Amazon’s consumer-facing storage service, Amazon Drive, will be discontinued next year, Amazon announced Today. In an email to users, the company said it was taking the opportunity to “more fully focus” its efforts on Amazon Photos, Amazon’s response to iCloud Photos and Google Photos.
Amazon Drive customers have until December 31, 2023 to save their saved files; from January 1, 2023, file upload will no longer work. Photos and videos are automatically transferred to Amazon Photos, but other file types must be downloaded manually from the Amazon Drive web dashboard.
Users who currently subscribe to paid Amazon Drive plans can now cancel their subscription for a possible refund. Cancellation can be made on the web or via the Android and iOS apps – at least before the apps are removed from the Google Play and App Store on October 31, respectively.
Amazon launched Amazon Drive as Amazon Cloud Drive in 2011, initially offering tiered storage plans to both Amazon Prime and non-Prime users. In November 2014, an API was rolled out that allowed third-party developers to integrate Amazon Drive into their own apps to store things like game settings, preferences, and other app status data in the cloud.
Amazon Drive unlimited subscriptions were introduced in 2015 and were discontinued two years later. Storage was limited to 5 GB for non-photo uploads shortly after. However, Amazon Prime members and Fire Tablets owners. retained unlimited photo storage for free.
Competition was likely a factor in Amazon Drive’s demise. After all, countless providers today offer cheap cloud file storage, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive. Amazon Drive’s prices weren’t even particularly competitive — the service charged $119 a year for 2TB, the going rate for the same volume of storage at Dropbox and Google Drive.
According to for Statista, Google Drive was the most popular cloud storage service as of September 2021, followed by iCloud and OneDrive.