Google Photos no longer allow unsupported video formats for its unlimited storage plan. David Ramos/Getty Images)

Google Photos, the search engine giant’s unlimited cloud storage service, recently updated its policy on what types of videos are allowed for cloud backup. As of Dec. 6, videos in unsupported formats are no longer supported by Google Photos’ unlimited storage plan.

Google Photos was launched in 2015. It’s a service that allows users to upload and store unlimited photos and video to the cloud. Photos and videos stored in the cloud are compressed by Google, but they still retain a decent high resolution. Whatever users store in Google Photos won’t be counted as part of the storage limit of Google Drive. However, with a new policy in place, there has been a slight change to that deal, as first discovered by Android Police.

If a user attempts to upload and store a video to Google Photos that’s not officially supported by the service, it will eat up the user’s storage space on Google Drive. The only video formats supported by Google Photos are:

  • .mpg
  • .mmv
  • .tod
  • .wmv
  • .asf
  • .avi
  • .divx
  • .mov
  • .m4v
  • .3gp
  • .3g2
  • .mp4
  • .m2t
  • .m2ts
  • .mts
  • .mkv

Fortunately, the list of supported video formats are quite common and majority of users shouldn’t be affected by the slight policy change. Smartphone cameras typically record videos in these common formats. The only video formats that are noticeably absent from the list are RAW and VOB, which are typically used for high-end cameras.

Although the change in Google Photos policy won’t affect the majority of smartphone users today, it could become an issue in the future. Android Authority pointed out that future smartphones might record videos in RAW format. If that happens, users will have to start paying for cloud storage on Google Drive instead of backing it up for free on Google Photos.

So, why did Google change its policy? The company didn’t provide an explanation why it changed its rules. Google just quietly updated its support page and didn’t make any announcement about it. Although the company issue an official explanation, it’s being speculated that it may have been to deter users from abusing the free unlimited storage of the app.

Some users might have been storing entire movies on Google Photos by disguising rips of DVDs into unrecognizable video formats. All they had to do was convert the video file on their PC, put it on their phone and then upload it to the Google Photos app. An entire movie would eat up a lot of storage space if it were uploaded onto Google Drive, which is only able to offer 15GB of free storage. If users exceed the limit, they would have to pay a monthly fee to get more storage space.