Google today announced important policy changes that will affect consumer accounts. Beginning June 1, 2021, files that are created in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more will count toward your 15GB of complementary account storage.
The good news is any existing files within those services won’t count toward your storage. However, if they’re modified on or after June 1, 2021, they will count toward your free 15GB of storage. The changes come on the heels of new policies for Google Photos.
Currently, not all files use your storage. Google’s support page explains what counts toward your storage, including most files in your “My Drive” on Google Drive, photos that are stored in original quality on Google Photos, and attachments in Gmail. However, after the change next summer, pretty much all files and media will take up space.
The company said more than 4.3GB of content is uploaded across Gmail, Drive, and Photos every day, adding that it’s implementing these changes so it can continue to provide users with a “great storage experience” and to keep pace with growing demand.
In addition to policy changes related to storage, Google announced a new policy for inactive accounts and accounts that are over their storage limit:
- If you’re inactive in one or more of these services (Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, Jamboard, and Photos) for two years (24 months), Google may delete the content in the product(s) in which you’re inactive.
- Similarly, if you’re over your storage limit for two years, Google may delete your content across Gmail, Drive, and Photos.
The company will notify users multiple times to remove any content, so they’ll get numerous chances to take action. To keep your account active, Google recommends periodically visiting Gmail, Drive, Photos, and the other services where you have files while signed in to your account. Google also highlights its Inactive Account Manager to help users manage specific content when their account becomes inactive.
With more people working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Google’s services are becoming that much more important. While these policy changes don’t go into effect until next summer, you might want to consider a Google One plan, which starts at $1.99 per month for 100GB of storage.