New Google Photos storage rules could delete your Gmail and Google Drive files too

Dec 7, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

New Google Photos storage rules could delete your Gmail and Google Drive files too

Dec 7, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Google recently announced they were killing off free storage for Google Photos from June 1st, 2021. A lot of people haven’t been happy with Google’s track record on moves like this, and have been seeking alternatives.

Many users assumed that any images already there would remain safe, but it seems not. Google has started emailing some of its Gmail, Drive and Photos users to let them know that their content may soon be deleted without warning or permission. Like the new Google Photos restrictions, these new policies also come into effect on June 1st, 2021.

Essentially, if your account is inactive for two years or more, Google may delete your content without warning. Also, if you’ve exceeded your storage limit for two years or more, they may also delete your content to free up the space. So, if you’re over your storage limit due to photos, you may find that email and other files go missing to recover it.

The good news, though, is that they won’t be enforcing this policy until June 1st, 2023 – two years after the new policies come into effect. But they will still regularly send you nag emails to remind you that you’re over the limit and you need to delete content to free the space back up yourself.

Every Google account will still come with 15GB of free storage that is used for Gmail, Drive and Photos, but this is a shared storage space used between all of them. Not 15GB for each service. So, you’ll want to keep an eye on how much space your photos and files are taking up if you want to keep receiving emails.

You’re probably better off just looking for another service for your cloud photos and files storage and just sticking with Google for email.

[via The Express]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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9 responses to “New Google Photos storage rules could delete your Gmail and Google Drive files too”

  1. Algie Littlepage Avatar
    Algie Littlepage

    Why don’t people buy some hard drives and control the storage of their own photo collection(s). Drives are cheap. A pair of 2tb 2-1/2″ external drives (for redundancy backup) costs under $200.

    1. Marlon Avatar
      Marlon

      Because on site backup is still probe to theft and fire and a myriad of other things in your property. I need offsite and accessibility to my data from anywhere.

      1. slackercruster Avatar
        slackercruster

        The problem with cloud storage is it goes poof once the account is in arrears for 30 days. Same with websites. You stop paying the bill and it is gone.

        Cloud is OK for redundancy and access. But the only archival method of preservation with digital is M-Disc or laser engraved quartz. I also do tons of work with small gauge film and VHS preservation. It is not practical to use cloud for all I produce, which is massive. The internet here is very slow. Everything gets put on M-Disc sooner or later.

        SDD/ HDD are good for work drives but not for long term archival preservation. SDD must be charged pretty frequently or it loses data. HDD has to be rewritten every 6 to 10 years or it can lose data due to magnetism loss. If you have some $, get a Sony Optical Disc Archive. Much more archival than LTO tape.

        I’ve lost the majority of my online work over the last decade. Tumblr deleted 48 of my websites in 2019…all gone. The Internet Archive deleted between 70,000 and 110,000 of my uploads. (They later restored most of them after a month of complaints…but it was just by chance.) Flickr deleted my account and I lost everything. Whenever I put something online I don’t expect it to last. Even stuff I’ve saved to the Wayback Machine is not all there.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cf2a31d2f1312be4d4d2af1abea7f2d1f45d547f38628b0a6949ae70fbe5d5e1.jpg

        …takes a licken and keeps on tickin!

  2. Mario Dennis Avatar
    Mario Dennis

    I was never a fan of Google photos. If your photos are that important, pay a little to safeguard them.

  3. Anthony M Avatar
    Anthony M

    This article is pretty misleading. These policies are just to prevent abuse of the service. If you don’t use Gmail or Google Drive for 2 years, why should they keep your stuff there for free? That part does not apply to Google One subscribers. And if you are over your storage limit, that means you were paying for additional storage and then stopped, which means you would be essentially stealing, so 2 years on that is pretty generous. And again, all photos uploaded to Google Photos in “high quality” before June 1st 2021 do not count against your storage limit, so all your old pictures will not get your account deleted. Oh and the “without warning” part you said is completely untrue as Google clearly states they will send you many reminders before anything gets deleted.

    1. Marlon Avatar
      Marlon

      Correct Anthony. The conditions are fair and the article is a little sensational. I’ll remain on my 200gb plan and won’t have any trouble. People just want everything for free with no logical te hought about the real issue behind the scenes

      1. Steviant Avatar
        Steviant

        Google promised them free “unlimited” storage and offered to “safeguard” a “lifetime of memories”.

        To me, that sounds like Google enticed people to use their service with a promise of a lifetime of unlimited storage, and they’ve now gone back on that agreement.

        I doubt Google is very understanding in the event that someone has made an agreement with them and then suddenly changes their mind one day.

        How do you think affected people should be handling the situation?

    2. TwistedNonsense Avatar
      TwistedNonsense

      You’re absolutely correct. The title of this article is basically just click bait. I’m a Platinum Product Expert for Google Photos, and the forums are filled every day with dozens of people who are either confused or have been misled about what’s really happening. And since a huge percentage of people, for some strange reason, choose not to read official Google announcements or Help pages, opting instead to get their info from social media and places like this, the spread of misinformation is exacerbated.

  4. ipdouglas Avatar
    ipdouglas

    Google Photos seems to have lost its outstanding AI in recent months? Not sure it is as useful as it has been. Nonetheless Google Photos has allowed me to store 1.6tb of high quality (not raw) images and I am very grateful. I had hoped there would be some AI image assessment ap at some point to run on those images to delete all those that have a certain degree of camera shake or nothing in focus? Not yet it seems. Shame as I am sure it would save a TB in my case – lol. Since I do not like or indulge in ICM it would be perfectly safe as long as could ‘dial in’ the degree of shake.
    Time for the Google boffins to step up and save millions of TB and delete all the crap.