August 19, 2018

Google Users to Reclaim Storage by Compressing Old Photos


By Nina Mulamba

Google has begun rolling out updates to the free cloud-based storage service- Google Photos- this week that will help users free up a little bit of storage space on their handsets. The app will now identify which photos have been uploaded to their Google Photos account without much hassle.

Despite the fact that Google 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.

Under the Settings menu, the new update brings the “Free Up Space” option which will identify and collect all images on your smartphone or tablet that have been backed up by the Google Photos app so that you wouldn’t have to peruse the photo gallery by yourself. You still have to double confirm the action to avoid accidentally deleting necessary photos forever.

You will also be prompted to bulk delete photos from your handset when the storage is nearing its capacity limit. A similar feature has been made available to users who upload photos in the full resolution in the past.

If you are a Google Photos user on the Web, you will be able to downgrade full (original) resolution photos you’ve uploaded on the app in high resolution to free up space. Users who upload photos in original quality have a data cap, but compressed images normally don’t take too much storage space.

To choose the new option, simply tap on the “Recover Storage” on the Settings menu of Google Photos on the web to automatically compress your files.

This feature will not be available to the smartphone/tablet version of the app, however, because photos taken with a mobile handset regularly have inferior quality.


Google will start rolling out the update to both the Web and mobile versions of the app this week. The iOS update is expected “soon.”

The company is also working on a fix that will allow users to delete device copies stored on the SD Card.

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