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Why High Quality option still uses storage space? How to find which files uses it? 1 Recommended Answer 8 Replies 1 Upvote
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I use High Quality option in Google Photos, which assumes unlimited storage. However, the current storage details show that Google Photos takes about 7GB of space. Why is that?
Even if suggest that some photos or videos were for some reason uploaded with the original full-res quality, how could I detect such files to re-upload them?
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Just an additional remark: that 7 GB also can be caused by Drive and Gmail. 

If almost zero for Photos, then there is no need for Recover storage like Joe proposes. 
And that does not help for Drive and/or Gmail either.
Last edited 5/14/19
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"I use High Quality option in Google Photos"
It is important WHERE you set the option "High Quality". 
For example, the setting in https://photos.google.com/settings works for manual uploads from a computer, but NOT when you upload from a mobile device or use "Backup & Sync" on a computer. In that case you need to set "High Quality" in the Photos app on the device used for uploading.
Last edited 8/22/19
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I never upload photos from pc, nevertheless from both pc and phone app the backup option is set to "High Quality". Despite that, I find the compression button on the settings.

The compression works, but after taking more pictures it comes back.
The amount of compressible storage is different from, and less than, the storage quota occupied by my new photos and/or videos.

What else could take up such space? Auto-effect creations? Partner pictures? Something is clearly not working as expected.
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"The compression works, but after taking more pictures it comes back."
Just to be sure: 
  1. You use "Recover storage" in https://photos.google.com/settings. The "Recover storage" button disappears when ready.
  2. After you uploaded new photos from the mobile device the "Recover storage" button comes back
Can you confirm that the above is correct given you did not do anything else between the two steps?
Are the photos normal JPEG's ?  
From which device do you upload ?  (iOS or Android?)
Do you use "Backup & sync" on the mobile device, or do you upload manually ?
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I'm following now an incremental approach to try to identify the cause of it.
It doesn't seem to be random (but I might be wrong), and I yet have to understand what is causing it.

I have compressed all that could be compressed and let the button disappear.
I then took some pictures, and waited 20h+, the compression button hasn't come back yet.

The pictures are taken by an Android Pixel 3a phone, at a resolution of 4032x3024px 12.2MP, jpeg format.
The info panel on gphoto website shows that the weight of the pictures is indeed smaller than the original pictures stored on the phone, so that indeed they have been compressed automatically by the Backup & Sync. 

I have now taken a couple of videos and let them upload. I'll be waiting few hours to see whether the compression button comes back or not. The videos are recorded at 1920x1080px resolution.

Next, I will try to make an automatic creation (effect, or other type) to see what happens again.
Next, I will import pictures from a partner account to see what happens, too.
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Just want to add that HD-videos also are strongly compressed, eg from 247 MB to 33 MB. 
But the resolution stays 1920x1080 (2.1 MP)
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Alright, I'm pretty sure I got it, at least in my case.
As written in my previous post, I have tried everything, and up until now, nothing have made the Recover Storage button reappear, until I have took a series of single photos, and let it create an automated animation.
That has, indeed, made the recover storage button reappear.

Please anyone who is willing to reproduce it, try to follow these steps:

1. Ensure you have compressed everything before starting.

2.a Take a series of single pictures similar one another.
2.b Optionally, try also burst mode, but not sure whether it will trigger the issue as well or not.

3.a Wait for gphoto to suggest to save the automated animation.
3.b Optionally, force gphoto to create the animation manually.

Wait at least 5-10 minutes (in my case) and check whether the recover storage reappeared.

Hope this helps.
It kind of makes sense, since the automated creations are not uploaded from own devices, but created in a possibly original resolution, leaving to the user the final decision about whether to compress them or not.

To try also, the automatic effect creations. That is probably more difficult to trigger, but if it happens, please do keep an eye on what happens to the storage as well.

I just noticed that my process manually created an animated gif as per point 3.b, but also an automatic effect creation which I saved. 

Animation: 3.7MB
AutoEffect: 1.1MB
Recover Storage: 2.5MB

Last edited 8/25/19
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