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Pixel Google Photos Backup Advice

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Old Member
Jul 20, 2006
Okay... The time has come. I'm already paying 20 bucks a year on Google Drive backup. Now they're trying to scam me into paying for all of the Google Photos storage space that was supposed to be free for LIFE.

They did this by transferring my photos from my Pixel 4A (with my "Free for Life" Photos thing) to my 6a... (which doesn't have that) and then backing up those photos AGAIN... and charging me for this.

I'm trying to figure out the correct way to handle this and I know some of you here are already on top of it.

It seems like the easiest thing to do would be to delete EVERYTHING off of Google Photos, transfer it BACK to the 4a... and just run the backup from there.

Would this solve it? Or do I have to do something from Drive?

(I'd also, of course, have to disable photo backup permanently on my 6a).

I hate that it's come to this. I wouldn't have even bothered transferring the old photos over to the new phone if I knew they weren't going to differentiate between what was already backed up with the 4a and what was going to happen with the 6a.

*For those not in the know: Google Photo storage was completely free to anyone owning a Pixel phone from the 1 all the way to the 4a. The 5 and up is when they started charging.
I had a 3a and didn't know that was a thing. Looking it up, it was limited. Apparently only "high quality" (not original) was free/unlimited on 3a/4a. I have no idea if I had it set to high or original. I've always MOVED the photos off the phone to local storage from time to time. The online copy remains a backup regardless of quality. In your case, I don't know what's best as it will be personal choice. Even if you move the photos back to the old phone, you only get the free storage if it is not original quality.
This is what I do:

I have a Pixel (1) XL that I use synching fork to backup my Pixel 7 Pro to, then they get uploaded from that phone to google photos. I also backup to my NAS as well [which backs up to crashplan regularly]

So you have Google Photos backup turned off on your 7 Pro and on with the old Phone? (They're very sneaky with the wording and they make it SEEM like it's an account-wide thing and not a phone thing.)
My fix to not pay Google for storage was to reduce the quality of the images when I back them up. It's a setting within my google account. I treat my photos as informational only and as such, a lower quality is not a bad thing. If I need to keep a high quality photo, I need to back it up to my computer which in turn backs up to my Unraid system.
I never worried about it I just pay a dollar 99 a month for 100 GB of storage. Every couple months I go through get rid of pics I don't care about.. I generally amounts to about a fourth of my pics. Somehow my daughter transferred her pics from some different trips.