By default, each Google user has 15 GB of free space to store photos, videos, emails, documents and files. But some items do not count towards this limit: users of Google Photos, for example, can store as many images as they want as long as they send them converted to “high” quality, instead of the original files.

At a time when we all take dozens of pictures daily, storing them online without any concern for space is practically like having a camera with “infinite film”. According to Google if we add GMail, Drive and Photos its users store 4,3 Petabytes (4,3 million gigabytes) of data every day.


But that will soon change. From July 1, 2021 even high quality shipments will be deducted from the space available in your account. Remember that files that are already stored on Google Photos, or sent in high quality by the deadline, will not be considered. The rule holds only for new shipments.

printscreen of google photos storage section
Currently, there is no limit for storing photos in “High quality”. Only “Original” quality images consume space available in the account.

Even with the change, Google estimates that 80% of users who upload images in high quality will still have at least three years before reaching the 15 GB limit. Those who reach, or exceed, the limit will be able to purchase more space in one of the Google One plans. Currently, a 100 GB plan costs R $ 6,99 monthly, and there are also 200 GB plans (R $ 9,99) and 2 TB (R $ 34,99).

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In addition, as of June 1, 2021 any new Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms or Jamboard files will also be deducted from the free 15 GB limit, or your Google One plan limit.

New storage rules for inactive accounts

Google is also changing the policy for inactive accounts. As of June 1, 2021, accounts that have been inactive for two years (24 months) or more may have their content deleted. The same applies for accounts that are exceeding your plan's space limit.

According to the company, users will be notified "several times" before any content is removed, so that they have time to act. The best way to keep your account active is to periodically access GMail, Drive or Photos, on the web or on a smartphone, while logged into a Google account and connected to the internet. Something that most of us do naturally every day.

Google recommends that users read about the inactive account manager so they know how to add a trusted contact, who can download the contents of an account in case of inactivity. For example, in case of death of the user.

The company also recommends that users access the storage manager from Google One, in the app or on the web, to find out what’s taking up space in your account and how to manage this content.

Source: Google