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4 things to know about Google Photos’ storage policy change

May 24th, 2021

Six months ago, we announced a change to our High-quality storage policy that allows us to keep pace with the growing demand for storage and build Google Photos for the future. On Tuesday, June 1, we’ll start rolling out this change so that any new photos and videos you back up will count toward the free 15GB of storage that comes with every Google Account or the additional storage you’ve purchased as a Google One member.

Before this happens, we want to recap what we announced back in November — and share a couple of new things — to make the transition easier.

Your existing High-quality photos and videos are exempt from this change: Any photos or videos backed up in High quality before June 1, 2021, will not count toward your Google Account storage. These photos and videos will remain free and exempt from the storage limit.

You have a personalized estimate of how long your storage may last:Your estimate takes into account how frequently you back up photos, videos, and other content to your Google Account. We estimate that more than 80 percent of you should still be able to store roughly three more years of memories in High quality with your free 15GB of storage. As your storage nears 15GB, we will notify you in the app and follow up by email. If you don’t see an estimate, you may not have uploaded many photos and videos to Google Photos, you may be close to your storage limit (making it difficult to predict how many months your remaining storage will last) or your account is provided through work, school, family or another group.

Animated GIF showing a Pixel phone with the personalized estimate tool running.

You have a new, free tool to easily manage your storage quota: If you want to keep using Photos for free, we can help. Today, we’re starting to roll out a tool in the Photos app to help you easily manage the photos and videos you’ve backed up that count toward your storage quota. The storage management tool surfaces photos or videos you might want to delete — like blurry photos, screenshots, and large videos — so you can get the most out of your storage. You can also purchase more storage through Google One where available.

Animated GIF showing the storage management tool in use.

Your storage options will be easier to understand: We are renaming our High-quality storage tier to Storage saver, which you’ll start to see soon. While we’re updating the name, your photos and videos will continue to be stored at the same great quality. As always, you have the control to choose the storage option that works best for you, whether that’s storing more photos and videos with a Storage saver or backing them up in the same resolution that you took them with Original quality.

We know this is a big change and hope Google Photos continues to be the home for your memories. You can learn more about this change in our Help Center.