Amazon is retiring Amazon Drive in 2023

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 29, 2022
Updated • Jul 29, 2022

Amazon is sending out emails to customers that use Amazon Drive currently to inform them that it plans to retire the cloud storage service in 2023.

amazon drive shutdown

Customers need to download files from the service before its termination to maintain copies of them. Amazon Photos remains available, and any photo or video files have been automatically saved to Amazon Photos according to Amazon. Prime members get unlimited full-resolution storage and 5 Gigabytes of storage for video. Non-Prime members get 5 Gigabytes of storage that is shared between photos and videos.

Launched in 2011 as Amazon Cloud Drive, all Amazon customers suddenly had 5 Gigabytes of online storage space at their disposal free of charge. Paid plans were available for customers with larger storage requirements.

We warned potential customers about the implications of using Amazon Drive back in 2011, but did provide instructions on saving music to Amazon Cloud Drive and local PCs as well.

Amazon launched a desktop app for Cloud Drive in 2012, which worked on Macs and PCs only. Then, in 2014, Amazon introduced unlimited photo storage for Cloud Drive. A year later, Amazon Cloud Drive Unlimited was launched, which gave customers unlimited file storage for $59.99 per year. Amazon shut down the plan two years later.

Amazon Drive is shutting down in 2023

Amazon notes in the announcement that it is shutting down Amazon Drive, its file storage service, on December 31, 2023 to focus on Amazon Photos.

Over the last 11 years, Amazon Drive has served as a secure cloud storage service for Amazon customers to back up their files. On December 31, 2023, we will no longer support Amazon Drive to more fully focus our efforts on photos and video storage with Amazon Photos. We will continue to provide customers the ability to safely back up, share, and organize photos and videos with Amazon Photos.

Customers who have files stored on Amazon Drive receive the notification. Access to Amazon Drive remains available until the service is shut down.

Amazon notes that customers should download files stored on Drive before December 31, 2023 if they want to retain copies. Photo and video files have been saved to Amazon Photos automatically according to Amazon.

The company recommends that customers use the official desktop programs, if possible, to download large number of files from the service.

Amazon published a support article on its website that provides additional information on the deprecation of the service.

Amazon Drive shutdown timeline

  • October 31, 2022 -- Amazon Drive applications for iOS and Android will be removed from the App stores.
  • January 31, 2023 -- Uploading new files is no longer supported.
  • December 31, 2023 -- The service is shut down. File downloads and file access is no longer provided. Mobile apps will no longer work.

Closing Words

Amazon never revealed how popular Amazon Drive was. Customers who use Amazon Drive or used it in the past have more than a year to download files that are still stored on Amazon's cloud. Alternatives, such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox, are available.

Now You: are you affected by the deprecation of the service?

Amazon is retiring Amazon Drive in 2023
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Amazon is retiring Amazon Drive in 2023
Amazon is sending out emails to customers that use Amazon Drive currently to inform them that it plans to retire the cloud storage service in 2023.
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  1. Mystique said on July 31, 2022 at 6:27 am

    These kinds of cloud storage are just about the worst thing to depend on much to the same as streaming services. You never know when they are going to pull the plug or just up and vanish.
    Cloud storage just like streaming services are purely designed to make money and hold you over a barrel. There are many people with vested interests in such companies that will tell you that its the best but that’s just a lie or you’re a victim of marketing campaigns shoving it down your throat just like the way mobile phone makers are telling you microSD cards are bad for your phone whilst they happily charge you exorbitant prices for larger capacity phones and then as a fallback they will partner with some cloud storage service or have their own (samsung tried it) that you subscribe to also.

    I will happily set up my own service through a NAS and be the master of my own domain than depend on services such as this.

    Free Hosting services are just as good for what most people would use these services for.

  2. Fred said on July 30, 2022 at 4:51 am

    Interesting article.

    Today I learned that Amazon have Amazon drive.

  3. Anonymous said on July 30, 2022 at 12:01 am

    Haha. Local NAS for the win! I always laugh at people who buy into these deceiving cloud services.

    1. DFG said on July 31, 2022 at 2:52 am

      Any direction regarding getting a local NAS?

      All the options i see like Synology look too expensive if you have multiple drives (5 HDD slots for like +500€) and making a NAS yourself looks… a bit weird. I looked into TrueNAS and it feels like i have to do 900 steps for every single thing.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on July 30, 2022 at 6:32 am

      Cloud storage has clear advantages but also disadvantages. A good rule of thumb is to never upload anything to the Internet that you don’t want anyone else to see or have access to.

      Local storage is the way to go for anything that falls into the category, but you still have to take precautions to have backups elsewhere if the data is precious.

      1. Frankel said on July 30, 2022 at 4:16 pm

        The clear advantage being that you make a company richer and give law enforcement access to your entire digital life and office documents.

        The only legit downside i’d accept is that some NAS firmware often has security issues. Easily compensated with piVPN. Put access behind strong crypto:

        Was there any other downside? If you have 100 mbit/s download and 50 mbit/s upload it is viable. I doubt the net at your relative where you’d access the NAS from is much faster that you’d feel it, unless living in these tiny countries with barely any population and fast Gigabit internet such as switzerland.

      2. Alex said on July 31, 2022 at 6:45 am

        Downside is that if you have important data your local storage can fail. Unless you have redundancy times 10 and keep your data at different locations.
        Encrypting data before uploading to the cloud with a strong password is absolutely safe.

  4. Andy Prough said on July 29, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    >”We warned potential customers about the implications of using Amazon Drive back in 2011″
    From the 2011 article:
    >”Amazon reserves the right to look at your files. They don’t have to ask or notify you. They can even keep files you delete. They can even share this information with others. This kind of clause usually mentions something about courts, subpoenas, or some other legal context. There are no such conditions here.”

    Ghacks has always been the first to warn us about shady, privacy violating products and policies, something which I’ve appreciated greatly over the years.

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