If you have your important files backed up to Amazon Drive, it’s time to make sure you have copies elsewhere. Amazon has sent out emails to customers that its cloud storage platform will be shutting down at the end of next year, after which some files will be lost forever.
Why some and not all files? Well, this change is motivated by the company’s new focus on Amazon Photos, which means that if you have images and videos in your Amazon Drive account, they will be automatically moved. Amazon Prime members get unlimited full-resolution photo storage and 5GB of video, while non-Prime members get a total of 5GB for everything.
However, other file types that are currently supported by Amazon Drive will not be implemented, so you have until December 31, 2023 to get them. After that, it’s up to you whether you want to store them locally or consider the remaining best cloud storage options available.
Amazon Drive will continue to operate as it has for the past decade until October 31, when the Amazon Drive app will be removed from the Android and iOS marketplaces. Then, on January 31st, you won’t be able to upload anything anymore, and the service will only act as a repository for the files you’ve already uploaded. After that, you will have exactly 11 months to rescue files that are incompatible with Amazon Photos.
“We understand that content stored on Amazon Drive is very important to our customers,” the company writes on a new FAQ page. (will open in a new tab) explaining the change. “We will communicate our plan to remove or delete files by December 31, 2023 and give customers enough time to save their files.
“Customers are encouraged to use Amazon Photos to access their photo and video files and upload all other files locally (or through another service) by December 31, 2023.”
It’s unclear how many people have been actively using Amazon Drive, but apparently not enough to justify reserving storage when the company needs to provide unlimited photo uploads to its Prime customers. In any case, if you have valuable documents in the Amazon cloud, now is the time to make sure they are backed up securely somewhere else.
Alternative cloud storage options
If you have a lot of files stored in the cloud and want to store them there, then you’re in luck. The rise of cloud computing means that a whole range of cloud storage options are available.
One of the most common is Google Drive, which syncs with your Google account and may come with a productivity pack attached: think Google Docs, Sheets, and Forms. 15 GB is completely free with the option to pay more when needed.
Microsoft OneDrive provides 5 GB of free cloud storage associated with your Microsoft account. And the free tier of Dropbox offers 2GB of cloud storage; not much, but enough to hold a few text documents and the odd PDFs.
And Apple users have access to iCloud, which almost automatically offers you 5GB of cloud storage when you set up your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook. As with the above services, you can pay to increase your storage capacity.
Thus, even if Amazon Drive is currently busy, you have many options to store the files and photos you need in the cloud.
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