Free up storage space with new Google Photos features

New options let you delete the offline version of backed-up images and downgrade the quality from photos saved to your cloud.

google photos
Credit: Derek Walter

Google Photos is handing you a couple of new tools to take more control over your storage. 

First, version 1.9 of the Android app offers a “Free Up Space” button in the settings. This will bulk-delete copies of images that have already been backed up to your cloud storage. They’ll be gone from your phone’s internal storage, but still accessible through Google Photos.

google photos free up storage

Google Photos will make images vanish from your hard drive in order to free up space.

Google engineer John Elstone said a new fix also allows those who save images to an SD card to have the same flexibility. Previously, some who saved their offline photos to an SD card saw duplicate copies. 

The other big update is found in the web version of Google Photos. You can now downgrade your previous library of images from “original quality” to what’s called “high quality.”

google photos compress

If you’re getting low on Google Drive space, you can compress your images so they no longer count against your storage quota.

The latter means they’re compressed and don’t count against your Google Drive storage quota. If you originally decided to store everything at its full size, you’re now able to change your mind in order to avoid buying more Drive space.

If you want to be up to date, make sure you have version 1.9 from the Play Store or APK Mirror.

The impact on you: If you’re short on space, the new “free up storage” feature is a great way to save some room on your phone without losing any of your pictures. And downgrading your saved Google Photos may be the right move if you’re not as particular about image quality and would rather not have to pay for more Drive storage.

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