Warning: Google Photos users face a bill for storing their pictures from next month

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Google Photos fans are in for a shock next month. Until now, Google Photos users have been able to upload endless pictures to the cloud without having to pay a penny for the privilege. While Google has always had a 15GB limit for high-resolution, uncompressed picture and videos, it’s had no problem letting us all send our smartphone snaps (16MP or under) to its online servers for free.

Needles to say, this has helped to make Google Photos one of the most popular photo management tools available. For those worried about losing all of their family or holiday pictures if they misplace (or break) their smartphone, the endless, unlimited cloud back-up is a big plus.

But that’s all changing. Unfortunately, from June 1, 2021 onwards, all images – no matter what quality you’re uploaded – will now eat into that 15GB allowance. Once users have hit that limit, they will then have to pay to add more storage via Google’s One service.

Prices for extra space start from £1.59 per month for 100GB, £2.49 for 200GB or £7.99 for a whopping 2TB. Explaining more about the change, Google said: “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.”

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It’s worth noting that any images uploaded before June 1 won’t count towards that 15GB limit so it could be a good time to sort through your family albums and get these online.

As well that big storage change coming into force next month there’s another big update that Google users should know about.

That’s because the US firm says Gmail, Google Photos and Google Drive content could be deleted unless users follow new rules. Google has brought in these changes to enable it to do some serious spring cleaning when users stop using these services and don’t bother to inform the tech giant.

To combat this data problem, Google is now giving users two years to log into their accounts. Anyone who stays away for more than 24 months could then see things disappearing with Google having the option to start removing content.

“If you’re inactive for 2 years (24 months) in Gmail, Drive or Photos, we may delete the content in the product(s) in which you’re inactive. If you exceed your storage limit for 2 years, we may delete your content across Gmail, Drive and Photos,” the firm said.

Users will get plenty of notice before their family snaps are sent to the rubbish bin with anyone affected receiving an email to inform them that their content could be removed so they should have plenty of time to get things in order.

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