Next Tuesday, Google Photos will no longer offer unlimited storage for everyone. And in anticipation of that, the Google Photos team posted a blog post today, regarding those changes and a few changes they are making, so it is easier for users to manage their photo libraries.
First up, here’s what’s new. Storage Saver. This was leaked a few weeks ago, and apparently, the “High Quality” tier is going to be renamed “Storage Saver”. Which is an apt name for that tier. Your photos and videos will still be backed up at the same quality as before. So it’s essentially just another name, and it will save you some storage.
Secondly, Google is rolling out a new free tool to the Photos app, to help you easily manage your storage quota. This tool was first announced last year when the team announced that it would be killing off unlimited storage. Basically the tool will help you easily manage the photos and videos that count towards your storage limit. It will surface photos and videos that you may want to delete. This includes blurry photos, screenshots and large videos.
Don’t forget, existing photos don’t count towards your limit
There is one thing here that Google really wants to emphasize. And that is existing photos backed up to the service, are exempt from this change. Meaning that everything you’ve uploaded over the past several years at high quality, won’t count against your storage limit. And if you have a Pixel, that will continue to happen until the expiration date – which varies based on the Pixel you have.
Lastly, Google also has a nice personalized estimate that is available to everyone. This will help you see how long it’ll take to fill up your existing storage. Google says that this takes into account how frequently you upload photos and videos, as well as other content to your Google account (like emails, Google Docs, etc).
Google estimates that more than 80% of its users should be able to upload for around three more years in high quality, before you use up the 15GB of space. Then you can upgrade to 100GB of storage for just $2 per month.
It is unfortunate that Google Photos and Google Docs are no longer going to be zero-rated, when it comes to storage. But at least Google is making it easier to make that storage last.