Many users depend on the free storage offered by Google across its services. Although it’s not as much as one would imagine, it’s enough to get some users by (especially those who only store a few files).
Now, the company is updating its storage policies resulting in deletion of your content if you are over your quota.
Fortunately, this is a bit misleading. Here’s how Google plans to implement its new set of storage policies starting next month.
Google updates its storage policies starting next month
In December of last year, Google sent out emails to its users, advising them of updates to its storage policies. This included the warning that your content would be deleted if you went over the allowed storage quota.
A few days afterward, a couple of articles were posted online with shocking headlines warning users that the company will start charging you and/or delete your content starting June 1st –– when the new storage policies were to be implemented.
That is one bit of disturbing news, but fortunately, that’s not entirely the case.
How exactly is Google implementing its new storage policies?
Yes, it’s true. Google will begin implementing your 15GB free storage across its services, including Gmail, Google Photos, and Google Drive. Also, High Quality and Express Quality will start counting towards that 15GB limit after June 1st of 2021.
Additionally, Google will start charging users for extra storage used over the 15GB limit, or the company will delete your content. But here’s where it gets tricky: only after two years of staying over the quota can Google delete your content.
So for example, if you have used the 15GB limit as of June 1, 2021, Google may (emphasis on the may) delete your content on June 1, 2023.
Of course, Google will give a 3-month notice, enough time for you to download your content or pay the charge for additional storage. You can also visit Google’s Help Center article where the details of the topic are being discussed.
What exactly counts towards your 15GB storage?
According to Google, here are the details:
1. Google Drive
- Files in your “My Drive,” such as PDFs, images, and videos.
- Files in your Trash. (Related: Empty trash on Android devices)
- Starting June 1, 2021, all the newly created Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drawings, or Jamboard files will count toward the free storage limit.
Existing files do not count toward the 15GB storage limit unless they are modified on or after June 1st. Also, this new storage policy will not go into effect until February 1, 2022, for Google Workspace and G Suite editions.
- Files, e-mails, attachments, as well as items in your Trash and Spam folders
3. Google Photos
- Photos and videos in “Original quality.”
- Photos and videos uploaded in “High quality” or “Express quality” will begin to take up space on June 1, 2021. Remember that older files uploaded before that date will not count towards the storage limit.
- If users go over their storage limit or don’t log in to their accounts for two years or longer, “High quality” photos will be deleted.
What doesn’t count towards the 15GB storage limit?
Here’s the list of files that won’t count towards the storage limit:
1. Google Drive
- Files in “Shared with me” as well as shared drives –– these files only take up storage in the owner’s Google Drive.
- Google Sites
- Google Docs, Forms, Sheets, Slides, Jamboard, and Drawings created before June 1, 2021 and are not modified after that date. It’s important to note that those files not edited after the date do not count in the storage.
2. Google Photos
- Photos and videos backed up in “High quality” or “Express quality” before June 1, 2021.
Google’s new storage policies strike at most of those who have relied on the company’s many services like Gmail, Drive, and Photos for so long now.
While many of you may think that 15GB of free storage is very small especially if you use Google’s services on a daily basis, remember that files on your Google Photos and Drive uploaded before June 1, 2021, are safely tucked away without taking up space (as long as you log in once every two years).
Also, Google is not just going to delete your precious and important files without telling you. The company is going to give you a 3 months’ notice… two years from June 1, 2021.