By Nicky / Last Updated September 11, 2020


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Overview of Google Photos

Google Photos officially launched in May 2015 as a standalone spin-off of sorts from Google+ Photos, which combines cloud-based storage with its AI-based organization of images and clips. Meanwhile, it retained many of the features of the older Google+ Photos, as well as some new features.

Google Photos

Compared with similar services like Apple’s iCloud Photo Library, which only offers 5 GB of free storage and isn’t as convenient to use on the web or Android. Google Photos offer users unlimited storage and also released free apps for Android, iPhone and iPad to automatically upload photos from mobile devices. Besides the Google Photos app on mobile devices, you can also go to the site to view your stored images and clips on a PC or mobile web browser.

Does Google Photos really offer unlimited storage?

“When I first installed Google Photos I was prompted to select which storage plan I wanted. I fund that unlimited storage plan was available for free so I chose this plan. But recently, I was informed that I had used 12.46GB (15GB in total) cloud storage and recommended to purchase an extra 100 GB for $1.99/month. Is Google trying to eventually get every Google Photos user to purchase a storage plan instead of offering unlimited storage all the time?”

As mentioned in the case above, many users also report that they received a warning of insufficient storage space though they chose the Google Photos unlimited storage free plan at the beginning. Therefore, many users wonder “Does Google Photos really offer unlimited storage?”.

Actually, the answer is yes. Google Photos does offer free unlimited storage but there are some limitations. Only when using the "High Quality" setting, you can upload an unlimited number of photos and videos for free. This "High quality" settings require that each photo has a resolution of up to 16MP and each video clip has a resolution of up to 1080p.

You can still choose to upload full-quality pictures and videos, but the storage counts against your Google Drive quota, which means it shares space with anything else you have stored in Gmail, Google Drive, or any of the other G Suite apps. Since you’re sharing storage across all your Google services, you can get 15 GB for free or upgrade to 100 GB for $1.99/month.

How to change upload size in Google Photos?

As mentioned above, Google Photos allows you to upload photos in original size or high quality. If you choose high quality, you can upload an unlimited amount of photos. But if you still decide to upload photos to Google Photos without compression, it will take up your Google Drive storage. If you don’t know how to change the upload size, please read on, we will take Google Photos app on iPhone as an example to show you how to change the upload size in Google Photos:

Step 1. On your iPhone, open the Google Photos app.

Step 2. Tap the Menu button (the three lines to the left in the Search bar).

Step 3. Tap Settings > Backup & Sync > Upload Size > Original or High quality (according to your needs).

Google Photos Change Size

How get more storage space on Google Photos?

If you choose to upload your photos at original quality, space will be run out of sooner or later if you’re not managing your library regularly. Fortunately, there are some methods to get some more storage space on Google Photos.

Way 1. Free up space in Google Photos

Google offers some very basic cleanup tools to help you free up some space.

Step 1. Open the Google Photos app.

Step 2. Tap the Menu button (the three lines to the left in the Search bar).

Step 3. Tap Free up space. You’ll see how many items will be removed. To delete all the items from your phone, tap Free up.

Way 2. Recover storage on Google Photos

If you have uploaded many photos to Google Photos in original size and there is little cloud storage left, Google offers an option to recover storage on Google Photos if you switch to High-Quality only.

Step 1. Open the Google Photos app.

Step 2. Tap the Menu button (the three lines to the left in the Search bar).

Step 3. Tap Settings > Backup & Sync > Upload Size > High quality. Then, Google Photos will start reducing the size of the photo of the uploaded images to match with High Quality to recover some storage.

Way 3. Upgrade your Google Photos storage plan

If you’ve cleaned up your Google Photos library and still need more space, you can always upgrade your storage plan to get more space.

Step 1. Open the Google Photos app.

Step 2. Tap the Menu button (the three lines to the left in the Search bar).

Step 3. Tap Settings > Backup & Sync > Buy storage. Then, follow the instructions to choose your plan and upgrade.

Google Photos

Bonus Tip: How to get unlimited space on other cloud storage?

Although Google Photos provides you with unlimited space for your photos, you must have many other kinds of files storing on other cloud storages such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. In this case, you can use a professional cloud storage manager like CBackupper to combine cloud storage accounts belong to one cloud storage or different brands of cloud storage. In this way, you can merge your cloud storages to get unlimited space.

Step 1. Create a CBackupper account freely and sign in.


Step 2. Click “Add Cloud” to add and authorize your cloud storage account under the “Clouds” tab. Choose the cloud you need and click “OK”. Then follow the instructions to grant access to CBackupper.

Add Google Drive

Step 3. After adding your cloud drives, all cloud services are in one place now, you can easily make full use of their free storage space and manage multiple cloud storage with CBackupper.

Combine Cloud Storage


It is not hard to see that Google Photos is a great solution for your photo whether on mobile devices, Windows PC or Mac. If you are using some public cloud storage that are supported by CBackupper, you can use CBackupper to combine your free cloud storage space. What’s more, it is a free and web-based service, don’t hesitate to use it.