Comes 2021 and Google may shut your Gmail account and other Google services. Yes, you are read it right! Most of us have a Gmail account which is not our primary account and we don’t use often. We had made it for some purpose be it for signing up on social media platform or some online shopping website or to store some pictures.
The tech giant recently announced that it is about to implement a policy from June 2021 to close accounts of those who have been inactive for the past two years. However, the company will notify its user multiple times before closing any account or deleting any files from any account.
Issuing a statement, the tech giant said, “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. If you’re over your storage limit for two years, Google may delete your content across Gmail, Drive and Photos.”
Hang on! Don’t worry and take a deep breath, the world is not ending here. You can still keep your Gmail account and other Google services active in a very simple way. And for that what you need to is just visit Gmail, Drive, or Photos on the web or mobile, while signed in and connected to the internet periodically.
Besides keeping your Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos active, from June 2021 you also need to keep a check on the volume and size of files you are uploading here. As per the announcement made by Google, the new storage policy will restrict you from storing unlimited data and it will change the way how you store data on the platform till now. So, effective from June 2021, fresh photos and videos will be counted towards the 15GB of free storage included with every Google Account.
But there is a good news here as well; as photos and videos backed up before June 2021 will not be considered and will be exempted from the 15 GB storage limit. Only photos and videos that will be uploaded after June 2021 will be counted against the cap. Additionally, the tech giant from California, United States says that “over 80 percent of you should still be able to store roughly three more years worth of memories with your free 15 GB of storage.”
Google will send alerts when you begin to approach the free 15 GB cap. The company is currently building tools which would help you to manage storage. These tools will also help you to manage your uploaded photos and videos and pick what you want to keep and what you want to delete. Besides, they smart tools will also highlight content such as dark or blurry photos, screenshots, large videos that you may no longer to keep in your phone.
Once your free 15 GB has been exhausted, you will have the choice to subscribe to one of the Google One plans. It starts at $1.99 / month for 100GB and has different plans such as for 200GB ($2.99 / month), for 2TB ($9.99 / month), and goes all the way up to 30TB ($149.99 / month).
There is again a good news for you if you own a Pixel phone. Pixel owners will still be able to upload high-quality photos for free even after June 2021 without those images counting against the free cap.
“Today, more than 4 trillion photos are stored in Google Photos, and every week 28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded. Since so many of you rely on Google Photos to store your memories, it’s important that it’s not just a great product, but also continues to meet your needs over the long haul. In order to welcome even more of your memories and build Google Photos for the future, we are changing our unlimited High-quality storage policy,” read Google’s blog post.
Well, if you think from Google’s perspective it is a smart move by them to make sure that people visit Gmail and other Google services periodically in order to remove inactive users. This will free up space and server load and will allow Google to map out and focus towards its active users and work specifically for them to build more advanced, innovative and sophisticated tools. One the other hand, it is disappointing for common users like us that the company will abandon its free storage policy. As for the last few years, most of the android phone users are so used to back up their innumerable photos & videos on Google Drive or Google Photos. Well for some good things you need to sacrifice others, so let’s just hope that Google will come out with some really exciting and innovative tools & features which would enable us to manage our data smartly, find out and segregate them easily, upload and send big files in an advanced way and change our data storing behavior in an effective and way.