Almost everyone with a smartphone also uses a cloud service. This is useful to save storage space. However, the data in it is only accessible as long as you have a subscription.
Both Apple and Google make their cloud servers available for backups of smartphone data. The iPhone automatically downloads backups to iCloud when users sign in with Apple ID. It works similarly with Android, here you have to log in with a Gmail address.
There are, however, numerous other cloud providers who offer very different advantages. Amazon provides Prime users with unlimited photo storage in Amazon Drive. Those who use Microsoft Outlook also have access to 5 gigabytes (GB) of free cloud storage in OneDrive.
All of the above services offer free cloud storage. All of them have additional options to increase the remote storage in order to store even more data in it. This is necessary, for example, if iPhone owners save their photos via iCloud. More storage is usually available in various subscription options.
But that begs the question of what happens to the data stored in the cloud when you switch back to a lower subscription level. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON has found this out for the four most important cloud providers.
With the Apple ID every user gets 5 GB of free iCloud storage. That sounds like a lot of memory at first, but a not inconsiderable part of it is used for e-mail use, photos and videos, as well as iPhone / iPad backups.
For 9.99 euros a month, users can expand the iCloud storage to 2 terabytes (TB) and then share it with family members. iCloud is also included in the new Apple One subscription.
What happens to the iCloud data if I cancel my subscription?
If Apple’s iCloud subscription is canceled, the iPhone will no longer synchronize any new data / photos with the cloud if the content stored there exceeds the limit of 5 gigabytes. In this case, iPhone and iPad backups are no longer possible (without a laptop). Because at Apple, backups are also part of cloud storage.
Since many other Apple services such as e-mails, Safari, Messages, Keychain, etc. also work via iCloud, the associated data is no longer synchronized between Apple devices. Emails from the iCloud email address cannot be sent or received.
In order to be able to use the services connected to iCloud again, users must delete backups, photos, e-mail and other data so that they come under the 5 GB of free storage again. If they do not, photos, videos and other data will remain accessible for another 30 days.
Google offers 15 GB of cloud storage in its Drive service to anyone who creates a Google account with a Gmail address. Drive is now part of the Google One subscription. If you need more than 15 GB of storage, you have to complete it. As with Apple, there is up to 2 TB of cloud storage that can be shared with other family members. Similar to Apple’s iPhones, Google Drive is used to create cloud backups of Android smartphones. Other services like WhatsApp also use Google Drive for backups.
However, Google not only offers a lot more storage than Apple with a free account. In contrast to iPhones, the storage space used by backups is not counted against the storage volume. Thus, the 15 GB are really only available for data saved by the users themselves.
The 15 GB also applies to Google Photos. Here users can save photos and videos separately from Google Drive. The special thing about it: Google Photos offers unlimited storage if photos and videos are saved with reduced quality. For photos, the resolution is reduced to 12 megapixels, for videos to Full HD.
What happens to my data if I cancel the Google Drive subscription?
What happens when the free volume is reached or a Google One subscription with more storage is canceled, Google writes on its support page. It says there that nothing happens to the data that has already been saved. They are still available unchanged and can be opened or viewed – there is no deadline. The synchronization of data between Android smartphones and other devices running Google Drive no longer takes place.
But it is no longer possible to upload new data. Similar to Apple, Gmail no longer sends or receives email. However, it is practical that backups and the uploading of photos and videos in reduced quality continue to work – even if the storage limit is exceeded. Users can also still create Google documents, as these are also not part of the cloud storage. If I cancel the Google Drive subscription?
Microsoft is giving all Outlook users 5 GB of free cloud storage in its OneDrive service. Since Microsoft does not have its own smartphone ecosystem, the memory is not used for backups, but only for its own apps and services such as Outlook and Office. In connection with the Microsoft 365 subscription for families, which also includes the Office suite, users can add up to 6 TB of storage.
What happens to my data if I cancel the OneDrive subscription?
If you cancel such a subscription and fall back to the included 5 GB, the data stored in the cloud remains for the time being. At least that’s what Microsoft writes on its support page. Users still have access to the data, can view, share and download it. However, it is not possible to load new data into OneDrive.
Microsoft also writes that the account will be frozen after a longer transition period. This means that users no longer have access to their data, even though they remain, and they are not deleted. In order to access the data again, users have to buy more storage or delete files. You can “defrost” the account for 30 days and get access again – but only for deletion and downloading. During this time you can free up enough memory to get under the limit. The thawing only works once, after which the account is permanently frozen.
Amazon Drive (Photos)
Amazon is known for online trading. But hardly anyone knows that the company generates more profit from its cloud platform than from its trading business. No wonder then that Amazon also offers its Prime customers cloud storage.
It might surprise some, but Amazon is giving all Prime customers 5GB of free cloud storage in Amazon Drive. But that’s not all. Similar to Google, Amazon goes one step further and allows unlimited uploads of photos. The highlight of the matter: In contrast to Google Photos, users can upload their images to Amazon Photos without any loss of quality. The memory can even be shared with other family members. The only restriction: the unlimited upload only applies to photos, not videos. These count against the 5 GB of free storage. However, Amazon offers upgrade options for up to 30 TB.
What happens to my data if I cancel the Amazon Drive subscription?
On the customer support page, Amazon writes that data can still be viewed if the storage limit is exceeded. Are can be downloaded, but no longer synchronize with the app and can no longer be shared. New files or photos no longer load in Drive or Photos.
If users don’t delete their files to fall below the limit, Amazon will start deleting them after 180 days. The deletion starts with the newest files. Amazon informed affected customers in advance.