 2 TB: $140/year
  • 10 TB: $70/month
  • 20 TB: $140/month
  • 30 TB: 210/month

Why the change?

Because they know that you depend on Google to store all your photos. Google is looking for more revenue streams, and this is an easy way to make some money. Maybe, it also costs Google some money to keep all 4 trillion or so photos safe and secure. In any case, it’s still a sad emoji face for me.

What other options do I have?

Local storage: There are pros and cons. With your local storage or you may buy an internal or external hard drive. You have to maintain it. You have to remember your password (which I have lost, and lost some backups in the past).

You can look for a bunch of external hard drives, but 2 TB can go for about approx. USD 60. You can go up to eight terabytes for approx. USD 144. You’re most likely going to need a power supply. You will be responsible for how you maintain and organize all your files and photos. It does take some desktop space and sometimes some extra USB cables and power supply. But it can be done. 

Google Photos Free Unlimited Storage Options

I hope you’re not too impacted by this big change. There will be people who won’t have enough photos to hit 15GB. However, for some, including me, I’m going to go over that 15 GB, so I have already upgraded my subscription plan with Google. Right now, it works for me, and I have some peace of mind that I know where my photos are. However, for the amount of money you’re going to spend, it might be worthwhile to get your own local storage, then you don’t have to pay an annual or monthly payment, you can just have a one-time purchase for a good hard drive.

Google Photos Free Unlimited Storage Ending – FAQ

What happens to your Google photos?

The new terms mean that all your photos and videos you back up as high quality before June 1st, 2021 are exempt from this change and will not count toward the Google account storage. But everything after that will. So, if you have more photos that add up to 15 GB, Google’s gonna start looking to offer you more storage plans.

What are Google One’s Storage Plans?

You can refer to Google One (one.google.com) for more information on your personal data storage plans ($CDN):
100 GB: $28 CDN /year
200 GB: $40 CDN/year
2 TB: $140/year
10 TB: $70/month
20 TB: $140/month
30 TB: 210/month