Google is introducing new policies for consumer accounts, effective from June 1 next year, and if you have been inactive in Gmail, Drive or Photos for two years, the company may delete the content in the product in which you are inactive.
The new policies are for consumer accounts that are either inactive or over their storage limit across Gmail, Drive (including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard files) and/or Photos -- to better align with common practices across the industry, the company said on Wednesday.
"If you're over your storage limit for two years, Google may delete your content across Gmail, Drive and Photos," the company said.
The company said it will notify users multiple times before attempting to remove any content.
"The simplest way to keep your account active is to periodically visit Gmail, Drive or Photos on the web or mobile, while signed in and connected to the internet," it added.
The Inactive Account Manager can help people manage specific content and notify a trusted contact if you stop using your Google Account for a certain period of time (between 3-18 months).
"If you need more than your free 15 GB of storage, you can upgrade to a larger storage plan with Google One. You can choose from plans starting at 100 GB of space that also include additional member features like access to Google experts, shared family plans and more", the company said.
Google has also announced that it will soon start charging for Google Photos storage once users upload more than 15GB onto their accounts.
Starting June 1, 2021, all new photos and videos backed up in high quality will count toward the free 15GB of storage that comes with Google Account or any additional storage that user may have purchased, the same way other Google services like Google Drive and Gmail already do.
"Any photos or videos you've uploaded in High quality before June 1, 2021 will not count toward your 15GB of free storage. This means that photos and videos backed up before June 1, 2021 will still be considered free and exempt from the storage limit. You can verify your backup quality at any time in the Photos app by going to back up and sync in Settings," Shimrit Ben-Yair, VP, Google Photos said in a statement.
Once the change takes effect, more than 80 per cent of current Google Photos users should still be able to store about three years of content with that free 15GB. Google will notify you in the app and by email once you get close to hitting your 15GB limit.
The only users that will be exempt from this policy change are Pixel smartphone users, who will still be able to upload "high quality" photos without any limits after June next year.
Google claims that the reason for the change is to provide users with a higher quality experience and plans to further develop Google Photos in the future.
It seems like an easy way for Google to push people to pay for its Google One plans. The company announced the basic plan starting from 100 GB for the price of Rs 130 per month, and Rs 1,300 a year to a 30 TB plan, which costs Rs 19,500 per month.