google photos high quality vs original

google photos high quality vs original

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Google Photos may be a very convenient free platform that allows you to share all of your photos and whatever other sorts of images between all of your devices.

For five years, until June 1st, 2021, Google Photos will offer all of its user’s unlimited cloud storage. Still, since that date, newly uploaded images will count towards the 15GB free allowance that comes with every Google account. Once you reach that limit, you’ll get to buy additional space for storing.

But here’s how to form sure that you fit the foremost photos without going overboard with storage. Google Photos offers you two options when uploading photos: one is “High quality” images, which are compressed files, and the other is “Original quality,” which is well… the first files from your phone or camera are typically captured take up tons of space.

In this article, we walk you through the Google Photos compression and the individual difference between the Google Photos “High quality” and “Original quality” files.

How does Google Photos work?

If you haven’t paid attention to the prompts, Google Photos displays once you install it on a replacement device, or haven’t checked the app’s settings, you’ll have even missed this distinction between quality options for your uploads.

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So, with this in mind, we decided to check just how top-quality the “High quality” setting is and what happens once you upload really big files and RAW images on Google Photos.

First thing’s first, let’s examine what Google has got to say about both quality settings:

High quality:

*These are the new terms active from June 1st, 2021

  • All photos uploaded before June 1st, 2021, don’t count towards your 15GB free Google account storage limit
  • All photos uploaded after June 1st, 2021 DO count towards your 15GB free Google account storage 
  • Photos are compressed to save lots of space. If a photograph is larger than 16 MP, it’ll be resized to 16 MP.
  • Videos above 1080p are going to be resized to high-definition 1080p. A video with 1080p or less will look on the brink of the first.

Original quality:

  • Limited free storage (15GB)
  • All photos and videos are stored within the same resolution that you took them.
  • Recommended for photos that have quite 16MP and videos with quite 1080p.


Let’s assume you chose the first upload setting in Google Photos, thinking that the 15GB of free space was enough for you. Well, you were wrong. or even you’re on a paid tier, and you realized that Google Photos has almost maxed out your quota.

Then it knows to switch to top quality — this setting doesn’t consume even an iota of storage. It’s also one of the key features that create Google Photos so great. And it’s super-easy to vary quality settings. Just head into the Google Photos Settings panel, then selects top quality from underneath Upload Size.

After you are doing that, all the photos you click will upload at a compressed quality. So, for instance, a 10MB image will find you at around 2-3MB once Google Photos has had its say. And additionally, to that, any images that exceed 16-megapixels are going to be resized to 16-megapixels only. Meanwhile, the resolution of the videos are going to be capped up to 1080p.

But no matter the compression and downscaling, your photos and videos will still look great for many purposes. You won’t notice any difference unless you look close. The lossless compression algorithm that Google Photos uses is that the real deal.

Unlike most Google Photos settings, changes to the upload quality settings won’t sync between devices (except on the online app, which is simply an equivalent everywhere). So you’ll prefer to use the top quality setting on one device while keeping it at the first setting on another.

But what about the photos and videos that are already protected to Google Photos in Original quality? Well, they will still be stored within the same quality, consumption storage within the process.

However, you’ll convert them to top quality and release some space. Next, head to the Settings panel using the Google Photos web app. Then click the Recover Storage option under the standard settings (mobile apps don’t feature this option). On the confirmation box that pops up, click Compress, and you’re good to travel.

Using the Recover Storage option can also impact photos and videos uploaded via other Google services like Blogger, Google Maps, Hangouts, etc. For an entire list, click the Learn More option on the confirmation pop-up box.

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You can switch to Original uploads if you’re not proud of the compression within the top quality set of Google Photos. Any pictures and videos that Google takes a backup of then will be uploaded within the same quality that they’re shot in.

It’s the simplest option for taking a backup or syncing RAW images. Also, you’ll make sure that your photos don’t lose any depth data thanks to compression. However, they’re going to find themselves consuming space for storing, so if you shoot many photos and videos, be prepared to upgrade sooner instead of later.

When switching from Original to top quality, your photos get automatically resized. Unfortunately, that does not happen with your existing top-quality photos if you turn back to Original quality. So yes, you’ll need to settle with top-quality images.

Even if your devices still have the originals intact locally, Google Photos won’t re-upload them and replace the top-quality backups. However, you’ll prefer to sign out of the Google Photos mobile or desktop apps, delete all of your protected data via the online app, then sign back in and re-upload your originals from scratch.

This process can get quite convoluted, especially when there are multiple devices involved. So you’ll risk losing your photos and videos. Hence, it’s best to download and copy your existing Google Photos library. Also, it knows to take a backup of the copies present on your devices.

Is Google Photos free? Is free good enough?

The bottom line is, if you’re short on space and are mainly storing photos that you took together with your phone, you’re mostly A-OK to use the “High quality” setting. You’ll never, ever examine any of your photos, so up close on tell the difference between the first and compressed versions. However, as we saw in one of the examples, Google Photos sometimes scales down even images that fit within the restrictions of the “High quality” tier. Although it did this to just one of the pictures, it’s still something to stay in mind.

Further, since most smartphone cameras have 12 MP or 16 MP sensors, Google’s free unlimited storage restrictions don’t seem all that imposing. However, suppose you own a smartphone with a 20+ MP sensor or use the platform to store images from your dedicated camera. In that case, you’ll want to consider before counting on “High quality” and choose “Original” instead. Of course, this is applicable full force if you’re storing RAW image files.

Remember that Google Photos won’t offer unlimited “High quality” photo storage until June 1st, 2021. The date will count towards the 15GB free Google account storage allowance for every newly uploaded photo. Once you reach that limit, you’ll get to buy additional storage if you would like to continue uploading new photos.

User Questions:

1.What is top quality on Google Photos?

Google Photos has three storage settings: “High quality,” “Original quality,” and “Express quality.” top quality includes a photo and video storage for photos up to 16 megapixels and videos up to 1080p resolution (the maximum resolutions for average smartphone users in 2015).

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2.Does compressing photos reduce quality?

While JPEG compression can assist you in greatly reduce the dimensions of a picture file, it also can compromise the standard of a picture – and if you are not careful, there might not be any recovery. It’s for this reason that we recommend saving your images in a lossless format like TIFF.

3.Does Google Photos ruin quality?

Photos are compressed to save lots of space. If a photograph is larger than 16 MP, it’ll be resized to 16 MP. Videos above 1080p are going to be resized to high-definition 1080p. A video with 1080p or less will look on the brink of the first.

  1. I’ve made an album comparing original files vs. their compressed Google Photos counterpart.

I’ve made an album comparing original files vs. their compressed Google Photos counterpart. from Android

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5.Question about top quality vs. Original backups in Google Photos

Question about High Quality vs Original backups in Google Photos from googlephotos