Storage changes for Google Photos

What’s changing?

Google Photos currently offers the following backup options: 

  1. Unlimited high quality storage for free.
  2. Express quality storage for free (available in select markets).
  3. Original quality storage for free up to 15 GB (shared across Photos, Gmail and Drive), with additional storage available as part of Google One. 

From 1 June 2021, high-quality and express-quality content will count towards your Google Account storage. Once you've reached your storage limit, you can either subscribe to Google One (where available) for additional storage or delete content in order to continue with the free storage option in Photos.

If your account is provided through your work, school, family or other group, you may be affected depending on your plan. Find out how your storage works by talking to the manager of your account.


  • High-quality and express-quality photos and videos backed up before 1 June 2021 won’t count toward your Google Account storage. 
  • Original quality photos and videos will continue to count towards your Google Account storage. Learn more about photo and video backup options.
  • Photos backed up in original quality and then compressed to high quality after 1 June 2021 will count towards your Google Account storage.

Manage your storage

You can verify your backup options here. You can also get an estimate on how long your storage may last based on how often you back up photos, videos, files and other content to your Google Account. 

If you decide that you want more space for your memories, you can expand your storage through Google One (where available). In the US plans start at $1.99 per month for 100 GB of storage. Plans include additional member benefits like access to Google experts, exclusive features like advanced photo editing tools, shared family plans and more.

Important: If you have a Pixel 5 or an earlier device, you’ll continue to receive free unlimited storage for photos and videos backed up from your Pixel devices. Learn more about your storage options.

Learn more

Do I need to do anything right away?

No, this change will not take effect until 1 June 2021, and most users won't reach the limit for years to come. We'll send a reminder if you need to take action.

When will I run out of storage?

You can find a personalised estimate of how long you may have until you reach your Google Account storage limit. This estimate is based on how often you back up photos, videos, files and other content across Google Photos, Gmail and Drive.

An estimate may not be available if:

  • You haven't consistently uploaded content over the past few months.
  • You're close to your storage quota limit and we can't accurately provide a timeline estimate.
  • Your account is provided through your work, school, family or other group.
  • You're out of storage.

What can I do to manage my storage?

In June 2021, you can use our new free storage management tool to help you manage your storage. This tool can help you find and delete photos that are dark, blurry or otherwise unwanted. 

If you’d like more storage, you can get more from Google One (where available), with plans starting at $1.99/month in the US.

How much storage am I currently using?

You can check how much storage you're currently using in the Photos app.

What happens to my photos if I’m over the limit?

You will be unable to back up any additional photos and videos after 1 June 2021 if you're out of storage or over quota. When you’re over quota, it means that you’re using more storage space than you have available. If you're over quota for 24 months, your content may be impacted. You can always free up space through the Google One storage manager and within the products themselves. Learn how to manage your Google storage space.

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