You win, Google — my expertise upgrading my Drive storage


As a expertise journalist and meals pictures fanatic, I can gather 1000’s of photographs at a speedy tempo.

And when you’ve additionally spent a substantial period of time on-line, there’s probability you’re linked to some type of paid cloud storage. For me, that system is Google One. I bought sucked in again when Google storage was free, however round 2019, the paid Google One subscription service was established. At $20 per thirty days for 100GB of storage, it was a no brainer for somebody like myself, who shops a ton of knowledge on-line. However a number of years on, I’m in the very same state of affairs I used to be earlier than. I would like extra space for storing.

The issue is that Google One encompasses all of the info on a single Google account, together with emails, images, Workspace recordsdata, Drive recordsdata, and extra. Everybody’s storage patterns are somewhat completely different. A private account account will possible be vastly completely different than a enterprise account. A private account used for work will differ as properly. However I think about most individuals fall into the identical camp as I do. Over 80GB on my account was getting used to assist Google Photographs.

A thankless job

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Tendencies

In mid-2020, my 100GB Google One account approached 85% capability, and I started receiving notices from Google that I ought to delete knowledge from my account to stop it from hitting the restrict. One of many major penalties of an account at capability is that it received’t be capable of ship or obtain emails. Equally, Google One received’t be capable of again up Google Photographs, Google Doc recordsdata, Drive recordsdata, or another knowledge linked to the cloud service.

Instantly I started the thankless job of making an attempt to clear my over 50,000-email-deep inbox. This was thankless certainly. Whereas I dashed away 1000’s of emails and minimize my major inbox in half for a time, it barely put a dent within the share of storage I had used up. My Gmail solely accounted for about 5GB of my Google One account. And I used to be solely tackling the unread, easy-to-find emails.

Ultimately, I shifted my focus to the perpetrator, Google Photographs. I started deleting long-forgotten memes, duplicate photographs, shaky and blurry images, photographs for which I now not understood the context, and pictures that elicited painful reminiscences. This nonetheless was of little consequence to my total storage share. I thought of the complete extent of my miserly storage habits. Lots of my work galleries of a number of smartphones and laptops stayed. I even have numerous movies from concert events and different reveals that certainly take up a substantial quantity of house in Google Photographs.

I mildly thought of different storage choices. I may swap some content material to an SD card or arduous drive. I’ve a Microsoft 365 subscription that features 1TB of cloud storage as properly. Each of those choices have the potential to be manually intensive to switch or may require a syncing device or service to maneuver knowledge. They may additionally lack the automated categorization I have already got in Google Photographs. Nonetheless, having a backup possibility for all of this knowledge isn’t a nasty concept.

One step ahead, two steps again

If you happen to’ve gone by an analogous arc as I did, you already see the writing on the partitions. You may by no means fairly delete sufficient to reclaim the house you want.

Time shortly glided by and shortly I used to be going to media occasions, eating places, and reveals once more. Round mid-2022, the time approached when my subscription would renew. I’d already gone a full yr treating the capability warning as a gentle suggestion relatively than a dire want for intervention. I’d developed a gentle behavior of deleting pointless emails and images and stored my account at about 90%.

Google Photos displayed on the Google Pixel 7.
Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

Nonetheless, I thought of upgrading to a 200GB capability at that time. This might convey my yearly cost to $30, however going by the Photographs account web page on my cellphone, Google defined that if I upgraded forward of my renewal date, I wouldn’t be charged once more till January 2024. I meant to improve, however I forgot and one other yr glided by.

Quick ahead to mid-2023, I acquired an e mail confirming the automated renewal of my 100GB Google One subscription. It was then I remembered that I needed to improve to the 200GB plan. After a brief interior battle, I made a decision to chew the bullet and subscribe to the upper tier.

Double cost debacle

Now, I used to be on the level in my journey the place I needed to come to phrases with the truth that I had simply double-paid for Google One. At first, I used to be going to let it slide, however I used to be positive there needed to be a technique to get my a refund. I’ve heard horror tales about Google’s assist line and customer support, however the least I may do is attempt, proper?

A couple of browser searches and a few clicks later, I used to be directed to a different Google account web page the place I may report a problem. I’ve since found out a extra streamlined technique of accessing this web page, but it surely nonetheless will get you to the place it’s good to go.

Google One refund confirmation.
Fionna Agomuoh / Digital Tendencies

If it’s good to request a refund for Google One (or different purchases by Google), comply with these steps to save lots of your self a headache:

  • Choose your icon in your Google account.
  • Choose Handle your Google account.
  • Choose funds & subscriptions.
  • Scroll down and choose Ship suggestions.
  • Choose Report a problem.
  • Choose Different and sort out your subject.

I used to be pleased that I figured this technique out with little to no problem. Even higher, my subject was resolved in a matter of days. Particularly contemplating the issue was on account of my absent-mindedness, letting my subscription be auto-renewed after which deciding to buy the extra storage individually wasn’t an enormous deal. Throughout this ordeal, I noticed what I assumed was a renewal deal seems to only be how Google does its upgrades, and my account received’t be charged once more till late-January 2025.

It’s a small word, however one thing vital to contemplate when you’re going to improve.

Not a long-term answer

Samsung T7 and T7 Shield sitting on a table.
Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

Total, I’m happy having lastly proceeded with my improve. Having the additional storage has quelled my anxiousness about working out at an inopportune time. Extra importantly, it has given me additional time to contemplate my long-term backup technique.

Google tells me I’ve about 4 years earlier than I’ll want extra storage, and it’s my intent to maintain working by emails and deleting previous images after I can. However that’s the tough factor about cloud storage. Attempt as I would, I’ll most likely hit the ceiling once more earlier than lengthy. Presently, my Google One account stands at roughly 97GB used, with my Google Photographs taking over about 86GB of that knowledge. You do the mathematics.

Finally, the one answer for long-term knowledge conservation is high-capacity, offline storage. It’s been years since I’ve had a tough drive, so that may account for my hesitation. However I’m leaning towards the protection of a bodily backup, whereas finding out which of my recordsdata are an important. In relation to actively shifting content material, as a lot as I hate to confess it, I do know I’ve quite a few photographs and movies that may be saved in a much less ceremonious trend than Google Photographs.

In the meantime, my thoughts will churn and hopefully I received’t be confronted with the identical dilemma in 2027.

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