google photos

Google Photos is no longer free since June 1

Launched in 2015, Google Photos is an application for managing images on Smartphones. Previously, this cloud file storage program was free, but since June 1, 2021, the publisher has decided to switch to paid mode. This article explains everything about this change in 3 minutes.

Unlimited storage on Google Photos becomes chargeable

Successor to Picasa, Google Photos is an online image storage service. Before June 2021, the application recognizable by its 4-colored blade logo offered unlimited recording in the cloud. From now on, you have to put your hand in your pocket to be able to fully benefit from this service. The photo and video backup program limits the available volume to 15 GB. To have more space, you must subscribe to a monthly subscription.

The subsidiary of the Alphabet group asks subscribers wishing to have storage greater than 15 GB to pay €1.99 per month. This package entitles you to 100 GB of images and video. Customers of this online service are automatically subscribed to Google One which also includes other services relating to backup in the Cloud. In addition to image files and films, documents are eligible for the member’s personal space. The service provider also offers expert advice as well as various features such as photo editing.

The publisher took care to explain how the switchover takes place

With a billion users, Google Photos is one of the most downloaded storage space savers in the world. Owners of devices running Android or iOS who have it installed will be able to continue to use it as their default image manager. After taking a selfie or snapshot, the file will automatically be sucked into the cloud. This service remains free until 15 GB is reached. The publisher nevertheless explains that images recorded before switching to paid mode are not included in the count.

A half year before the switch, Google communicated the need to check the contents of the backup box. This is another way of saying that we had to eliminate duplicates and photos that are not worth storing to keep the volume below 15 gigabytes. On its support pages, the application publisher explains that a transitional period of 24 months will be observed. During this phase, any slight excess can still be tolerated. Afterwards, Google Photos grants itself the right to eliminate recently saved elements to keep the quota.

A change that will not concern everyone

To give an idea of ​​size, 15 GB allows you to store up to 800 photos in HD quality. This is the count for a device with a sensor of 20 megapixels and above. For those who have a basic mobile, this space is enough to save thousands of images. The file size will change slightly with filters and edits, but overall the fifteen billion bytes should fit everyone. To find out what level the photo library is at, you must go to If the gauge is the upper third full, it is better to be wary.

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It should also be noted that the 15 GB of free storage offered by Google is not reserved for photos and videos. This space is also used for saving emails via Gmail and documents shared on Drive. In any case, there is a solution to avoid paying the subscription. On the application, you will have to choose the “high quality storage” option which reduces the quality of the image while compressing the file. Yet another solution is to invest in the purchase of a Google Pixel (version 5 or earlier). Owners of this Smartphone enjoy unlimited online storage for life.

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Manage the online photo library

Avoiding any unpleasant surprises, Google regularly informs users of the Photos application. The publisher communicates in particular the remaining space in the 15 GB. Then, we must also remember that a gigabyte (GB) must be able to contain 300 photos in average quality or 10 minutes of video. According to the search engine’s estimate, it takes approximately three years of regular registration before encountering a filling problem.

The high quality backup option offered on Google Photo is not very clear. It would be better to keep some low-resolution shots in their original size. In any case, images saved before 06/1/2021 are not affected. It would be useless to touch it. A command to “Recover storage space” is available on the application. It automatically manages gigabytes by adjusting file size. Then, there is still manual sorting. It is necessary to delete videos that are too large and photos of poor quality.

Consider lightening Gmail and Drive

The 15 GB of storage space is shared with the messaging service and Google Drive. The trick then comes down to eliminating cumbersome emails and obsolete documents. This major cleaning can be done manually. However, the publisher of the 3 programs suggests sorting tools to recognize the heaviest content. A rather radical alternative option consists of emptying Drive and then subscribing to an equivalent service from its competitors.

Google allows Drive users to migrate to another platform. Saved files can even be recovered in a few clicks. However, this option is not recommended for those who constantly use Google’s office suite. Indeed, the search engine offers alternatives to the Microsoft pack. The programs are called Docs, Sheet or Slide and allow you to do without Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Each file created is saved in the Cloud and enters the 15 GB quota.

Opt for an alternative backup program

Not everyone wants to spend 2 euros every month just to keep photos. Then, even if Google offers the cheapest storage space offer at 100 GB, this is an unnecessary financial burden that is binding in the very long term. Another detail to think about is that the saved images and videos could one day be used for marketing purposes. Nothing confirms that the search engine does not use them to direct targeted advertisements. In short, we must realize that Google Photos is not irreplaceable.

For those who are particularly concerned about photo privacy, there are paid platforms such as Kdrive. Just like its competitor pCloud, it charges above Google’s package, but its business model has the merit of being clear. Furthermore, migration is becoming easier since service providers offer to export data using a simplified order.

Back up files yourself

Before Web 2.0 and Cloud computing, humanity has always known how to immortalize its memories. It is possible to store photos the old-fashioned way by printing them on paper. Physical albums awaken more emotions than digital files. Then, it is sometimes simpler to copy the contents to a portable hard drive. The latter can display the images on a television or video projector. It can even be connected to WiFi so that the whole family can benefit from private storage space. This is the case of My Cloud Home Duo produced by Western Digital.

Computers currently available on the market offer enough storage space to keep a few hundred photos in very high definition. The most modest have 250 GB while the most recent PCs have a capacity in Terabytes. For their part, Smartphones offer on average 16 to 32 GB for entry-level models. This internal memory is expandable with an SD card. Some of these media reach 512 GB, but they are mainly intended for digital cameras.