End of unlimited storage on Google Photos: how to reclaim space

End of unlimited storage on Google Photos: how to reclaim space
End of unlimited storage on Google Photos: how to reclaim space

About 28 billion images are saved to Google Photos every week. The American giant ended unlimited storage on June 1, 2021.

Your Google account, created to obtain a Gmail address or to make full use of your Android smartphone, is associated with generous online storage space.

15 GB (gigabits) to be precise, which fill up with your emails, documents and photos. It is on this last point that Google has pulled the handbrake.

Previously, Google did not count the snapshots that you saved in “high quality”, or a slightly compressed format, from your 15 GB.

This generosity has come to an end, with the end of unlimited storage of photos on Google, as announced for months.

Eventually, your storage space may quickly become too tight.

The opportunity for Google to offer you a paid subscription to supplement your online storage space. The offer ranges from 100 GB (€ 1.99 / month) to 2 TB (€ 9.99 / month), or 20 times 100 GB.

Don’t feel like paying? Do you think your 15 GB is enough? Here’s how to (re) save space.

To do the housework

Over time, unnecessary files build up like dust under your furniture. A cleanup will allow you to regain storage space.

First possibility, use Google’s tools to help you track down the unnecessary. You can easily manage your Google account storage space on this page.

Here, the service finds files lying around in your online trash, large items piling up, unreadable videos, attachments in pre-Gangnam Style emails.

Second choice, sort through the photos. Blurry pictures and screenshots are detected by Google on this page. Eliminate without remorse what will never be useful.

You will also see here the estimated time left, at the current rate, for your Google account to overflow. “You have about 1 year of storage space left,” the page threatens.

Third option, browse your documents, photos and e-mails yourself on the various Google services in order to remove the superfluous. It’s longer, but more precise.

Disable photo backup

To prevent your photos from overloading your Google account, the easiest way is… not to save them on the American giant’s servers.

On your smartphone, open the Google Photos app, click on your profile at the top right, then on “Google Photos settings” and finally “Backup and synchronization”.

All you have to do is uncheck the box so that your photos are no longer saved in your Google account.

Warning: the ideal way to do this is then to have another solution on hand, such as another online photo storage service or a “home” backup (on your computer, a dedicated hard drive or a NAS). Remember to always have your most valuable documents in two different places.

Believe us, you don’t want to waste years of photos because you lose a smartphone, your microSD card stops responding, or your hard drive decides to give up the ghost.

If you want to easily retrieve your photos from Google Photos to put them somewhere else, in a safe place, Google Takeout allows you to download all your data.

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