How to Free up Google Photo Storage Space? Learn these 5 Tips to Reclaim Storage Space

22 March 2023 by
Apryl Zhang

It's easy for your Google account's storage space to quickly become filled up, which can prevent you from sending emails or backing up photos. Managing your space is therefore crucial. In this article, we'll teach you how to check your remaining Google account storage space and share 5 tips to help you reclaim space on Google Photos. Additionally, instead of constantly trying to save space, purchasing a paid plan is also a good option.

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Google Photos - Understand Storage Capacity Before Freeing Up Space

Since June 1, 2021, Google Photos has started to count towards the 15GB of storage space, and they have also started charging for additional storage. Each bit of storage space is crucial, so it is essential to check regularly to avoid running out of space. By knowing the remaining space available, you can decide whether to purchase additional storage or delete unnecessary photos and videos to free up space.

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5 Tips for Freeing Up Space on Google Photos

Tips 1: ‘View and Delete’ feature

The ‘View and Delete’ feature allows you to delete unwanted photos and videos and free up storage space. The AI-powered feature categorises different types of photos and videos, including ‘large photos and videos,’ ‘blurry photos,’ ‘screenshots,’ ‘other apps,’ and ‘unsupported videos,’ making it easier for you to review and decide which items to delete.

Steps: You can easily use the ‘View and Delete’ feature to free up space by following these simple steps:

  1. Click on your profile picture in the top right corner.
  2. Select the ‘Manage Storage’ option.
  3. Click on ‘View and Delete’*, and you can select the categories of ‘large photos and videos,’ ‘blurry photos,’ ‘screenshots,’ ‘other apps,’ and ‘unsupported videos.’

*You don't need to browse through each photo and video individually. The AI feature identifies the unnecessary items such as blurry photos, allowing you to save time and space.

Tips 2: Delete Photos/Videos One by One in Google Photos to Free Up Space

Deleting them one by one allows you to inspect each photo and video and thoroughly remove them from your phone, freeing up storage space. This most basic method requires sufficient time and patience to delete each photo and video one by one, but it can deeply release storage space in Google Photos and ensure that no unnecessary photos or videos are missed.


  1. Tap on the photo or video you want to delete.
  2. Swipe down on the photo or video.
  3. Tap ‘Delete from device’ to delete the photo or video from your phone.

Tips 3: Set Up High Quality Mode for Existing Photos/Videos to Free Up Space in Google Photos

Google Photos has a limited capacity of only 15GB, which is often not enough. However, by using the compression option, you can solve this problem by compressing your existing photos and videos into high-quality, space-saving versions. This method does not require compressing each individual photo and video, but it does require using a computer to access Google Photos and compress the files. While the photos and videos will be compressed to 16 million pixels and 1080p high resolution, this is a good option for freeing up space in your Google storage.


  1. Open Google Photos and click on the ‘Main Menu’ on the left side.
  2. Click on ‘Settings’ at the bottom.
  3. Click on ‘Recover Storage’ to compress your photos and videos into high-quality versions.
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Tips 4: Set Google Photos backup quality to free up future space

Changing the backup quality of Google Photos can free up space for future use. Compressed photos and original photos don't have much difference in quality, and changing the backup quality can be adjusted according to different needs.


  1. Click on the profile picture in the top right corner to access the Google Photos settings
  2. Select "Google Photos" settings
  3. Click "Backup" and turn on the backup mode
  4. Choose "High quality" backup option

Changing the backup quality of Google Photos can help solve the issue of insufficient space in Google Photos. Choosing the compressed backup option can save storage space and allow you to store more memories.

Tips 5: Clearing Gmail and Google Drive Data to Free Up Space

A Google One account shares 15GB of storage space, which is occupied by different items including Google Drive, email, and Google Photos. Many large files can take up storage space, so clearing Gmail and Google Drive data can free up space, allowing you to store more photos and videos in Google Photos.


  1. Go to the Google One webpage and click on ‘Home’ on the left-hand toolbar.
  2. Click on ‘Free up account storage’ and you will find many cloud storage files and items that can be cleaned up, such as ‘large item files’ on Google Drive and ‘junk mail’ on Gmail. You can select the content you want to delete by clicking on it one by one based on the space you want to free up.

In ‘Manage Google Account Storage,’ you can see ‘large items’ that show large files that occupy space, such as email attachments in Gmail, the largest files in Google Drive, and large videos in Google Photos. You can browse and view the large files that take up space all at once.

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Consider upgrading to a paid plan for Google Photos instead of freeing up space

Are you having trouble deleting a lot of photos and videos due to nostalgia? You can consider upgrading to a paid plan instead. Google One offers various paid plans, including storage space used in Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. Up to 5 additional family members can share Google One without extra charge. In addition to the free version of 15GB, there are also the Basic plan of 100GB for HK$15/month and the Standard plan of 200GB for HK$23/month. Upgrading to a paid plan means you don't have to worry about running out of space, and you don't have to compress your photos and videos.

You can refer to the following blog article for details: Why is everyone using Google Photos? What are its costs and features?

Free up space at home, and digitise your precious photo albums now!

In addition to regularly freeing up space on Google Photos, you also need to free up space at home. Your precious photos and photo albums take up physical space, and over time, photos, photo albums, and videotapes can degrade. Capture.HK can help you digitise all your precious photos, albums, and videotapes, so you can manage your memories easily on Google Photos anytime, anywhere. Not only will this free up physical space at home, but it also makes it easy to manage your memories. 

Learn more about Capture.HK's analogue media digitisation services today!

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*This article is brought to you by Capture HK.

Capture HK is the premier analogue media digitisation company in Hong Kong.

Capture HK's business covers photographs, photo album digitisation, videotapes digitisation, including VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS-C Hi-8, Video8, Digital8, DV, DVCAM, MiniDV, DVC and digital media digitisation, including Secure Digital (SD), Smart Media (SM), MultiMediaCard (MMC) Compact Flash (CF), xD-Picture Card, Memory Stick, USB Drive, CDROM, DVD.

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