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Google Account and Google Photos’ storage policies will change, for worse?

By Samuel Martinez November 11, 2020, 8:30 pm
Google Photos Canon cameras

Google has made a couple of announcements this morning that may not seem so great. These announcements include changes to its Google Account and Google Photos’ storage policies that include new auto-delete policies.

Google’s first announcement goes towards the storage changes that will primarily affect Photos.
“Starting June 1, 2021, any new photos and videos you upload will count toward the free 15 GB of storage that comes with every Google Account or the additional storage you’ve purchased as a Google One member. Your Google Account storage is shared across Drive, Gmail and Photos. This change also allows us to keep pace with the growing demand for storage. And, as always, we uphold our commitment to not use information in Google Photos for advertising purposes. We know this is a big shift and may come as a surprise, so we wanted to let you know well in advance and give you resources to make this easier.”


However, Pixel phones will be exempted from these new rules, as they will continue to offer unlimited “High Quality” backups. These backups compress large photos to 16-megapixels, while videos with higher resolution than 1080p will be resized to this format. On a positive note, any photo or video uploaded in high quality before June 1, 2021, won’t count toward the users 15GB free storage space, so you should consider hacking up everything in HQ before this date.

Now, Google has also announced that Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more will also start to count towards users’ 15GB limit starting on June 2021. The company also announced that if users are inactive for two years, it may delete the contents that reflect inactivity, and this would also apply to users who are over the storage limit for two years.

“We’re introducing new policies for consumer accounts that are either inactive or over their storage limit across Gmail, Drive (including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard files) and/or Photos to better align with common practices across the industry. After June 1:

“If you’re inactive in one or more of these services for two years (24 months), Google may delete the content in the product(s) in which you’re inactive.
“Similarly, if you’re over your storage limit for two years, Google may delete your content across Gmail, Drive and Photos.
“We will notify you multiple times before we attempt to remove any content so you have ample opportunities to take action. The simplest way to keep your account active is to periodically visit Gmail, Drive or Photos on the web or mobile, while signed in and connected to the internet.”

In other words, keep checking your Gmail, Drive, and Photos every now and then, just to avoid unpleasant surprises.


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