Google Photos will end its free unlimited storage service in 2021: Choose from Google One, iCloud, Flickr, and more

Google Photos will end its free unlimited storage service in 2021: Choose from Google One, iCloud, Flickr, and more

Need more space

Text: Cheryl Lai-Lim

Since its inception in 2015, users have relied on Google Photos to solve their image overload issues. And though it might store your photos at compressed quality, there's still plenty to like about it. It frees up storage space in your phone, acts as a photos back-up, and most importantly  it's free to use. Well, not anymore. Google recently announced that starting June 1, 2021, any images users upload beyond the date will count towards the 15GB free storage that all Google accounts come with. This means that your Google Photos will have to share the load with your other Google Drive files, Gmail messages and attachments, and more. A tiny piece of good news? All photos and documents uploaded between now and next June will not be counted against the 15GB cap, so thankfully, there's still time to decide on another photo storage option. In light of Google Photos cutting off their free unlimited storage, we've compiled a list of best, affordable photo storage options so that you can still snap a plethora of images with your new iPhone 12 camera.

Google One

If you can't beat it, then subscribe to it. For those who are already familiar with Google's interface and prefer a convenient option, buying into the Google One service is probably the best option for you. Google One allows you to store everything from documents and music, to uncompressed photos and videos in their full resolution. It also comes with the Google One app, so you can back up your phone to the drive seamlessly.

Price: Every Google account comes with free 15GB storage. Afterwards, Google One starts at 100GB for $2.79/month or $27.99/year.

Click to view Google One plans.


For those who shunned away from iCloud in favour for the free unlimited storage on Google Photos, now might be the time to reconsider Apple's storage plan  especially if you're already using Apple devices. iCloud is built across every Apple device, so your documents, photos, notes and more will be up to date and available to access across each device. Photos-wise, iCloud stores the original full-resolution photos onto the server, whilst leaving a lightweight version on the device so as to save storage space. If you need the original photos, you can download the full resolution whenever you need them.

Price: Every iCloud account comes with free 5GB storage. Afterwards, iCloud starts at 50GB for $1.28/month.

Click to view iCloud plans.


Last year, Flickr walked down the same path of Google Photos by slashing its 1TB of free storage to a limit of 1,000 for free photos and videos upload. To get unlimited storage, users will have to purchase a Flickr Pro account. Other perks that comes with the paid annual membership plan includes ad-free browsing, advanced stats on photos and videos, and access to deals such as two complimentary months of Adobe Creative Cloud photography plan.

Price: Every Flickr account comes with free 1,000 photos and videos upload. Afterwards, Flickr Pro starts at $7.99/month, or $71.88/year. Storage is unlimited.

Click to view Flickr plans.

Microsoft OneDrive

If you don't already have Microsoft Office or you're thinking about getting the Microsoft suite of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and more, this might be the best option for you. Microsoft OneDrive allows its users to upload files and photos onto the server, and thereafter access them from any device. For those using computers with Windows 10, OneDrive files can be stored on the serving without taking up any storage space on your PC.

Price: Every OneDrive account comes with free 5GB storage. Afterwards, OneDrive starts at 100GB for $3/month, or get the whole Microsoft 365 package (1TB storage and Microsoft office apps included) for $108/year.

Click to view Microsoft OneDrive plans.


SmugMug's typical user base is made up of professional photographers that are looking for a place to feature, sell and save their photos in one place. Besides allowing for unlimited, full-resolution photo storage, the site also allows one to build portfolios and websites depending on the plan chosen. For those just looking to store their photos, opt for the basic plan.

Price: The Basic plan starts at approximately $9.50/month for unlimited storage.

Click to view SmugMug plans.


Dropbox is prominent in the file hosting community, for good reason. The service allows you to store hefty files and photos whilst optimising the best workflow possible. Besides backing up and storing your photos and documents, you can also share large amounts of photos easily through a simple link. Dropbox also allows for file syncing through both desktop and mobile apps, and if you ever accidentally delete a file or photo, you can recover it within 30 days.

Price: Every Dropbox account comes with free 2GB storage. Afterwards, Dropbox starts at 2TB for $11.99/month or $119.88/year.

Click to view Dropbox plans.