By Chris Guld, Geeks on Tour
I think of Google Photos like my magic attic. I just need to toss all my photos up there and they’re automatically sorted by date and grouped by people, places, and things. If I want to show someone a photo of our RV with the Grand Tetons in the background, I just search for “RV Tetons.” The results include photos (above) from 2018 with our Roadtrek camper van as well as our two other RVs in years past. All this happens by magic since I never tagged these photos with “RV” or “Tetons.”
Your travel photos are organized before you get home
Another example of why I love Google Photos is how easy it is to pick my best photos and share them with friends and family. I’ve heard some people say, “When I get home from my two-week trip, I’ll have another week of work to organize my photos.” It doesn’t have to be that way. Using Google Photos, my travel photos are all uploaded to the cloud every day. I look at them and choose the best ones to add to an album for the trip. I share that album with my family and friends on day 1 and they see the new photos and videos I add as I go. By the time I get home, it is all done. Then, with just a couple more clicks, I order a printed book for my coffee table, and I add the travel album to the photos being displayed on my TV photo frame.
The Google Photos app on my phone automatically uploads photos and videos to my Google account in the cloud and stores them there with the rest of my life’s photos and videos. Up till now, it has done this for free with unlimited storage. This unlimited, free storage made using Google Photos a no-brainer. Many people use Google Photos just for that reason, not even knowing all the other benefits.
The bad news about Google Photos, starting June 1
Since its inception in 2015, Google Photos has provided free unlimited storage for all your photos and videos as long as you used the compressed, “High Quality” upload size. They did this by simply not counting any High Quality photos. Starting June 1, new photos will count against your 15GB allotment of free storage. When that is full, there will be a fee for additional storage space.
- 100 GB = $1.99/mo.
- 200 GB = $2.99/mo.
- 2 Terabytes = $9.99/mo.
- 10 Terabytes = $99.99/mo.
The good news
Right now, before June 1, 2021, the unlimited free storage is still in effect. Any and all photos and videos that you upload to Google Photos using the High Quality setting is stored for free. Specifically, High Quality content does not count against any storage allotment you have in your account. Any High Quality content already in your Google Photos account when the change takes effect in June will be grandfathered in. For example, I currently have nearly 100,000 photos and videos being stored, for free, in my Google Photos account – roughly 450GB. Nothing will change for me on June 1 regarding those 100,000 photos and videos. I will continue to get free storage for my 450GB of content. Only newly uploaded photos and videos after June 1, 2021, will count. I will still use the High Quality setting because they take about half the storage space of Original Quality.
I’m staying with Google Photos
Using Google Photos is still a no-brainer for me. It is my magic attic where I can find any photo from my life in a matter of seconds. I certainly enjoyed the free unlimited storage while it lasted, and it’s well worth the reasonable fees going forward.
What to do now
If you are using Google Photos now, make sure that you are taking advantage of the free storage before June 1. Here’s a video on what to do:
Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She is also the author of the book, Learn Google Photos. She and her husband, Jim, produce a free weekly YouTube show called What Does This Button Do? They have been Fulltime RVers, popular seminar presenters at RV Rallies, and regular contributors to RVTravel.com, for many years.