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Google Photos is killing unlimited free photo storage

Google is tightening its belt a little when it comes to photo storage. The company has announced that so-called “high quality” photos will now count toward Google Drive‘s 15GB of free cloud storage. In other words, if you’re using Photos for free to store all your photos, you’ll soon need to stay within that 15GB limit, or start paying for extra storage through Google One.

Thankfully, for longtime Photos users, photos already uploaded to the service won’t count against your storage limit, but new photos and videos will. The change will take place on June 1, 2021, and Google says that around 80 percent of users will still be able to store around three years’ worth of photos and videos and still stay within that 15GB limit. Google will notify users that they’re approaching the limit.

If you’re wondering how long it’ll be before you might have to start paying for storage, Google is also launching a “personalized estimate” tool, which will tell you how long it thinks you have. If you’re logged into Photos, you can check out how long you have here.

Google One currently offers a range of different storage options, starting at $1.99 for 100GB, and ranging up to a massive 30TB for $149.99 per month. The $1.99 option is a pretty sweet deal, and that should be more than enough for the vast majority of users, even those who want to store original quality photos and videos in Google Photos.

Google Photos in general is easily one of the best and most convenient photo-storage services, especially for Android users. Users can easily and automatically upload photos and videos captured on their phone, and then access them on other devices once they’re uploaded. Even cooler is the fact that Photos has great object recognition built in to it, allowing you to search through photos to find the right ones, as well as search based on people. It’s well worth paying for.

All of the major tech companies are starting to push customers toward paying for cloud-based services. Apple recently launched the Apple One subscription service, which includes access to services like Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple News, and eventually, Apple Fitness+. Google One is mostly centered around cloud storage, and that storage is spread out across Google Drive and Google Photos. You’ll also get access to services like a VPN for Android.

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