Google Will Delete Your Photos and Documents if You Aren’t Active Enough

A phone showing a Google login screen.

Google is making some massive changes to how it handles cloud storage. In addition to announcing it would end free unlimited high-quality photo uploads, the company says it will take additional measures to keep storage in check. Anyone who isn’t active or over their storage limit for two years will see their content deleted.

The announcement comes to us in a second blog post from Google. In it, the company again explains that it will make the changes to “continue providing everyone with a great storage experience and to keep pace with the growing demand…”

The new storage policies won’t go into effect until June 1, 2021. So your two-year countdown doesn’t begin just yet. According to Google it will delete content under two conditions.

If you’re inactive in one or more of these services for two years (24 months), Google may delete the content in the product(s) in which you’re inactive. 

Similarly, if you’re over your storage limit for two years, Google may delete your content across Gmail, Drive, and Photos.

You might think that it’ll be easy to stay under the 15 GB limit that comes in Google’s free tier, but that might not be the case in the future. On top of including all uploaded photos towards your limit, starting June 1, Google will also count all any new Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, or Jamboard files towards your limit. Files that are emailed to you could easily contribute to going over your limit. So it’s not just inactive users who need to pay attention.

Naturally, if you need more storage, you can pay for it. Google offers several tiers of paid plans, with the most expansive offering being 2 TBs of storage for $99 a year or $10 a month.

Source: Google