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Here’s another thing Google is killing off – free unlimited Google Photos storage

I think we all knew this was coming eventually.

google photos logo on blurry background
Image: KnowTechie

Pour one out for Google Photos having unlimited storage of “high quality” images and video, because it’s going away in 2021. Yes, after five years of dominating the market by offering essentially free storage, Google has decided that you’ll have to pay for all of those camera rolls and memes that you store in their cloud.

That change means that after June 1, 2021, you’ll be limited to 15GB of free storage for Google Photos. Now, that might seem not too bad, but remember that’s also the total amount of free storage for Gmail, Google Docs, and anything else you have on Google’s cloud, and they all count towards that 15GB total. Even Google Workspace documents and spreadsheets will count towards that total once the policy goes into effect.

You’ll also have to stay active, as Google will delete information from accounts that haven’t been logged into for two years. That’s still not that bad, I remember in the early days of Hotmail I lost several email addresses because Microsoft auto-deleted your account if you didn’t log in once a month.

If you’re worried that your current photos and documents will disappear after June next year, don’t be. Google says that any existing files, including ones over the 15GB limit, won’t be deleted if they’re uploaded before June 1, 2021. That gives you time to find another cloud provider if you want to switch, or build your own home storage solution.

With Google now storing over 4 trillion photos in Google Photos, and 28 billion more uploaded every week, it’s not that surprising that Google has started to enforce some sort of cap on how much free data you can store. Still, it’s the end of an era for freemium storage, at a time when the rest of the industry has caught up.

What do you think? Surprised Google is doing this, or does it make sense? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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