How to free up space on Google Photos

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Philippe Gloaguen
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If we intend to keep our free Google Photos, but the space offered is now running out: in this article we will try to meet you and explain how to free up space on Google Photos, without necessarily buying more.

Google Photos is a service offered by Google for storing photos and videos.

It offers two backup options:

  1. high quality, unlimited and free storage,
  2. storage in original quality (without compression), without costs up to 15 GB (however shared between Google Photos, Gmail and Drive).

From June 2021 there is an extra storage space for a fee, and other services from:



  1. 100 GB
  2. 200 GB
  3. 2 TB

For information to the site

How to free up space on Google Photos from smartphones and tablets

There are several solutions for free up space on Google Photos but, as the first idea, always comes that of manual cleaning, an operation that involves the deletion of items both on the device and in the cloud.

Once the app starts:

  • access the section Gallery from the menu at the bottom of the main screen,
  • hold down a 'image you want to delete,
  • affix the checkmark on all unwanted photos,
  • press on the symbol of basket located at the top right.

The selected elements, however, they are still counted for the purpose of calculating the available space.

To permanently delete them:

  • press the item Collection located to the right of the aforementioned menu,
  • touch the feature Trash can.

It is also advisable:


  • press the i symbol three vertical dots placed at the top right,
  • press the voice twice Empty the trash.

All this could be quite long if the amount of photos and videos to be deleted is very high.


So let's see other features, developed precisely to free up a lot of space on the Google cloud, useful for:

Storage space management

The most effective solution is to exploit it storage space management tool, made available by Google Photos.

With it we will be able to identify and classify the elements based on certain characteristics:

  • high dimensions,
  • or a poor shooting quality,

which are often the main causes of memory occupation.

To access it:

  • start the app,
  • press theour profile picture located at the top right,
  • in the menu that appears, click on the item Account storage space, in order to display a graphical representation of the current situation of the available memory.

On the next screen:

  • we will see the subdivision of the space between the services:
  1. Photo,
  2. Drive,
  3. gmail,
  • in the section Review and delete, further down, you will find a breakdown into the categories:
  1. Large photos and videos,
  2. Blurred photos,
  3. Screenshot,
  4. Photos and videos from other apps.

If we have a iPhone, to view this functionality we will have to perform an additional step by pressing the button Manage storage space.


Pressing on the single item we will have the possibility to verify the previews of the related images or videos, each of which can be enlarged with a simple tap.

If we want to delete multimedia files:

  • press the item Select located at the top right,
  • click on the elements to remove, placing the check mark in the small circle located at the top left,
  • click on the symbol basket located at the top right,
  • to delete them from the archive, touch the wording Move to trash (number of selected photos).

After completing this operation:


  • return to the screen Manage Space,
  • check the updated storage situation.

If what we have deleted has not earned us the space we thought, we can try to free up more space by removing elements present in other Google One services.

Let's see how.

Google One account space management

The Drive and Gmail services greatly affect the occupation of the storage space of our account Google One: in this regard it is possible to intervene directly from the app Google Photo.

To do it:

  • access the screen again Manage space pressing the symbol of ours Profile top right,
  • selecting the option Account storage space,
  • locate the section Other tips,
  • press on functionality Free up space on Gmail and Drive.

On the next screen you can use the management of the Google One account space, by deleting the:


  • Discarded items, containing a summary of the emails in the trash and spam folder,
  • Large elements, with email, file and photo,
  • Other elements, for example unsupported videos.

To continue:

  • press on the single box to access the relative detail,
  • you can use the function Delete all located at the top right,
  • or choose to select individual contents by ticking each one,
  • by pressing on the trash can symbol that appears at the same time always at the top right.

In all cases, a precautionary notification will appear that will warn you that the operation that is about to be performed is final:

  • tap this box to confirm our intentions,
  • press the button Permanently delete.

Optimize the backup

We now explain how optimize the backup multimedia content, a function that can only be used on devices Android.


Thus limiting the use of specific storage space management tools on Google Photos and overall on Google One.

To begin:

  • press on the item Collection, present in the menu at the bottom of the main screen of the Google Photos app,
  • touch the function Utility,
  • scroll to the next screen,
  • press the box Backup device folders,
  • select or deselect the folders connected to the applications on the device, with the button located on the right.

We may, for example, have enabled backup to certain applications, for which we think it is not necessary to produce a copy of the images.

Yet:

  • press the del symbol again profile,
  • touch the option Photo Settings from the context menu,
  • on the next screen, press the item Backup and synchronization,
  • check what is reported under the item Loading size,
  • if the mode is enabled Original quality (which makes an identical copy of the image, maintaining its quality and size), you can evaluate the possibility of changing this configuration by pressing on it,
  • selecting the option Storage space saving, which, on the other hand, archives at a slightly lower quality.

How to free up space on Google Photos from PC

Let us now address the topic of how to free up space on Google Photos from PC.

Again, you can proceed manually and remove the contents individually.

To begin:

  • connect to
  • press on the item Gallery from the menu located in the left panel,
  • select the images we want to delete from the central screen by putting the checkmark on the circle located at the top left of each element,
  • click on the symbol of basket placed at the top right,
  • confirming the intention with a click on the button Move to the trash.

To delete everything permanently:

  • go to the trash can, by pressing the homonymous item in the left menu,
  • press the button twice Empty the trash.

To speed up operations, the same procedures seen for smartphones and tablets can be used from the PC.

Storage space management

The tool of storage space management, already illustrated in the chapters dedicated to mobile solutions, it is also available on PC.

To use it:

  • connect to ours
  • scroll the left panel to the bottom using the appropriate bar,
  • locate the item Storage space,
  • press on.

In the following screenshot you will find the section Review and delete.

It contains the items:

  1. Large photos and videos,
  2. Blurred photos, Screenshot,
  3. Other apps and videos not supported

To consult the multimedia files present here:

  • click on the single item,
  • every time we find an image or a video to delete, select it with a click, so that the check mark appears in the respective circle on the left,
  • once chosen, press the button Move to the trash located at the top right,
  • confirm the intention by pressing the button ok,
  • su Move to trash.

The operation, however, cannot be considered completed until the cancellation also takes place on the Trash can.

To do it:

  • press on the item in the left panel, under the section Collection,,
  • press the button twice Empty the trash.

Google One account space management

If the cancellations examined so far have not given the result we were hoping for, you can try to delete other contents in the services that use the overall space made available by Google, that is Drive e Gmail.

There is to use the tool Google One account space management.

To access it:

  • press on the item Storage space,
  • click on the wording Review items located next to the option Free up space in Gmail and Drive, within the section Other suggestions.

You can use one categorization, performed by the respective services, which automatically identifies the contents to be deleted and groups them based on certain characteristics, namely:

  • Deleted items,
  • Large elements,
  • Other elements.

You can operate:

  • by pressing the wording Review and release (followed by the total size of the files within the various boxes proposed),
  • or click on them to view the details of the elements contained,
  • perform a manual skimming, selecting them individually,
  • by placing a check mark on the box alongside,
  • then pressing on the symbol of basket located at the top right,
  • confirming the intention in the subsequent notification.

Backup

Another useful feature to free up space available in Google Photos settings is theexporting the backup, which allows you to save images locally or to an external service (such as Dropbox or OneDrive).

To access it:

  • press the symbol ofgear located at the top right,
  • select the option Export your data,
  • press on the item Make backups.

We will be sent back to a new tab, Google Takeout, in which it will be given the opportunity to select the album that we want to include in the procedure, subsequently indicating the destination of the saving.

To do it:

  • press the button All photo albums included,
  • in the new window that appears, deselect the ones we don't want to export,
  • press on the item OK located at the bottom right,
  • press the button Successful Passaggio,
  • choose the delivery method from the drop-down menu,
  • indicate the frequency with which to perform the operation.

To conclude this phase:

  • define the type of archive (ZIP or TGZ) and the maximum size of the single file produced,
  • press the button Create Export.
  • at the end of the operation, follow the instructions that are shown on the screen to complete the export to the external service,
  • or press the button Download to download locally.

At this point, after having created a copy of the selected albums in the chosen mode, they can be deleted on Google Photos.

In this way:

  • press on the item Album in the left panel of the main page of the service,
  • click on the i symbol three vertical dots located at the top right of the preview,
  • select the option Delete album,
  • confirm the intention with a further click on the button Remove.

This operation is final and we will not have to access the recycle bin to complete it.

If the album we made a copy of refers to a year in particular:

  • press the button Gallery located in the left menu,
  • select the period from the bar that appears by passing the mouse on the right side of the screen,
  • click on cue ball placed at the top left of the individual elements,
  • press the del symbol trash can, which we will also have to access to perform the permanent deletion.

Data compression

Another method for save space on Google Photos, applicable in particular if we have no particular requirements in terms of content quality, is that of data compression.

To access it:

  • press on the symbol ofgear,
  • in the section Upload size for video e photo, select the option Save storage data,
  • it will activate function that will save the new contents online at a slightly lower quality.

Following:

  • click the button Reclaim storage space present a little further down,
  • press the button twice Compress.

This particular feature, available only from the Google Photos PC interface, performs a compression di photo and videos already archived, passing them from the format in original quality to that in quality Storage space saving.

Once started, the procedure cannot be canceled and cannot be reversed.

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