luca myXFjYXAHAw unsplash
luca myXFjYXAHAw unsplash

Starting June 1st, all new pictures and videos uploaded to Google Photos will count towards a user’s storage limit. As a result, some people may mistake this for the date to switch to another photo storage service. Learn how to download your files or export them to other services when you want to make the jump.

Changes to the storage rules for Google Photos will affect those who have used the service to save smartphone photos in the meantime. It’s all too easy to take advantage of the 15GB of free storage offered by Google, where paid subscriptions are the only way for you to expand the available storage.

It’s worth noting that any images saved using the High Quality option before June 1st are still not eligible for Google’s storage limit. So if you read this article before the date, there will still be some time to finally manage your thousands of digital memories online.

With the Google Takeout tool, you can not only download the files, but also transfer them to services such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Box and export your media to competitors such as Flickr or Microsoft OneDrive.

Download files from Google Photos to your computer

Google Takeout is a tool that allows you to download your data through various Google services like YouTube, Google Drive, Calendar, Gmail, etc. It creates a compressed file with all relevant data of the requested services. This can take up a lot of time space.

Fortunately, there is no need to download the file immediately. Note that it can only be downloaded from the tool’s website or uploaded to one of the cloud storage services mentioned for a week.

To back up photos and videos from your Google Photos account, go to the Google Takeout website, log in with your user account, and do the following:

Google Takeout EN 1

With Google Takeout you can export data and files from various Google services / © NextPit

  1. click deselect all (Otherwise the generated file will contain data from all other sites.)
  2. Select the Google Photos option. by doing All photo Albums included The button allows you to choose which albums should be included in the backup.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and select Next Step.
  4. Select whether you prefer to download the generated file or send it to one of the online services, the file type and size, and then select Create export.
  5. It can take several hours to create the compressed file, depending on the number of photos and videos. You will receive an email with the link to download the backup.
Google Takeout EN 2

Packages of photos and videos are available for seven days on the Google Takeout website / © NextPit

In the generated ZIP or TGZ file you will not only find photos and videos in the original format, PNG, JPG and WEBP for photos and MP4 for videos, depending on your account settings, but also photos and videos in the original metadata in JSON format that can can be read in a normal text editor.

Copy files from Google Photos to OneDrive or Flickr

Another option offered by Google is to export photos and videos to competing services like Flickr and Microsoft OneDrive. The tool can be especially interesting for those who have already paid for plans for one of the two services. Flickr Pro offers unlimited storage, while OneDrive is built into your Microsoft 365 subscription.

The Google Photos export tool to its competitors can also be accessed through Google Takeouts. Simply log in with the appropriate account and follow the instructions:

Google Takeout EN 3

The album export is also available for Flickr and OneDrive / © NextPit

  1. Confirm that Google Photos is selected and select Next Step. You can choose which albums you want to export as well All photo albums included Possibility.
  2. Select the service you want to copy the photos and videos to, and then select Link accounts and create an export.
  3. On the following screens, confirm the Google user account by selecting Enable.
  4. In step 2 you will be taken to the login screen of the selected service: enter the username and password and follow the instructions.
  5. Authorize Google Takeouts to access Flickr / OneDrive and wait for the files to transfer.

How to keep Google Photos indefinitely after June 1st

For those who don’t want to go through the hassle of managing space on their Google Account, there is only one option: buy a Pixel smartphone from the company. Photos and videos uploaded from Google smartphones do not count towards the account’s GB limit unless they are set to High Quality (which primarily limits the resolution of the photo).

For the Pixel 3 model (and only at the time of writing), original quality photo and video uploads – with no compression or loss of resolution – won’t count towards the storage quota until January 31, 2022.

But is the game worth the effort to acquire a discontinued device? Have you decided if you want to use Google Photos auto sync after changing the storage rules? Let us know what you think or do you have any other photo storage services that you can recommend in the comments?


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