Google Just Pulled the Plug on Unlimited Photo Storage: What Are Your Alternatives?

Google Just Pulled the Plug on Unlimited Photo Storage: What Are Your Alternatives?

One great thing about the cloud is that there are all these free options you have for things like file storage, task management, image editing, and more.

Cloud providers often give something away for free in hopes that at some point users will need to pay for the service for more features. Online storage is a great example of the cloud services model of luring someone in with a freebie, then getting them to buy something later.

For years, Google has allowed unlimited high-quality photo and video uploads to Google Photos. This has been a big benefit to users that have phones filling up with all those selfies and vacation videos. They’ve been able to sync their device to the service to offload their images and free up phone space.

But as of June 1, 2021, Google has pulled the plug on unlimited storage. Now, any images or videos uploaded will count toward the account’s storage space. This is 15GB for a free account.

Other files that count against the free storage limit include Gmail emails, Google Drive files, Sheets, Docs, and anything else uploaded to your Google account.

With the free ride ending, Google is banking on the fact that users will pay to get more storage rather than having to move all those files.

What’s Changing With the Google Photos Policy?

If you use Google Photos, here’s what you need to know about the changes:

  • Existing files uploaded before June 1, 2021, will not count toward storage and will not be deleted.
  • New photos and videos uploaded to Google Photos after June 1, 2021, will count against your overall storage allotment.
  • Users of Google Pixel 1-5 are exempt and can continue backing up their phone’s images and videos with unlimited storage.

What this means is that you may find out that you can’t offload your high-quality images like usual. If you are uploading large image files after June 1st and it causes you to reach your storage limit, this will impact your other Google services, like email and Google Drive storage, since all share the same storage space now.

Where Else Can I Go for Photo Storage?

You do have some free and paid options for storing your high-quality photos if you’re impacted by this new Google policy.

One thing to consider is that paying a little to keep all your images and videos in one place, rather than spreading them out over multiple free services, may end up being less time-consuming when it comes to finding your files later. (“Which service did I put that in again?”)

We’ll start with the free options, go into your paid options, and then cover software platforms you may subscribe to already that give you storage space.

Free Storage Options (Other Than Google):

One thing to remember with free services is that they can change policies at any time, so be sure you have a backup plan

Paid Storage Options:

  • Google: Starts at $1.99/month for 100GB
  • OneDrive: Starts at $199/month for 100GB
  • Dropbox: Starts at $9.99/month for 2TB
  • Network-attached storage: NAS is a device that you own and attaches to your network for cloud storage features. Prices vary according to size and can start at around $200 (one-time purchase) for as much as 32TB.

Services That Give You Storage Space

You may already be subscribed to a service that includes cloud storage space at no additional cost. This would be your best option since you’re already paying for the service and could consolidate your image uploads in a platform you are using for other activities.

Amazon Prime: 

If you love that fast shipping and signed up for Amazon Prime, you have plenty of photo storage that comes with your Prime account.

Prime members get unlimited, full-resolution photo storage and a total of 5GB for video storage.

Even if you’re only an Amazon customer, but don’t subscribe to Prime, you can take advantage of 5GB of free photo/video storage. 

Microsoft 365:

If you have a Microsoft 365 account, each user gets 1TB of cloud storage space. You can easily sync your phone with OneDrive and automatically have it upload photos and videos as you take them.

If you have a Microsoft 365 Family plan, which comes with 6 accounts, that means your family has a total of 6TB of cloud storage space, which is a pretty good deal for the price. Especially considering all the other applications you get with the account.

Adobe Creative Cloud

If you subscribe to Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, or another Creative Cloud application, you may have image storage space that you didn’t even realize was available.

For example, the photography plan comes with 20GB of free cloud storage space. If you’re into video editing and have Premiere Rush, you get 100GB of cloud storage with your plan.

Looking for a Permanent Cloud Storage Solution? 

Whether you’re a Sturgeon Bay area business or individual user, Quantum PC Services can help you set up a permanent solution to your cloud storage that puts you in complete control of your images.

Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.