Google Finally Lets Users Reclaim Storage by Compressing Old Photos


At the end of May, Google made the unusual but expected step by spinning off Photos from Google+, it’s apparently failed attempt at providing an alternative social network. While the company has gone on to trim Google+ and seems keen on focusing on just its core strengths based on user data it has gathered over the product’s 4 year existence, Photos, on the other hand, seems to be gaining. Thanks to increased user activity, widely requested features are making their way to Photos which offers users unlimited photo storage as long as they are willing to trade in some sharp edges as the photos are compressed.

Google Photos compresses any images beyond 16 megapixels and videos with a resolution higher than full high definition (1080p). Users of Photos from its past days before the rebrand and spinning off may have amassed a treasure-trove of images. With free storage from Google being limited (unless, of course, you buy or partake in things like reviewing places to redeem some extra storage), many, like yours truly, have been quickly running out of storage. How do you recover some storage so that you can still save a few more files? Deleting old files that you don’t need anymore? Old videos? That will work, obviously, but what if your old snaps and clips could just be compressed where necessary and included in the free storage Google is giving Photos users?

That’s exactly what Google is doing. As a response to user requests, just visiting the settings page of Photos on the web [use this link], users are able to reclaim valuable storage space. In my case, that was over 10 gigabytes once the process that took slightly over an hour was done. Maybe you should try it as well.