How many photos will fit in the free 15GB of Google Photos

Google Photos is no longer unlimited for high-quality backup, now you have to make do with the 15 GB that the company offers with each account . So it is time to know how much space is available: we have carried out many tests with a 16.6 GB backup and 4,500 images. The results were somewhat mixed.

After being announced months ago, and after the agony of the proximity of the date, Google Photos began to count all the images and videos for the quota that each Google account has . 15 GB free seems little, but can go a long way. How much? There is only one way to find out: by checking.

Around 5,000 photos for 15 GB of storage, although it varies greatly depending on the content

Free 15GB of space consumed after a backup using the desktop app

Although Google pointed to the end of unlimited storage at original quality by the end of May, the truth is that the servers continued without counting the space of the uploads until more than a week later . Based on our testing, Google Photos didn’t count storage across all accounts until mid-June; with some disparity of criteria according to the account and the backup medium.


I have migrated all my photos from Google Photos to a Synology NAS and this is all I miss (or don’t miss) about the Google service

For testing we downloaded a 16.6 GB sample of personal images (without videos) with 4,500 different photos between screenshots and camera shots . The sample average is about 3.8 MB per photo.

Experiment carried out with a backup of 4,500 images, of 16.6 GB in total weight and with an average for each photo of 3.8 MB

We have been syncing the photo show for several days after the start of posting the upload (June 1). We did the backup in different Google Photos accounts, from those we used on a personal level to others that we created expressly for the experiment . In addition, we compare from the synchronization with the app ( Android and iOS ) to the backup using the tool for computers (macOS). In all cases, the sample was always the same: 4,500 photographs weighing 16.6 GB.

The first results show that with 15 GB of free space, Google Photos allows you to synchronize a large gallery (about two and a half years of photos in our case). The problem arises when we discover that not all tools behave the same: apps, both Android and iOS, do not consume as much space from the quota (the processing does not vary). Under our tests, and always with clean accounts (both those created expressly for the task and those already used), Google Photos almost doubled the space consumed by uploading the images from the computer.

Left, image raw by Google Photos (3.5 MB); right, high quality synchronized image (700 KB)

Google Photos doesn’t always process images the same when they are backed up. Those that apply higher compression can reduce up to 80% of the weight without sacrificing quality to the naked eye . In others, it can barely reduce weight, it all depends on how the image is, its format and the mobile that uploaded it (photos taken by a Pixel are not compressed because they do not consume space , for example).

Google Photos can save more than 17 GB of content in the 15 GB of the free account

Space occupied by the sample backup after synchronization using the Google Photos app for Android

After the different tests carried out, we can estimate that in 15 GB of free storage there will be some 5,000 / 6,000 images at original quality (compressed by Photos and with an average of 4 MB for their original size); with about 17/18 GB of weight for the backup. Compression saves approximately 20% of the backup: of the 16.6 GB that we uploaded to several accounts, its final occupied space ranged between 5.8 GB (with the mobile app) and 13 GB (with the app of computer).

How to Backup All Your Photos with Amazon Photos

Our recommendation is that you upload your image folder to your mobile phone if you want to synchronize it with Google Photos using the backup tools. It is also advisable to keep the synchronization of the photos that you take with your mobile, so you will avoid losing them . Unless you take a lot of shots, both video and images, you should not have problems for three or more years . And you can always go for Google One or any of the alternatives to Google Photos , there are quite a few.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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