The Amazon Drive service and apps are being discontinued. Customers are advised to take action to prevent losing their important documents and files stored in Drive.
- What’s happening? Amazon is ending its online storage, dubbed Drive, saying its Amazon Photos service provides the same features as Drive. If you’ve paid for additional storage on Drive, you may be eligible for a refund.
- Why care? Those using the Drive service must take action or their cloud files will become inaccessible after the deadline. Paying customers are eligible for a refund if they choose to cancel their subscription.
- What to do? You must manually download your files or move them to Amazon Photos to prevent data loss after December 31, 2023. Amazon hasn’t provided a migration tool to automate the process.
Amazon Drive is being discontinued
Amazon Drive was launched in March of 2011 as a secure cloud-storage service for Amazon customers to back up their files. Everyone got five gigabytes of cloud storage for free, with several paid upgrades available for those who needed more storage. But this service won’t be around for much longer as the company informed Drive customers via email on July 29, 2022, that Drive would be deprecated on December 31, 2023. The change will affect all Amazon Drive customers worldwide.
“Over the last 11 years, Amazon Drive has served as a secure cloud storage service for Amazon customers to back up their files,” reads the message. Amazon’s FAQ says Drive is being discontinued because Amazon is focusing its efforts on the Photos service to provide users “a dedicated solution for photos and video storage.” The online retail giant has urged customers to take action if they wish to preserve their personal files in Drive. Read: How to move iCloud Contacts to Google Contacts
When you cannot access your Amazon Drive?
Starting on December 31, 2023, any files in your Drive account will become inaccessible. You won’t be able to view, edit and download your Amazon Drive files after December 31, 2023. Uploading new files to the service via the web interface won’t be possible beginning January 31, 2023.
What will happen to your Amazon Drive photos and videos?
If you have photos and videos stored in your Amazon Drive account, those media files are already available to you via the Amazon Photos app on iOS [App Store link], Android and desktop (provided you use Amazon Photos). The company has promised to continue providing customers the ability to safely back up, share and organize photos and videos with Amazon Photos. “After December 31, 2023, you can continue using Amazon Photos to access your photos and videos,” the FAQ notes.
How about other files in your Amazon Drive?
Importantly, any personal documents and project files kept in your Amazon Drive won’t be carried over to Amazon Photos. “Amazon Photos offers cloud storage for photos and videos, while Amazon Drive provides for most common file types,” the company notes. As a result, you’ll need to download local copies of any non-media files in your Drive before December 31, 2023. Amazon’s help document clearly spells it out in black and white that the Photos service does not support non-media file types.
How to download your files in Amazon Drive
You can access files in your Amazon Drive in the mobile app and on the web at amazon.com/clouddrive. Select a file you wish to keep, then hit the download icon from the top navigation that appears in blue. Repeat this process for all files and folders you would like to save. Be sure to do this before December 31, 2023.
Overcoming download size limitations
The mobile app imposes size limitations on downloading large files so the company recommends using the Amazon Photos desktop app instead [Amazon download link]. With the app launched, select “Download” in the left navigation, then chose “Download folder(s)”. To ensure all files in Amazon Drive are selected to download, select the “All” folder, then click “Download to.”
Will I need to pay for Amazon Photos storage?
Like with Drive, all Amazon customers (including those using Amazon Photos) get five gigabytes of storage in the cloud at no charge. Visit amazon.com/photos/storage to determine if you might need to upgrade to a paid subscription based on your storage needs. Read: How to cancel App Store app subscriptions on iOS and Mac
I paid for my Drive storage. Will Amazon refund me?
According to the company, that’s a yes. “If you choose to cancel your paid storage plan before the subscription ends, you may be eligible for a refund,”. Amazon wouldn’t say how to request a refund aside from saying that information about refunds is displayed when you cancel the subscription.
How to cancel your Amazon Drive subscription
In your web browser, log in with your Amazon account at amazon.com/photos/storage and hit the option labeled “Cancel my plan,” then choose “End now” under the “End my plan” heading and follow the instructions.
Will the Amazon Drive apps continue to work?
When the service ends, the apps will stop working as well. Amazon has confirmed that the Drive app for iOS [App Store link] and Android will be removed from app stores on December 31, 2023. Those who have the app installed can keep it after the cut-off date, but Amazon will no longer support bug fixes or security updates.