About your Google Photos activity & storage

Photos or videos you back up in Storage saver, Original quality, or Express quality will count towards your 15 GB of Google Account cloud storage or any additional storage you may have purchased as a Google One member. If you're inactive in Google Photos for 2 or more years, or if you're out of storage, your Photos content may be deleted.

Maintain your activity in Google Photos

Important: Activity is considered by account, not device. Make sure you use your Google Photos for all accounts on which you wish to remain active. 

The simplest way to keep your account active is to periodically visit Google Photos on the web or through the app. Make sure you're signed in and connected to the internet. Examples of activity include:

  • Signed in and online activity in Google Photos on Android, iOS, or web. For example, using the app to: 
    • View your backed up gallery
    • Share a photo or video
    • Create an album or photo book
  • Back up a photo or video

You're also considered active if you have an active Google One membership with no outstanding payment or quota issues.

If you're inactive in Google Photos for 2 years or more, all of your content may be deleted from Google Photos. Before that happens, we will:

  • Give you notice using email. We will contact you at least three months before content is eligible for deletion.
  • Give you the opportunity to avoid deletion (by becoming active in the product).
  • Give you the opportunity to download your content from our services. Learn more about how to download your Google data.

After your content is deleted due to inactivity, some settings such as auto backup, notification preferences, and others may not be changed on a previously active device. 

Learn about the inactive Google Account policy.

Manage your storage


  • If you have a Pixel 5 or earlier, you receive unlimited storage for photos and videos backed up from your device at no charge. Learn more about your storage options.
  • Any photos or videos backed up in High quality or Express quality before June 1, 2021 don't count toward your Google Account storage.
  • Photos and videos backed up in Original quality count toward your Google Account storage. Learn more about photo and video backup options.
  • Photos backed up in Original quality and then compressed to Storage saver quality (previously named High quality) count toward your Google Account storage.

You can use the storage management tool to know how much storage space you have left, clean up storage, and get more storage.

Specifically, you can:

  • Find out how much storage you have left.
  • Estimate how long your storage may last based on how often you back up items to your Google Account.
  • Review items that count toward your storage that you might want to delete, like blurry photos, screenshots, and large videos.
  • Buy more storage with a Google One plan (where available).

An estimate of how long your storage may last may not be available if:

  • You haven't consistently backed up content over the past few months.
  • You're close to your storage limit and we can't provide an accurate timeline estimate.
  • Your account is provided through work, school, family, or another group.
  • You're out of storage.

If you're out of storage or over quota, you won't be able to back up additional photos and videos. If you're over quota for 2 years, your content in Google Photos may be deleted. Learn more about your storage quota. You can always free up storage space through the storage management toolGoogle One storage manager, and within Google Photos. Learn how to manage your Google storage space.

If you want more storage 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 enhanced Google Photos editing features, VPN, and more that can be shared with up to 5 others.

Frequently asked questions

Does the inactive account policy apply to G Suite/Workspace accounts as well as consumer accounts?

No, this policy does not apply to G Suite or Workspace accounts.

Are you going to tell me before my data is deleted?

If your account is subject to this policy change, we'll give you ample notice (at least three months) before your content may be deleted. We'll attempt to reach you via your email address and notifications. Learn more about managing email addresses for your Google Account.

How do I preserve content from a loved one when they pass away?

We recognize that many people pass away without leaving clear instructions about how to manage their online accounts. Google can work with immediate family members and representatives (in certain circumstances) to provide content from a deceased user's account. Learn more about our process for requesting a deceased user's data.

To let us know in advance what to do with your data in the event of death or prolonged inactivity, learn more about Inactive Account Manager.

Note: Inactive Account Manager settings don't override the Google Photos inactive and over quota policies.

I have an account that I think is inactive and I forgot the password - how do I sign in?

If you can't remember your password for an account you infrequently use, to verify your identity and reset your password, visit Google Account Recovery. For more help to sign in successfully, refer to Account recovery tips.

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