Google is changing Google Photos’ unlimited “High quality” storage policy starting from June 1, 2021, saying that it “allows us to keep pace with the growing demand for storage”.
With the change, new High quality photos and videos that are uploaded will count towards a user’s Google account’s 15GB free storage, just like Original quality uploads. For Google One members, it will count towards their extra storage.
Until then, you can still upload High quality photos and videos without worrying about using up your Google account’s storage. All pre-June 1, 2021 uploads won’t count towards the storage limit either. After that date, Google will add a new Photos app tool to manage backed up photos and videos as well.
Pixel phone users can also breath a sigh of relief however, as Pixel devices will be exempted from the change.
Google estimates that the 15GB of free storage will suffice for around three years of uploads. It’s also providing storage estimates as well as app and email notifications for when the storage is close to its limit to keep users informed of their storage capacity.
While it’s good that the company is informing users early, it’s still a shame to lose this perk. It’s also hard to see what Google means when it says that the change is meant “to welcome even more of your memories and build Google Photos for the future”.