More issues with Legacy Gmail Suite accounts

It turns out that with the legacy Gmail Suite accounts you can no longer add extra storage space. This just came up because my sister’s account is running out of the default 15 GB space.

When that happened to me in 2017 I was able to add a 100 GB plan for $20/year. But my sister can no longer do that with her account. Since she also uses Apple Photos I’m going to ask her to clear out her Google Photos account. She can’t send or receive email at the present!

I myself only have 10 GB free space left.

Part of a chat I had today with Google Support:

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Well, I’m running out of space, and don’t know what to do. I have a total of 115 GB of storage (the free 15 GB and the paid 100 GB I renew every year), but Google won’t let me buy more space because I’m using the Legacy Gmail Suite account. It looks like they haven’t come up with a way of allowing legacy free users to upgrade their storage.

I wonder what my alternatives are. I don’t want to delete Google Photos and accidentally delete photos from my Apple iCloud Photos, where everything is also backed up.

Anybody else run into this situation?

Not that specifically, but here’s some general advice.

As a precaution, you can export your Google Photos using Google Takeout, as long as you enable the Takeout function in the Google Workspace admin portal. (I forget if it is enabled or disabled by default.)

I reconciled myself a while ago to the idea that there is no reliable free alternative if you want to store/share a lot of photos online. If you and/or your sister are heavy users of Google services, it may not be worth the hassle to migrate elsewhere. It may be easier to switch to a paid Google Workspace plan, especially if the alternative is a paid photo storage site.

As an aside, I had maintained several “free” legacy G Suite domains for family and friends. I kept a few domains on the legacy plan, but based on usage, it made sense to upgrade one of the domains to a paid account.

The other possibility is to create a Gmail account that’s used just for Photos, Google Drive, etc., and which doesn’t have silly limits on how much storage can be purchased. Annoying, but it gives you the ability to continue to use Google Photos (and its better search, etc.).

I considered that. But is there an easy way to migrate Photos to a different account? I don’t use Google Drive anymore. I stopped using that after the first scare about them making all legacy G Suite accounts paid.

I guess another downside of that is that I would have to pay even more than just for extra storage on my current account because I’d lose all the free storage I had until June 2021.

My sister is not a heavy user. And my mother passed away in 2020 and only had a couple of GB and I’ve downloaded the content just in case, but it was basically all email from me.

Still, it seems a waste to pay Google to upgrade my legacy personal account. And, to be honest, I hate doing it as a matter of principle.

I could try to locate all the photos taking up space - I guess all the photos since June 2021, right? I could just delete some from there and ensure I have enough space. That and stop backup/syncing from iOS.

I do have a 2 TB iCloud account and all my photos are backed up there as well. And the search seems ok. And sharing, while not quite as easy as with Google Photos is still doable. I suppose I could just live with iCloud Photos.

Decisions, decisions.