Unlimited Google Photos storage is over

When Google launched Google Photos in 2015, their proposal was to allow users to save an unlimited number of photos in “high quality”. Now, five years later, Google has announced that as of June 1, 2021, photos will once again count as occupied space in the 15 GB storage included with the Google account.

Google posted a tweet about the change from the official Google Photos account on Twitter.

Google says that the reason for the change is that it wants to offer users a higher quality experience and wants to improve the performance of Google Photos in the future. But we all know that this is marketing language to justify that free at some point has to end because, ultimately, it is not free.

Only the photos that are uploaded from June 1, 2021, will be taken into account as occupied space in the 15 GB included in the Google account, or against the additional space that has been purchased.

Also keep in mind that the Google account storage is common for Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos, which means that the new photos will be added to the space that you already have occupied by emails (and their attachments) and the files you have saved in Google Drive.

Pixel users (Google phones) are the only ones who don’t have to worry about the change. All your high-quality photos and videos will remain exempt from the change beyond June 1, 2021.

Google is offering a custom estimate that could help you predict how long you have to reach your storage limit.

This says Google in their help document

What will change?

Currently, Google Photos offers the following backup options:

  1. Free unlimited high-quality storage.
  2. Free express quality storage (available only in select markets).
  3. Free original quality storage up to 15GB (shared between Photos, Gmail, and Drive), with additional storage space available through Google One.

As of June 1, 2021, content in high quality and express quality will be taken into account in the storage space of your Google account. If you run out of storage space, you can subscribe to Google One (if available) to get more, or you can delete content to continue with the free Photos storage option.

If you use a family, work, school, or other group account, it could be affected by this change depending on the plan you use. Ask your account administrator how your storage works.

Important:

  • Photos and videos that you have backed up in high quality and express quality before June 1, 2021 will not be counted in the storage space of your Google account.
  • Photos and videos in original quality will continue to be considered in the storage space of your Google account.