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If you go into Google Photos settings, you can see that there are two options for Upload size for photos and videos:

  • High quality (free unlimited storage) Great visual quality at reduced file size
  • Original Full resolution that counts against your quota

I have some videos uploaded, and it says that I have consumed several GB of space against my quota. How can I know which of my uploaded videos are counting against my quota and which were uploaded using the High quality setting?

The reason I want to know is so that I can download the ones that count against my quota (i.e. the original ones), and re-upload them using the High quality setting so that nothing counts against my quota.

3 Answers 3

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TL;DR:

Just go to this link, you can see that it summarizes all the information that you want to see as long as it is related to your account storage.

Explanation:

Google has a habit of combining all of our account in different services that they offer and because of that most of the time we are confuse. So here's the explanation regarding this link

General View:

enter image description here

If you hover your mouse at the graph you can see specifically the total free and consumed space in your storage.

enter image description here

Since I am using the High quality (free unlimited storage) settings in my photos and videos I can safely assume that there are 0.06 GB storage that consumes my storage.

Because of that we can assume that:

  1. It is still not converted to High quality (free unlimited storage)
  2. Maybe it is converted already but I didn't delete the original copy of it in my google drive.
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    Unfortunately, this doesn't tell how to tell if a specific video is using space or not. I need this because Google claims video up to "1080p" don't use space but it's unclear exactly what it counts as 1080p and I suspect some of my videos at x by 1080 resolution are being counted against my quota.
    – Michael
    Dec 27, 2018 at 18:42
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If you don't care about downloading them first, you can go to your settings page and click "Recover Storage." This will automatically downgrade your photos and videos as detailed here in the Google Photos Help page.

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It's 2022 and Google how has a "Recover Storage" option now which will compress (and subsequently remove from quota) all the original-quality photos and videos which count towards quota.

Sadly they still lack the ability to tell you WHICH ones are taking quota. The only possible explanation is that by making life difficult enough, Google can push people to give in and pay for cloud storage.

My Pixel 2XL's free original-quality uploads ended on January 16, 2021.

In my case I wanted to run "Recover Storage" but first I wanted to download the uncompressed versions to my PC. I don't want to download my ENTIRE account, as that's rather large and the older photos are still being kept in original quality anyway. So should I just select everything from 2021-01-16 to today? Well not quite, since I believe it's the upload date and not the capture date that determines storage rules.

So what I did was:

  1. Select everything from a date safely before that date (say, 2020-12-16, assuming I didn't do any backups that entire month); download all of those to my PC.
  2. Do the "Recover Storage"
  3. Go back to photos around that time and note the new sizes of the photos compared to the backup I just downloaded.
    • Presumably, photos taken on 2020-12-16 were mostly likely uploaded before 2021-01-16 and therefore should be unaffected by the Recover Storage operation. Thus, the file sizes should be the same as the backup.
    • Photos taken on 2021-01-17 would definitely be part of the compression; the new size should now be significantly less than the one I backed up.
    • By finding the boundary between these two cases I can now identify exactly which of my photos have the "free original quality" privilege, and which ones don't. For the former, I can subsequently delete the redundant backups from my PC if I wish.

Going forward, my phone's backup setting will be set to "Storage Saver" to allow at least a compressed version to be automatically backed up. But I also have "Smart Storage" disabled; that way I can first copy all future original-quality images directly from phone to PC before manually freeing up space on my phone.

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  • Because my photos got uploaded shortly after capture, every photo taken until and including 2021-01-15 were untouched by the "Recover Storage" operation. Everything from 2021-01-16 onwards were reduced to 1/3-1/2 size (I didn't trust the size in the "Info" pane on photos.google.com; rather I re-downloaded them and compared the size to the one I had backed up). The operation took ~30min and spave savings were reflected immediately in google drive.
    – Jimmy He
    Mar 7 at 2:00

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