Storing Photos and Videos for Free in Google Photos — High Quality vs. Original Quality

There are two ways to upload your photos and videos to Google Photos, High quality and Original quality. The High quality setting reduces the file sizes of photos if they exceed 16MP and videos if they exceed 1080p. The Original quality settings stores your photos and videos at the original quality that they were taken. So which setting should you use?

Let’s make this decision easy. You should choose High quality unless you are a professional or have a serious photography/videography hobby. Adjusting your settings to High quality will get you unlimited free storage on Google Photos. Photos/videos stored with Original quality count against your free storage quota with Google (15GB). The 16MP downsize that can occur on your photos is larger than photos taken by the most recent phones announced by Google and Apple. 1080p video is the same quality of much of the high definition TV you watch. These reduced sizes should be more than enough quality for the average photo and video library. If you are a pro or serious hobbyist, you should probably be working with some more advanced tools.

Important to note when using Gather. We use the Google Photos API to copy your photos/videos to Google Photos. As it stands, this API only allows photos/videos to be uploaded with the Original quality setting, so it’s possible you may end up exceeding this limit after using Gather. Please don’t panic! There are options to avoid paying for storage.

In order to store unlimited photos/videos free of charge you can adjust the quality setting to High quality. This may slightly degrade the quality of the photo or video, but as we stated above, most people that are not professional photographers or videographers won’t notice the difference. Please see this Google Photos help article for more details.

To change the quality setting to High quality, please do the following:

To store your photos and videos for videos, select High quality and click recover storage

Please note that you must do this each time after you copy photos/videos with Gather as the setting does NOT apply to future uploads.