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Google Photos update helps free up precious phone storage

Running out of storage space on a phone is a major pain point that affects millions of Android users across the world. Google understands that, and has come up with a simple solution that helps free up storage space on one's phone.
By
November 18, 2015
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Running out of storage space on a phone is a major pain point that affects millions of Android users across the world. Google understands that, and has come up with a simple solution that helps free up storage space on one’s phone.

Google has pushed a major update for Google Photos, which introduces two new features to the gallery app. While one feature helps free up space from your phone’s internal storage, the other allows users to downgrade previously uploaded “Original” images to “High quality”.

First up, Google has introduced the “Free up space” feature, accessible from within the app’s settings menu. Simply activate the feature and Google Photos will remove from your device copies of photos and videos that have already been backed up on the cloud. Alternatively, Google can keep a close eye on when phone’s storage space runs low, and then proceed to remove backed up copies of photos and videos that are older than 30 days.

Users can still access their entire media collection from within the Google Photos Android or iOS apps, or using the web app, as long as they are connected to the internet.

photos tweet - free up space

Version 1.9 of the Google Photos app also introduces a simple way to downgrade all your original quality photos, which you have uploaded before, to compressed high quality photos. Before this update, users had no way to have their previously uploaded photos get compressed to the smaller “high quality” standard. Do keep in mind that storing original quality photos still count against your storage space, whereas high quality photos have free unlimited storage.

Apart from adding these two features, the updated Google Photos app fixes a bug that prevented users from deleting photos stored on the microSD card, resulting in a frustrating experience for users who would continue to see photos in the gallery despite having deleted them.

Previous updates to Google Photos added features such as Chromecast support, labels and sharing, etc. The gallery app was originally released in May 2015, and has since surpassed 100 million active users, a metric that’s even more relevant than app downloads.

The latest version of Google Photos for Android is already rolling out, and is coming soon to iOS.