[Update] Cricut reverses 20 image upload limit

Cricut Maker Easypress Hero
Cricut Maker Easypress Hero (Image credit: Cricut)

What you need to know

  • Cricut informed users that there would be a new monthly 20 image limit for users without Cricut Access.
  • This decision was wildly unpopular amongst Cricut users.
  • Cricut responded to the outcry by reversing the decision for people who purchase machines through 2021.

Update, March 18 (4:40 pm ET): Cricut has completely reversed the initial decision to limit users to 20 images per month including purchases made after 2021.

Cricut makes a variety of cutting machines for crafters, such as the Cricut Joy, Cricut Explore, and Cricut Maker, as well as a variety of materials and accessories. In order to use a Cricut machine, you must use Cricut's own software, Design Space. There is no way around it, no third-party apps or software you can use. Design space has some fonts and images you can also use at no charge. Up until now, you could use Design Space totally free, and upload as many images as you like. Create your own, or purchase your own elsewhere, and upload them into Design Space to cut with your Cricut machine.

There is a paid subscription, Cricut Access, which is a subscription plan that unlocks over 400 fonts and 100,000 images and cut-ready projects in Design Space. There are other added benefits to subscribing to Cricut Access, such as exclusive discounts and priority member care. Cricut Access costs $8-$10 per month, depending on which tier you choose.

Last week, Cricut announced a new limitation for users who do not subscribe to Cricut Access: 20 image or file uploads per month. For the occasional user, that's probably not a big deal. But for people who use the Cricut a lot, it's a pretty severe limit. Response in the Cricut Community was swift and angry, with many users deciding to sell their machines which they felt were being held hostage with this new policy. We reached out to Cricut, hoping to clarify what seemed to be a huge reversal of their long standing ethos.

Cricut's CEO, Ashish Arora, responded with this:

Dear Cricut Members,One of our core values is community — we're listening, and we took your feedback to heart. The foundation of our Cricut community is one of integrity, respect, and trust. It is clear that, in this instance, we did not understand the full impact of our recent decision on our current members and their machines. We apologize.Here's how we'll move forward.We will continue to allow an unlimited number of personal image and pattern uploads for members with a Cricut account registered and activated with a cutting machine before December 31, 2021. This benefit will continue for the lifetime of your use of these machines.Machine Resales or TransfersWe welcome new members to the Cricut community whether they purchase a new or pre-owned machine. If a machine is resold or transferred to a new user, the new user must set up their own Cricut account. As long as the new user creates their account and connects the machine to their account before December 31, 2021, we will grant the benefit of an unlimited number of uploads to the new user for the lifetime of their use of the machine.Schools and Education Maker SpacesWe understand that teachers, schools, and other education maker spaces have different needs for ongoing user account creation. While we don't have anything to share right now — and nothing will change before December 31, 2021 — we are looking at ways to address these ongoing needs and their relation to image uploads.FutureWe will continue to explore affordable ways for our future users who register machines after December 31, 2021 to allow an unlimited number of personal image and pattern uploads.Of course, paid Cricut Access subscribers will continue to enjoy an unlimited number of uploads along with other subscriber benefits. We will also continue to invest in our content, software, and value for all our members.

This is excellent news if you already own a Cricut or if you are looking to purchase one this year, but we still have to wonder what prompted the move in the first place? It seems so out of character, and no explanation was really given. Still, at least those who have already invested in this system are covered.

What do you think about Cricut's reversal? Will this affect your Cricut usage or your feelings towards the company?

Update, March 18 (4:40 pm ET) — Cricut removes 20 image limit entirely, even for future purchases

Cricut's initial decision to limit free image uploads to 20 images or files sparked outrage, prompting the decision to grandfather in machines purchased up through 2021. This compromise wasn't especially well-received by the online Cricut community, so Cricut repealed the decision entirely, for all Cricut users, included those purchasing machines after 2021. Cricut's CEO explained on the Cricut's website:

Dear Cricut Community,On Friday, March 12, we announced an intention to limit the number of personal images and patterns that members can upload to Design Space without a Cricut Access subscription. We updated this plan on March 16 and shared that we intended to study the matter further. My team has spent the week listening, learning, and taking in a lot of feedback. Not every decision we make is perfect, but we take every opportunity to learn and get better.So, we've made the decision to reverse our previously shared plans. Right now, every member can upload an unlimited number of images and patterns to Design Space for free, and we have no intention to change this policy. This is true whether you're a current Cricut member or are thinking about joining the Cricut family before or after December 31, 2021.We care deeply about every single member of our community, and it's your creativity that keeps us motivated, excited, and passionate every day about what we're building here at Cricut.Thank you for your candor and your commitment to our company and community. We appreciate you.ashish arora (Cricut ceo)

It's great to see that Cricut is listening to its customers. In your eyes, has the damage been reversed?

Karen S Freeman

Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at TechRadar and Tom's Guide. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, CNET, AppAdvice, and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.