Today is the day. Google is doing away with unlimited photo storage in Google Photos. Once it’s gone, anything you upload will count against the 15GB data cap that comes with your Google Account.
Google Photos has been one of our favorite free options for photo storage, and it’s a shame to see Google shifting away from what made the service so popular. Tap or click here to see 20 tips to help you take control of your photos.
How does the 15GB cap work and what counts against it? We have that info, as well as some free alternatives to Google Photos that you can try.
Free unlimited photo storage is no more
As of June 1, 2021, Google no longer offers unlimited storage to free users on Google Photos. The company outlined the changes in a blog post that claimed it was trying to “keep pace with the growing demand for storage.”
Any new high-quality photos will count against the 15GB data cap used by Google Drive and Google Docs. If you want to upload more, you’ll have to shell out for a Google One account.
Google One upgrades your cloud storage to 100GB for $1.99 per month. You can expand storage to up to 2TB for $9.99 per month. Google One isn’t an expensive upgrade, but it’s a significant change from what the company offered before.
I don’t want to pay for something I got for free. What alternatives can I use?
Google is only one of several photo hosting services that you can use free of charge. If you’re ready to make the switch, try one of these alternatives on your desktop or smartphone.
- iCloud Photos: Apple users can use iCloud Photos to store their entire library. It uses your iCloud storage, so those who don’t pay have 5GB of space to store images. This is a smaller amount than free Google Photos users get, so we’d recommend this option if you only have a handful of photos you want to upload after June 1. You can view and organize your iCloud photo library at iCloud.com
- Amazon Drive: If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get 5GB of Amazon Cloud Drive space with unlimited photo storage at no extra charge. Videos count against your 5GB of storage. You’re still paying for Prime membership, but the photo storage and cloud storage are kept separate. Tap or click here to see even more Amazon Prime perks.
- Dropbox: All-purpose file storage for your smartphone and computer. Free users get 2GB for storing photos, videos, documents and more. It’s the smallest allotment of storage compared to the others, but it’s a decent alternative if you only have a few photos you want to upload after May 31.
Our last alternative isn’t free, but at only $6.95 for the first year, our sponsor IDrive is one of the most affordable.
If you have photos on your phone, IDrive can save them to a secure cloud drive with up to 5TB of storage. That’s 1,000 times the amount of storage you get with iCloud.
You can also upload photos directly from your PC or Mac and back up multiple devices at once. Everything syncs to one account, so it’s easy to keep track of all your photos.
Right now, you can go to IDrive.com and use promo code Kim to save 50% on 5 TB of cloud backup! It’s even more affordable than what Apple charges for a similar amount of storage on iCloud.