If you are using Google Photos then you should take this announcement seriously

Google Photos

Right now, before the clock ticks June 1st 2021, you can store as many photos as virtually possible through Google Photos, but as long as those photos are compressed. For those who store high resolution images, the number of images get restricted to the 15 GB Google Drive limit.

The ability to store unlimited amount of images on Google Photos has made the service so popular among smartphone photography lovers, as the cloud gallery allowed them to backup their images instantly, never worrying about what would happen to their photos in the event they lose or change their smartphones. This love has made Google Photos to be so popular, to the extent that Google now feels the service is indispensable – and that’s why starting June 1st 2021 all photos will be treated the same – be they high res or compressed version – whereby all images will be restricted to the 15GB Google Drive limit.

What that means is that going forward it is going to be very easy to exhaust Google’s free 15GB storage; a scenario that will force many Google users to opt for purchasing extra storage. The extra storage can be paid for at the rates of shs 2,100, shs 3,000 and shs 10,000 for 100GB, 200GB and 2TB per year respectively.

Google Drive price options as at May 24th 2021

It’s not just the decision to cap photos that’s a major decision made by Google, but also the introduction of an expiry period for idle accounts. Before Gmail, most email providers used to have a four months expiry period, whereby if an email account (e.g. Yahoo) had not been accessed for 4 months then Yahoo would deactivate that account for a few months, and after the grace period expired, the account was deleted permanently. Many Kenyans lost their Yahoo accounts due to this given the scarcity of Internet those days.

Then Gmail came and changed the game. Not only did Gmail dramatically increased storage limit from figures as little as 400MBs to 1GB and counting (the counting reached 15GB), but also did away with the expiry of idle email accounts, forcing competitors to adapt. But Google is again changing the game, whereby instead of letting Google accounts be idle forever, they from June 1st 2021 will be monitoring accounts and deleting those that have been idle for two years. Now we must admit that two years is such a long time for someone to not use an active account.

And by the way, what Google means by deleting inactive accounts after two years of inactivity is that all the data stored in that account and associated Google Drive storage (which will of course include the Google Photos) will be deleted permanently.


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