How you will be affected by Google free cloud storage policy changes

Beginning 1 June 2021, the online cloud storage policy from Google will undergo significant changes. It is because the search mega-firm will stop providing unlimited free storage to upload videos and photos on the Google Photos service it offers. Furthermore, Google is also going to begin erasing content from dormant accounts. We give you all the information you require about Google’s latest online cloud storage policy as well as its effect on you as the user.

What does Google’s current policy entail?

Users who are on a standard Google Account get a storage space of 15 GB for free. It is significantly more, compared to Microsoft, which provides OneDrive at 5GB free space and iCloud from Apple that provides 5GB also.

The 15GB space is included in the user’s Photos, Drive and Gmail. Drive consists of all spreadsheets, files, etc., that are set up on Google’s series of apps like Google Sheets, Google Docs, etc. But, pictures that were uploaded to the Google Photos app did not feature in this free space. It affected all high-resolution videos and pictures and express resolution pictures and videos.

Google explains that when you use the high resolution to upload photos, for saving space, they are compressed. Photos that are bigger than 16MP are restructured to 16MP.  Each video that exceeds 108p resolution had its dimensions altered to 1080P high-definition. When the photos are in the express resolution they are at 3MP at most, while videos are at 480p resolution.

For people who used the original resolution to upload videos and photos, it signifies that the videos and photos were not compressed, and the change will not affect them in any way. The reason is that if you used the original resolution to upload videos and photos, Google did not include them in your account’s available online storage.

What are the policy’s significant changes?

Beginning 1 June 2021, Google Photos are not going to be free like before. All videos and photos uploaded before 1 June 2021 are

going to be included in the account storage. The previous policy stipulated that technically, you could go on uploading videos and photos with unlimited free account space as it was not counted. However, next year everything will change.

Therefore, what is Google’s reason for this change?

Google’s users exceed 1 billion for all its offerings, and it is to be expected that they will implement the change since offering this amount of free cloud storage is not a practical move.

In a blog post, Google said that ’the content individuals are uploading is more significant compared to earlier;  over 4.3 million GB are included across Drive, Gmail, and Photos each day.’

According to the firm, making these changes is necessary so that it can keep up with the expanding demand.

Also, Google’s action will probably motivate undecided users to pay to use its cloud service, particularly the ones who are now accustomed to using Google Photos to upload and store in the photo gallery of their phone.

The firm provides paid selections for more storage using Google One program. Each month in India, it begins at 200GB for Rs 210, 2TB for RS 650 each month, or Rs 6500 each year, 10TB at Rs 3,250 each month, and 20TB at Rs 6,500 each month.

I have many pictures on Google, but I want to avoid paying. Should I erase all the photos I had before?

Google will offer some discounts. All videos and photos uploaded before 1 June 2021 will still be free and will not be included in the storage. Therefore, if you managed to upload pictures and videos exceeding 15GB to your Google Account as of today, you should not be concerned. You don’t need to erase them.

However, all videos and photos uploaded after 1 June 2021 will be included in the free space provided to you by Google. If you want to go on uploading more videos and photos, it would be best for you to pay for this service since the 15GB is split across Drive, Photos, and Gmail. For people who use a paid Google One account, there is no cause for worry, as the change is minimal.

Why does Google erase content from dormant accounts?

A section of Google’s latest policy involves erasing content from dormant accounts. Any account that has remained dormant for 24 months or a period exceeding two years may have their content erased from the products that the user doesn’t utilize.

Therefore, if you have not used your account’s Google Photos for two years, it means the firm will erase content from that specific product. However, ‘members of Google One who maintain their storage limit and have a good reputation will not be affected by this latest dormant policy,’ states the firm. The good news is that Google will send you numerous alerts before erasing the information, and you can choose to download the content also.

You can maintain an active account by visiting ‘Google Photos, Gmail, and Google Drive’ sometimes on the web or via a Google app, states the firm. If you go beyond the 2-year storage limit, your content may be erased. Once more, Google will alert you before it resolves to erase all your information from accounts if you exceed the storage limit.

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