Google Photos clarifies how Storage Saver mode works

Google Photos testing feature to hide specific faces from Memories

Google Photos remains a dominant force in cloud storage solutions for multimedia content. Beyond its core functionality as a user-friendly gallery app, Google Photos offers valuable features like basic image and video editing powered by artificial intelligence. Importantly, it allows users to store vast amounts of photos and videos securely in the cloud.

Google Photos Improves Transparency in Storage Saver Mode

One of the key considerations for users with extensive libraries is optimizing storage space. Google Photos addresses this concern through its Storage Saver mode. This mode prioritizes space efficiency by compressing uploaded photos and videos to a slightly reduced quality. While this compression is generally imperceptible, it can significantly decrease the amount of storage required for a user’s entire collection.

However, a recent clarification from Google on its support website acknowledged a potential source of confusion for some users who have opted for Storage Saver mode. The explanation addressed the scenario where users might observe specific photos or videos still being backed up in their original, uncompressed quality despite enabling Storage Saver.

The reason for this discrepancy lies in the nature of certain file formats. Google identified Multi-Picture Format (MPF) .jpg files, particularly portraits captured on Android devices, as examples that cannot be effectively compressed using Storage Saver’s algorithms. These files are intrinsically designed to retain a higher level of detail, making compression unsuitable without potentially compromising quality.

To enhance user experience and address potential confusion, the Google Photos team has implemented a new functionality within the app. This update allows users to readily determine if a specific photo or video is not compatible with Storage Saver mode. Here’s a breakdown of the simple steps involved:

  1. Launch the Google Photos app on your device.
  2. Select the photo or video you wish to check.
  3. Swipe upwards on the selected content within the app.
  4. In the displayed “Details” section, you’ll now find an indicator specifying if the item is “not eligible for storage saver mode.”

This new feature provides valuable transparency, empowering users to make informed decisions about their cloud storage strategy. Users can now quickly identify any files that will be uploaded in their original quality even under Storage Saver settings. This allows for a more optimized storage allocation within their Google account.

Beyond the immediate benefit of enhanced transparency, this update signifies Google’s commitment to continually refine the user experience within Google Photos. By proactively addressing potential confusion and providing readily accessible information, Google demonstrates its dedication to user satisfaction.

Expanding Functionality and Future Considerations

While the current implementation focuses on identifying MPF files incompatible with Storage Saver, there’s potential for further expansion in the future. Google Photos could potentially integrate additional functionalities within the “Details” section. Here are some possibilities:

  • Compression Ratio: Displaying the estimated compression ratio for a specific photo or video uploaded in Storage Saver mode could provide additional insight. This would allow users to understand the potential quality reduction associated with each upload.
  • Original File Size: Including the original file size alongside the compressed size could offer a more comprehensive view of storage optimization achieved through Storage Saver mode.
  • Alternative Storage Options: For users encountering MPF or other incompatible file formats, Google Photos could suggest alternative storage solutions within the app. This might involve offering options to convert the file to a more compressible format or recommending a different cloud storage service specifically designed for high-quality, uncompressed media storage (with potential associated costs).

free-up storage using Google Photos

Gizchina News of the week

The Balancing Act: Storage Efficiency vs. Quality in Google Photos

While Google Photos offers a generous 15GB of free cloud storage for photos and videos, users with extensive collections often require additional space optimization. This is where Storage Saver mode comes in, providing a valuable solution for those willing to accept a slight quality trade-off in exchange for significantly reduced storage consumption. However, the recent update regarding incompatible file formats highlights the inherent tension between storage efficiency and maintaining image fidelity.

Understanding the underlying technology behind image compression is crucial here. Lossless compression techniques, while ideal for some file formats like text documents, are not suitable for photos and videos. These techniques aim to reduce file size without sacrificing quality, but their effectiveness is limited with multimedia content. On the other hand, lossy compression techniques, employed by Storage Saver mode, achieve greater compression ratios by discarding some image data. This can result in minor quality reduction, often imperceptible to the naked eye.

The aforementioned incompatibility with certain MPF .jpg files exemplifies the limitations of lossy compression. MPF files, particularly those used for portrait photography on Android devices. Often contain additional depth information that allows for features like refocusing or creating depth effects. Applying aggressive compression to such files could compromise these functionalities and potentially introduce noticeable artifacts.

The Importance of User Choice and Informed Decisions

The new notification system implemented within Google Photos empowers users with the knowledge of which files won’t benefit from Storage Saver mode. This transparency allows users to make informed decisions about their cloud storage strategy. Here are some potential scenarios users might encounter:

  • Prioritizing Space Efficiency: For users with massive photo and video libraries, even small reductions in individual file size can translate to significant storage savings in the aggregate. In such cases, users might opt to accept the minor quality reduction associated with Storage Saver mode, even for files that are technically compressible.
  • Preserving High-Quality Photos: For users with a smaller collection or photos with critical detail (e.g., professional photography, scanned documents), prioritizing image quality might be paramount. These users could choose to upload such files in their original format. Even if it means exceeding their free storage quota and potentially incurring additional storage costs.

Future Considerations: Advanced Storage Management Tools

Looking ahead, Google Photos has the potential to further empower users with advanced storage management tools. Here are some possibilities:

  • Selective Storage Modes: The ability to create custom storage profiles could allow users to designate specific folders or file types for Storage Saver mode, while preserving original quality for others.
  • Intelligent Storage Management: Integration with artificial intelligence could enable Google Photos to automatically analyze user behavior and photo content. Based on this analysis, the app could recommend optimal storage strategies. Suggesting which photos might be suitable for compression or highlighting those that warrant original quality storage.
  • Cloud Storage Integration. Partnerships with other cloud storage providers could offer users a wider range of storage options tailored to specific needs. For instance, Google Photos could integrate with services specializing in high-resolution, uncompressed media storage. Providing a seamless experience for users who require such capabilities.


The recent update regarding incompatible file formats in Google Photos’ Storage Saver mode exemplifies the ongoing pursuit of a balance between storage efficiency and image quality. By providing users with greater transparency and control, Google empowers them to make informed decisions about their cloud storage strategy. As Google Photos evolves, the potential integration of advanced storage management tools could further enhance user experience and provide a more personalized approach to managing multimedia content in the cloud.

Disclaimer: We may be compensated by some of the companies whose products we talk about, but our articles and reviews are always our honest opinions. For more details, you can check out our editorial guidelines and learn about how we use affiliate links.

Source/VIA :
Previous The Latest on Samsung Galaxy F55: Features, Release Date, and More
Next Users report obvious graininess in the iPad Pro OLED display