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What to do as unlimited free uploads to Google Photos end

Uploads to Google Photos starting June 1 will count towards the 15GB free Google account limit

The first thing to do is to, well, not panic. Your already-uploaded photos will be just fine.

What this means though is that from now on, backing up and uploading your photos or videos from your phone will count towards the 15GB of storage that every Google account has. This 15GB is also shared storage for Gmail, Drive, and other Google cloud services, so the actual space for your photos may be actually smaller.

Google Photos has been a way to keep phone storage from filling up. Even if the supposed “High quality” uploads do reduce the quality from the original image stored in the device, the service has been a mechanism that’s freed us from too much image storage management. And it’s come to us at little cost – save for the embedded data in images that does make business sense for Google to harvest.

Without the option, we’ll have to be a little more deliberate with our selfie-taking. Here’s what you can do:

Check how long your free storage will last

Go to Google Photos, tap on your profile photo on the upper right corner, and tap “Account storage.” Under settings, tap on “Important update about your high quality storage.” Scroll down, and there you will see how much storage you have left, and Google’s own estimate of how long it will last depending on your photo-taking habits.

If it’ll last you a year, you should be fine. You’ll just have to do an annual audit of what photos stay and what photos get deleted.

Buy Google storage

Of course, deletion and just that whole mental process of deciding which photos stay – especially for the more sentimental or obsessive among us – could be tedious. Sometimes, it’s just easier to pony up, and give Google the cash.

The plans are as follows:

100GB – P89/month
200GB – P149/month
2TB – P479/month
10TB – P2,399/month

If you’re a free user, you can find the option to buy more storage under “Account storage.” Under your account, it’ll give you the “Buy 100GB for P89.00/month” option.

To save storage, set upload to “High Quality”

The setting reduced the file size by about 66%. A 3MB photo becomes 1MB, although the quality is slightly reduced. This goes a long way in extending your storage.

For photos and videos whose quality you want to maintain, you may want to separately upload them on Google Drive.

The option can be found under “Account storage” as well. Look for the “Upload size” option.

Make use of upcoming Google tools that will let you filter and remove low-quality photos

Google says it’s launching a new tool this month that “lets you find and review blurry, dark and other low-quality photos” to help you stay within your storage.

Review Google alternatives

Google Photos enjoys user familiarity and surefire Android integration. But you do have other paid choices such as Flickr, Microsoft OneDrive, and Apple’s own iCloud, to name some of the more well-known ones.

There are options so make sure to scan for reviews to see if there are other services that may serve you better. Flickr’s service, for instance, has an unlimited plan for uploads in original resolution for US$60 per year or US$7 monthly, which is cheaper than Google’s 2TB plan. The upside with Google though is that you can use the 2TB for uploads other than photos.

Get a network-attached storage

A network-attached storage (NAS) is like having your own private Google Photos. It’s a storage device that connects to the internet, letting you upload and download files, including photos, to and from it.

You don’t know when Google Photos or other similar services may change their terms again. With a NAS, you have a lot more control. And if you’d rather pay upfront for a storage solution than add yet another monthly subscription to your tab, this is one you may want to consider. Prices for NAS devices start at around P4,000.

Lastly, if conveniently accessing your files online isn’t a priority, you could always just buy more traditional external drives, and dump all your un-deletables in there.

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