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Google's Files app makes it easier to clear storage space in Pixel phones

Google Files Home Screen Lifestyle 2
Google Files Home Screen Lifestyle 2 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google's Files app has gained a new feature that automatically deletes backed-up photos.
  • The feature is apparently rolling out to Google Pixel phones running Android 12.
  • Your photos will be auto-deleted 60 days after they're uploaded to Google Photos.

Google has updated its Files app with a new feature that should make it easier to save storage space on your device. Files by Google now automatically deletes media files from your Pixel phones that have already been backed up to Google Photos.

The new feature, dubbed "Smart Storage," was discovered by 9to5Google. It provides an automated method for deleting photos and videos saved locally on your device 60 days after they are uploaded to Photos.

For now, the new capability appears to be available on some Pixel phones running Android 12 beta, including the Google Pixel 5a, Pixel 5, Pixel 4 series, and Pixel 3 devices. This means the upcoming Google Pixel 6 series is also set to pick up the new feature when it becomes available to consumers.

However, Smart Storage is disabled by default and there are no indications whether it's coming to some of the best Android phones as well. Google is also redirecting users to a support page for the new feature, although it's not live yet at the moment.

Google Photos already has its own way of deleting backed-up files, but you have to do it manually. The new Files app capability provides an easier trick to free up storage space in your phone and avoid having duplicate copies of the same photos that are saved in Google's cloud photo storage platform.

Google Pixel 5a 5g Product Render

Google Pixel 5a

The Google Pixel 5a is an affordable smartphone with a seemingly endless battery life. It has two decent cameras, 5G connectivity, and smooth performance thanks to its Snapdragon 765G chipset. The phone will be one of the first devices to receive Google's latest software updates.

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

6 Comments
  • I see the pixel 5 is missing, type o our intentionally? "For now, the new capability appears to be available on some Pixel phones running Android 12 beta, including the Google Pixel 5a, Pixel 4 series, and Pixel 3 devices. This means the upcoming Google Pixel 6 series is also set to pick up the new feature when it becomes available to consumers."
  • Unintentional. Updated the post now.
  • Glad to see it is disabled.
  • I don't want this either. I want to decide if, when and what I delete from my phone. If they enable this I'll be deleting Google Files.
  • You can't delete it, you can only disable or possibly turn it off.
  • Thank you. I've just checked on my phone and your right, no option to disable or turn it off either. I've also looked at the app in the Play Store and there is an option to uninstall it, but press it as much as you like it doesn't work. Silly of me, thinking this is my phone.