This week Amazon introduced two new ways to use Amazon Cloud Drive, the company’s online storage service. Pay $60 per year and you get unlimited online storage for all of your files. Or pay $12 per year and you can upload as many photos as you like as well as 5GB of non-photo files.

But what does that mean for folks who’d already been using Amazon Cloud Drive? For the past few years Amazon offered 5GB of free storage to anyone.

Now the 5GB for free option is gone.

Amazon Cloud Drive Photos
Amazon Cloud Drive Photos

There are now officially four  ways to use Amazon Cloud Drive, and they all cost money:

  1. Pay $99 for an Amazon Prime membership, which includes Prime Photos with unlimited picture storage and 5GB of Cloud Drive storage space.
  2. Buy a Fire device (phone, tablet, etc) and get free photo storage for images from your device).
  3. Pay $12 per year for Unlimited Photos + 5GB of other files.
  4. Pay $60 for Unlimited Everything.

Amazon is offering free 3-month trials of Unlimited Photos and Unlimited Everything, which means you can sort of continue to use the service for free… for a few months. After that, you’ll need to pony up some cash.

I wondered what this meant for existing Cloud Drive users, so I reached out to Amazon for clarification. Here’s what I found out:

Existing files under the 5GB limit will still be there in Cloud Drive, however, customers won’t be able to upload additional photos, personal videos, and documents until they select a free 3-month trial of one of the new Unlimited storage plans.

So it’s official: there’s no such thing as a free photo of your lunch stored on Amazon Cloud Drive… unless it’s an old lunch that you’ve already uploaded… or unless you use Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or another service that continues to offer a limited amount of cloud storage for free.

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22 replies on “Amazon Cloud Drive no longer offers 5GB of free storage”

  1. Total bull.
    Mega gives 50gb free
    Icloud gives 5 gb free and is integrated with the apple software i.e. Photos app etc.
    wont ever be needing Amazon at all.
    I got 10gb on outlook fre, 50gb on Mega for free, and 15gb on dropbox plus eight other 2gb dropbox accounts.. All free without pay a penny

  2. OK, after reading this post I deleted the few items (a few photos and a short video) I had on Amazon Cloud Drive. Then after I emptied the trash folder (permanently deleting the files) a message pops up that says “Your Cloud Drive is Full” accompanied by the suggestion to start the “free trial” of the new service. LOL. I understand why, since there is no more free storage, but still think that “full” is a funny way to describe zero files.

    1. They haven’t thought their auto notifications out properly nor have they thought their service out ptroperly considering the competition

  3. thanks for putting this article up on web. there is MUCH confusion by design.

    Amazon is SO mouth shut on the REMOVAL of the free option they refuse to admit to it in a YES or NO manner! corporate-speak for greed. but it is nevertheless a good cloud provider service-wise.

  4. Amazon jigs the rod to set the hook in deep. Then they reel you in by your wallet. Oh well… at least most of you suckers should be able to download your files from Amazon faster than you were able to upload them.

  5. I think Google allows for free unlimited photo uploads via Google+ as long as you let them compress your files and as long as it’s an auto upload via Google+ on Android. If you want to upload at full resolution or put your files on Google any other way it counts against your storage.

    There is also Flickr which offers 1TB of space for photos. That’s virtually unlimited for most people.

  6. Excerpts of Amazon CloudDrive TOS:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=201376540&ref_=cd_tou_fp&?ref_=cd_unlimited_tou

    You may not use the Service to store, transfer or distribute content of
    or on behalf of third parties, to operate your own file storage
    application or service, to operate a photography business or other
    commercial service

    You may not share files (a) that contain defamatory, threatening,
    abusive, pornographic, or otherwise objectionable material, (b) that
    advocate bigotry, hatred, or illegal discrimination

    The Service is offered in the United States. We may restrict access from
    other locations. There may be limits on the types of content you can
    store and share using the Service, such as file types we don’t support,
    and on the number or type of devices you can use to access the Service.
    We may impose other restrictions on use of the Service.

    … so much for “unlimited”, or what people assume is unrestricted access
    to your cloud drive and what you use it for or how you use it.

    1. thanks for putting the “terms of service” up!!!! i wonder what amaxon’s policy is to users encrypting their personal files for storage? The brahmins of the American elite (Hillary Clinton) get to do this with impunity. even deleting what they choose. what for the commoners?

      1. Huh? What does any of that have to do with Amazon’s cloud storage. FWIW encrypting your personal files is allowed on all the cloud storage services. I routinely store encrypted backup files on Google Drive and OneDrive without any problem.

        1. thanks for the info on encrypted files. I interpreted amazon’s tos to mean no encryption.

  7. Interesting they no longer feel the need to compete as aggressively in the personal cloud space. I suspect it’s either that they’ve decided to focus more on business cloud services, or they want to “add value” to the Amazon Prime service by making it an exclusive deal. Probably the former, I would wager.

    1. He never name drops OneDrive, but it’s by far the better product IMHO

      1. Honestly, I just keep forgetting it exists since I don’t really use it. But just this once, I’ll update the article with a mention since they do offer 15GB for free. 🙂

        1. Yah, it’s pretty nice product. I use a combination of it and Google Drive.

    2. OneDrive has a 256 char (128 for unicode presumably) path limit
      And it’s not actually unlimited. 10TB is the real limit. Read stories how you have to explicitly ask for permission after 10TB and it’s not something automatically granted. They will probably question what exactly are you using it for.

    3. I’ve used OneDrive for the last couple of years and its increasingly had problems with syncing. For the last three months I’ve needed to uninstall and reinstall the app at least weekly. With the newest upgrade (today November 10) I can no longer get the app to work at all. Even when it did, it was incredibly slow. I do NOT recommend OneDrive. The price is good, but the service sucks.

  8. So you trusted “the cloud” with your data and now you have to pay for it.
    Cynicism wouldn’t be so rampant if they wouldn’t feed it quite so often.

    1. Well, it was free. I would assume they notified anyone who was storing stuff that they’d need to pay up or say goodbye to their data. I can’t say it shocks me too much – is Amazon obligated to provide free storage forever? It doesn’t especially reflect on the reliability of cloud-based services one way or the other.

      1. Exactly. Not sure the cynicism is warranted. How this is different from any other company that offers something free for a limited period?

      2. I’m guessing that the article was updated after your comments.

        Given that it now seems to indicate that the data will still be accessible and just new uploads won’t be allowed, not as bad, correct? Not ideal, but hey, it’s a just tweaking of their service offering.

        Still, I do feel that they should be allowed to remove access altogether sometime down the line… hopefully sufficient lead time will be given then.

Comments are closed.