Everything You Should Know About Storage in Google Photos

The separation of Google Photos from Google plus made it as a standalone entity creating a great experience to the users both on app and web as well. The great features such as the improved search ability backed by Google’s intelligent Artificial Intelligence algorithm , and being able to create shared albums with friends and family are really great. Initially though, the thing that created lot of fuss to many people was it’s storage mechanism. According to Google, There are two available storage sizes. With that being there, the questions like which one to choose, what it does to our photos, what is the free storage limit, what if you want to change the quality etc may create a little confusion for some people. And, even though the quality of photos can be ignored some times, videos really create an issue.

Simply put, there are two storage sizes available in Google photos, namely High quality and Original and you need to opt for one. If you choose High quality option, on Google Photos, you would get unlimited free storage and as far as original goes, photos use your Google Account Storage (15GB, by default). High Quality option would storage photos shot using 16MP camera eyes without compression. So, if you have a point-to-point shoot cameras or smartphones, you can always avail the unlimited storage facility. But if you are an artist or a person who aggressively care about the quality of photos and use a DSLR or a camera with more than 16MP size, you can choose the original option, where in , you can store your photos without any compression technique until your storage expires. If you are worrying about choosing wrong option, you can always alter that in settings of your Google Photos account. But mind you, the change you made would take effect for future uploads only, early uploaded ones won’t get converted to original quality.


Hold On , I know what is probably running through your head right now. What if you choose Original option and upload photos less than 16MP? That wouldn’t make any difference in either of the options as the camera is under the limit. But the problem comes when you choose High quality option but upload photos shot with more than 16 mega pixels – they would get compressed to 16MP. The same case with video too – Irrespective of the quality, the video stays same in Original. But in High quality though, the limit is given up to 1080p. So, if you upload a 4K video or something in this option, it would get automatically compressed to 1080p.

If you opted Original option, You get an option to recover storage as well. Head over to settings>Recover Storage option to make it work. When you click it, you are about to compress the original quality items to prescribed size – 16MP for photos and 1080p for videos. You also need to keep in mind that the items uploaded from other means such as Google Plus, Blogger, Picasa Web albums, Google Maps, Hangouts, Panoramio, and YouTube Web channel Art would also gets compressed, items uploaded through Google drive won’t get touched though. Google will show how much memory gets free up when you complete process. This option would come handy if you happened to have great quality photos and other stuff such as other files.

Okay, here are two things I wish Google had implemented in the storage scheme of Google Photos – First, limiting the high quality option to photos. Because people these days love to create and store HD videos like 4K and they would love to see the crispy content playing. Or atleast it would be great to have a duration limit which lets 4K videos with less duration, say in minutes stay as it is which would save some space. Second, option to choose photos and videos to compress. This is really handy because I definitely wouldn’t want all of my photos to be in Great quality. Instead of compressing all, users would love to choose the photos they wanted to compress there by saving some space.


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