Google Photos unlimited storage benefit ended on June 1. Google had announced in November last year that it was ending the unlimited storage benefit. The change means that users who want more storage than the 15GB limit cap for Google accounts — split between Google Photos, Drive, and Gmail — will have to buy additional storage. Google Photos users earlier had the option to store unlimited ‘High’ quality photos (compressed to below 16MB) on the cloud for free, which will cease to exist from June 1.
If you are far away from the 15GB storage limit, then this change won’t affect you immediately. Google account users will start getting notifications once their storage begins nearing 15GB. It’s important to note that ‘High’ quality and ‘Express’ quality photos (further compressed) and videos backed up before June 1 won’t count towards your Google Account storage limit, so for many of us, the storage should be marked as empty at this point, although new photos uploaded at this quality level will now count against the storage. And of course, photos backed up in ‘Original’ quality before June 1 will count toward your Google Account storage.
Using the Google Storage Management tool
If you need to free up some space in your Google Photos account, you can make use of the Storage Management tool that Google has rolled out. Go to photos.google.com/quotamanagement in your browser, and you’ll see different options to clear up space in your account.
You can review and delete blurry photos, large photos, screenshots, and clear up your Gmail Drive through the Storage Management tool.
Free up storage using Google One
The other thing to do is free up some storage in Google Photos, and stay within the 15GB limit for your Google account. To delete unwanted photos and videos from Google Photos, download the Google One app, sign in using the same Google account as Google Photos, and head to the Storage tab. Click on Free up Account Storage. The Storage Manager will offer different solutions to free up storage space that can help you stay within the 15GB cap limit.
Google also says that it will also roll out a new free tool that will let users find blurry, dark, and other low-quality photos, to help users delete them and stay within the 15GB free storage limit. This tool will be rolled out in June. Ensure that you use this tool and get rid of unwanted photos.
Buy storage via Google One or Apple One subscription
Once you reach your storage limit, you can either subscribe to Google One or Apple One, depending on the handset you use. iPhone users can subscribe to Google One, but to subscribe to Apple One, you need an Apple device.
Google One starts from Rs. 120 per month that offers 100GB storage. If users want 200GB of storage, the Google One membership costs Rs. 210 per month and the 2TB storage plan costs Rs. 650 per month. Annual plans are priced at Rs. 1,300, Rs. 2,100, and Rs. 6,500, respectively. Other apps like Dropbox, OneDrive also offer cloud storage subscriptions, but if you’re a frequent Google products user, then subscribing to Google One makes the most sense.
Apart from additional storage, Google One also offers the ability to automatically back up your phone for ease in switching handsets and helps you get in touch with experts for better complaint redressal. It also offers access to Google Store rewards and Google Play credits. Users can share their Google One plan with up to five family members and get extended free trials on services like YouTube Premium.
Apple users can also subscribe to Google One on their iPhones or iPads, or opt for Apple One or iCloud storage subscription. There are two Apple One membership plans available in India – Individual and Family plan. The Individual plan is priced at Rs. 195 per month and offers 50GB iCloud storage, in addition to subscription to Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade. The Family Plan is priced at Rs. 365 per month and offers 200GB iCloud storage, five members usage, and subscription to Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade.
The base iCloud storage plan starts at Rs. 75 per month for 50GB data. The Rs. 219 per month gets you 200GB data, and the Rs. 749 plan offers 2TB data.