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Google Photos Will Free Up Your Phone’s Space


Have too many photos hogging space on your Android device? Google can help.

The Web giant on Tuesday started rolling out some handy new features for Android users of its Google Photos service, including a tool designed to help you free up some storage space on your device.

On the Settings screen, you’ll now see an option labeled “Free Up Space,” which will let you bulk delete copies of photos that have already been backed up from your phone or tablet. To prevent copies from being deleted by mistake, Google Photos will ask you to double confirm your intent before wiping them from your device, according to Google Project Engineer John Elstone.

Another new feature will let you downgrade previously uploaded photos from Original quality (full resolution) to High quality (a smaller, compressed file). Keep in mind that high-quality images don’t count against your storage quota while original-quality snaps do.

The downgrade option will be rolling out on the Web on Wednesday. To downgrade to High quality, visit the Google Photos Settings page from your computer and click Recover Storage.

“If a user joined Google Photos and selected the ‘Original quality’ setting for their photos, but changed their mind, they could have future media backed up in ‘High quality,’” Elstone explained in a Google+ post. “However, for media already backed up in ‘Original quality’ before then, users were in an awkward state: they had no way to downgrade that media to ‘High quality.’”

Meanwhile, if you do back up your photos in High quality, you also may now receive a message asking if you want to bulk delete the copies from your device when your phone or tablet is reaching its storage limit. Until now, this feature has only been available for those backing up images in Original quality.

Finally, Google is also rolling out a fix that should prevent photos from popping up over and over, even after being deleted. Turns out, you’ll need to delete the images from your device’s SD card to get rid of them completely, and now you can.

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