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A way to easily find your 'original quality' media in Google Photos is coming

You'll finally be able to find the "original quality" photos and videos in your library so you can manage them.

Published onNovember 13, 2020

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Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
  • Google has confirmed that a Google Photos original quality management tool is in the works.
  • Theoretically, this tool would allow you to find your photos and videos stored at “Original Quality” so you can manage them.
  • The Google Photos lead also seemed open to the idea of a Google One plan that’s larger than 2TB but smaller than 10TB.

One of the biggest news stories of the week is the revelation that Google Photos will no longer offer free backups of your smartphone photos and videos starting in June 2021. When David Lieb, the product lead for Google Photos, made the announcement on Twitter, there were lots of questions. Thankfully, Lieb has actually answered quite a few of them.

Related: Will you pay to store more media in Google Photos?

One thing Lieb was able to confirm is that a Google Photos original quality management tool is in the works. This long-awaited tool would allow users to easily find the photos and videos in their library that take up the most space. Invariably, most of those files would be at “Original Quality” rather than the compressed “High Quality” tier that is currently free. With a list of all the photos and videos that apply against your quota, you could then more easily download them and/or compress them so they won’t apply towards your quota in June 2021.

Google Photos original quality management: It’s about time

Yeah this “quota management tool” we’re building will help you identify what’s taking up space. Not sure if we’ll expose that on every single file you have (that would be complex for most users), but it’ll def identify which things are taking up the most space.
— David Lieb ✊🏻🇺🇸 (@dflieb) November 12, 2020

If you head to your Google Photos library today, the app will tell you how much space your original quality photos and videos take up. However, it won’t show you those files. It gives you the option to compress all of them, which would make it so they no longer apply to your storage quota. You also can’t organize your files by size to see the biggest ones at the top.

This isn’t ideal because it’s an all-or-nothing option. What if you backed up a particular photo or video at original quality for a specific reason? What if you don’t remember when that photo or video was taken or can’t even remember what it was? It would be a shame if you compressed that file and then came to regret it later.

Related: A beginner’s guide to Google Photos

A Google Photos original quality management tool would solve this problem. It can’t come a moment too soon, either, as the June 2021 deadline for all future uploads to go against your storage quota will be here before we know it. Before then, it’s in users’ best interests to get as many media files in at the high quality format — and as many files at original quality out or compressed.

Other changes could be on the way, too

Is there a chance Google Photos offers an additional plan in between the 2TB and 10TB ones? 2TB seems too limiting (esp. for video uploads), while 10TB is overkill (and it’s more expensive per TB as well).
— Andreas Bovens (@andreasbovens) November 11, 2020

In another Twitter thread, David Lieb seemed open to the possibility of introducing more storage tiers for Google One. Currently, you can subscribe to 100GB, 200GB, 2TB, and 10TB tiers. For professional photographers and videographers, the 100GB and 200GB tiers are useless, and the 2TB tier is still a bit too low. However, the 10TB tier is likely overkill. A tier between the 2TB and 10TB marks would be preferable.

On Twitter, Lieb said this was good feedback. Unfortunately, he did not confirm if it’s in the works or not.

Hopefully, Google is able to get all its ducks in a row before June 2021. A Google Photos original quality management tool is essential for users to be able to enter into that month with all their stored photos and videos not applying to their storage quota. More storage options would also be nice. If Google is going to make Photos a paid platform, it needs to ensure that it offers paid-quality features. The old excuse of, “well, it’s free so we can’t complain” won’t work anymore.

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