Thursday 3 June 2021

Google Photos Free Storage is no more...

If you're like me and have been taking advantage of Google's generous offering to store an unlimited number of photos for free, Tuesday was truly a sad day. From the 1st of June, all photos stored in Google photos count towards your free storage quota of 15GB. 

Previously, photos stored in High Quality (reduced resolution but still good enough except for maybe large prints) were exempt from this and only Original Quality photos ate into your storage space.

So what does this mean? Well, it means we have to look at alternatives for storing our photos and maybe change one or two habits. 

If you're serious about photos, you probably already store your photos on some kind of physical media. This would mean regularly plugging your phone into a computer and transferring photos manually to an external hard drive. I started doing this years ago, as I firmly believe that storing something in only one place is probably not a good idea. However, Google Photos came along and I quickly got sucked into the convenience of simply turning it on and forgetting about it. 

So now it's time to go back to the drawing board. What are the realistic options?

1) Stick with Google photos and start paying for storage. Google One is Google's new online storage solution and plans start with 100GB of storage going for R29 a month.

2) Use all the free storage options you have (Assuming you take advantage of them!)

Many cloud service providers offer some kind of storage free of charge. I list some well-known (and some lesser-known new players) below:


Using a service like ODrive even allows you to access all your various services from a central location, which comes in quite handy. Simply log in, connect your accounts and away you go.

3) Pay for another online storage provider. All the free storage providers offer increased storage at a cost, and if you look at this great article by Techradar you will see they actually recommend a few other solutions that won't break the bank.

Finally, here are two things I would recommend you change immediately. If you're a Whatsapp user (who isn't?) it is a good idea to disable automatically adding photos to your camera roll. I end up backing up all kinds of ridiculous photos sent in all the various groups I am a member of, but now we will have to be much more selective of what we choose to back up.

It is also important to check your auto-backup settings in Google Photos. If these aren't turned off, your phone will automatically add your pics to your account and you will fill up that 15GB pretty quickly!

So there you have it. Yikes. 

What are you going to do? Let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions or things I might have missed out.

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