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4/10/19
Pixel 2 Deletes Data by Downscaling Photos Without Notifying the User 0 Recommended Answers 8 Replies 0 Upvotes
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When I first bought my Pixel 2, I was able to upload all photos on the device to Photos at Original quality (as the app says) without affecting my Google Drive storage.  Recently I noticed that Google has started uploading my photos at "High Quality" which tosses out 50-80% of the pixels reducing the quality of the "backed up" photos to an unusable size.  After contacting support (Leo and Rick), they told me I should "free up space" on my device which would have deleted the only remaining originals that I have not already lost.  Google support has not taken ownership of this issue and there is no setting I can change in the Photos app to even change this behavior (because the app assures me, without any settings, that I will have the original quality photo uploaded).  I am posting here (and will post elsewhere if I need to) because the Google support seems so unwilling to fix this issue.  I really thought Google cared more about their customers.
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4/10/19
Hi Thinker,
 
That sounds odd - are these photos definitely taken with the phone using the owner account?
 
Photos taken with a Pixel 2 phone using the owner account should continue to upload at original quality until 2020, I believe:
 
https://bgr.com/2017/10/06/pixel-2-features-unlimited-photo-storage/
 
- Mike
Last edited 4/11/19
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4/10/19
They don't all come from the default camera app and aren't all taken with the Pixel 2 camera which hasn't mattered until some arbitrary time recently.  Photos uploaded the same way before we're uploaded without affecting my quota and at original quality.

That being said, even if I wanted to pay for the storage, there is no option to change the uploads back to original quality as, instead of this option, this is what I see: "Photos and videos uploaded from your Pixel before 2021-01-16 get unlimited free storage at original quality."

No mention of "pictures taken by your Pixel" or any way to change upload settings.
Last edited 4/10/19
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4/10/19
Hi Thinker,

The feature was supposed to be for photos taken on the device only (with the owner account) but that may only recently be being enforced. Are photos taken by the phone uploading ok at original quality, though?

It might be best to post in the Google Photos community as they would be more aware of changes. For example, the tips in this Google Photos thread might be useful.

- Mike
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4/10/19
Hi Mike,

Thank you for the response.

If that is true, my issue is with two things (that so far no one at Google has acknowledged):
1. Arbitrarily enforcing a rule that isn't clearly stated (the message in the app refers to photos and videos generally - not just ones taken with the phone) and has resulted in lost data.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.
2. If some photos are not included in the unlimited offer, there needs to be, at least, a way to choose the quality of the upload for those photos - which there isn't (which supports my first point).

The lack of one of these two and the arbitrary application of unclear policy changes is resulting in users losing their data (precious family memories, etc) which is unacceptable.  Google needs to take responsibility for this.

Thanks,

Nathan.
Last edited 4/10/19
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4/11/19
Hi Nathan,

Good points. Let me see if I can find out anything about this for you.

It would be helpful were you able to provide steps to reproduce this - and even a sample image this has happened to. Also screenshots of evidence of size/quality reduction. 

I shall also pass on the apparent suboptimal advice offered by Support for which I would need the Case ID..

- Mike
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4/12/19
Hi Nathan,

Might you have at any time tried the setting “recover storage” to free up space which could have converted the previously backed up photos from “Original quality” to “High quality”?

- Mike
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4/13/19
Hi Mike,

The case number is [removed].  I am still in “conversation” with them and I feel as if I’m talking to a robot that is pushing the conversation in circles (maybe it is? Does Google use support bots?).  Even the supervisor has been very unhelpful.

I am including the images I sent to support to demonstrate that a file, before “deleted from my device” is one size and after deleting it from my device and downloading it again, it is much smaller.  Also, I have included a picture of the message I see in the Photos app with the options for backing up.

Thank you for looking into this,

Nathan.
Last edited 4/15/19
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4/14/19
Hi Nathan,

Thanks for these extra details - I have passed them on and will let you know what is discovered.

Please now edit your post to remove the Case ID as that information is privacy-sensitive.

- Mike
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