Heads up. Google has announced that free online storage for files, photos and videos will be capped at 15GB starting next summer.
From 1 June 2021, any new files created in Drive, as well as photos and videos uploaded to Google Photos, will count towards the 15GB of free storage included with every Google Account. Customers who go over that limit risk having excess content stored in Gmail, Drive, Docs and Photos deleted. 15 gigs seems like lots for just email, but combined with photos, videos and docs and 15 gigs is just too small.
Those who wish to extend their storage beyond 15GB can pick up a Google One account, which starts at $1.99 per month for 100GB storage. Or start cleaning, moving, deleting!
Many folks have become accustomed to using Gmail as a giant storage box for their research. I have created labels for different subjects and stored emails, including those with pictures and even big MP4 files, there. The searching methods Google provides made my email storage spot better than Evernote or DropBox! And many people I know, my grandkids included, have chosen to skip Microsoft Office and are using Google Docs instead, using the free storage area too. And how many of us are using Google Photos for vacation pics, genealogy pics, kids pics…. you get the picture!
Congress told Google and Facebook that they are too big. So, Google said “Yup, our free stuff is too big. The party is over, folks.” Thanks a lot, Congress. You just don’t know how to negotiate!
Well, we have 6 months to figure out how to fit into 15 gigs or get a Google One account. When “the system” decides to delete data from your stored files, they won’t do it “judiciously”. Files or emails will just disappear. So, start now — look for offline storage for those treasured items in your Photo albums; delete those stupid jokes you trade back and forth and never delete. Clean your email by searching for mail with attachments first.
I fear I will be looking seriously at the Google One account. But I must also remember that if Congress pushes hard at breaking up Google, I had better be simultaneously copying files to offline storage. The pandemic has shown us that we should be prepared, just in case.
There is also Microsoft or Adobe or Apple cloud storage that can be used instead of Google’s plan. But, we gotta decide within 6 months. Don’t delay.
Updated: to find out how much space you are using now – First sign in to your Gmail account. Then open a 2nd tab in your browser and go to one.google.com/storage. Your data will be there.