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Google cloud storage cutbacks delayed, but not for everyone

Google Workspace review
(Image credit: Google )

At the end of last year, Google announced a series of changes to its cloud storage offering that could stretch users’ allocated capacity to its limit.

As per the new policy, any new high quality images and videos will soon count towards the standard 15GB storage allocation, and the same will be true of new Docs, Sheets and Slides files.

However, Google has now decided to delay proceedings slightly, giving certain users additional time to make the necessary arrangements.

Although the June 1, 2021 deadline for high quality multimedia content remains, paying Google Workspace customers will now be given until February 1, 2022 before office software files begin to count towards each user’s storage capacity.

The company also announced it will roll out new tools for administrators to help identify how their storage is being used up, which should allow them to target any problem areas before the new changes take effect.

Unfortunately, the delay will not apply to the many millions of free Google accounts, whose holders will need to follow the original timeline set out last year. For these users, all of the aforementioned files will begin to count towards their storage cap from June 1 onwards.

Google cloud storage changes

As part of the same policy overhaul, Google will also begin to delete files attached to inactive accounts, as well as those that have exceeded their storage limit. 

If a particular Google application hasn’t been used by the individual for upwards of 24 months, Google says it may delete files associated with that product. Similarly, if an account has breached its storage limit for two years running, the company may delete content from Gmail, Drive and Photos.

However, Google has stressed that users will be notified a number of times and given “ample opportunity” to take action before any files are deleted.

Anyone that finds they have reached the 15GB cap will need to sign up for a Google One account to buy more storage space. Prices start at $1.99/ £1.99/AU$1.99 per month for 100GB.

Alternatively, affected users could shift their files onto physical media, such as an external hard drive, portable SSD or high-capacity USB flash drive.