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Unlimited full resolution storage on Google Photos isn’t unlimited forever

by Justin Herrick | October 4, 2017October 4, 2017 2:30 pm PDT

Among the biggest advantages you get with the Pixel 2 is unlimited storage for uploads at full resolution on Google Photos. The Pixel from 2016 included the same benefit. Pictures and videos can be stored in the cloud no matter the sizes of their files. Since it was a huge selling point last year, it’s no surprise that Google brought it back for the new flagship.

Just one problem exists: Google isn’t giving you all that unlimited storage forever.

Owners of the Pixel and Pixel 2 thought they were getting away with unlimited storage at full resolution for life, but it turns out the benefit will disappear at the end of 2020.

Every person who uses Google Photos gets unlimited storage for their pictures and videos. However, they’re limited to having them stored at a reduced quality. If you want those images and clips to remain at their original quality, you have to either pay or own one of Google’s phones. Now there’s even going to be a point when Pixel and Pixel 2 owners have to pay up.

Here’s what the fine print on the Google Store says:

“Free, unlimited original-quality storage for photos and videos taken with Pixel through the end of 2020, and free, unlimited high-quality storage for photos taken with Pixel afterwards.”

The belief is that Google won’t automatically strip content of its quality once the end date arrives. It’s more likely that the company allows pictures and videos uploaded prior to 2020’s end to remain untouched. Uploads after that year, though, are going to be compressed unless you pay for unlimited storage at full resolution.

Google’s clarification shouldn’t worry anyone yet. There’s also a good chance that future Pixels will have the benefit when they’re released.

Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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