Manage storage in Google Workspace

2. Set storage limits and free up storage space

Education customers go to Set storage limits


By default, users have no storage limits other than the pooled storage limit that applies to your whole organization. If you haven’t set limits, users in your organization will not see storage limit indicators in Google Workspace products.

To set limits:

You must be signed in as a super administrator for this task.

Before you begin: To apply the setting for certain users, put their accounts in an organizational unit (to set by department) or a configuration group (to set for users across or within departments).

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using an account with super administrator privileges (does not end in

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu ""and then"" Storage.
  3. In the Storage settings section, click Manage.
  4. At the left, click the entity you want to apply a storage limit to:
    • Organizational unit–Click the organizational unit.
    • Group–Click Groups. Click the search field and begin entering the name of the group, then click the group.

      Note that group storage limits always override organization storage limits, and you can arrange which groups override each other through group settings. Learn more about configuration groups

  5. For User storage limit, choose On and set the amount of storage.

    Note: You can’t increase a user's storage above what’s included with their license for the following editions: Business Starter, Frontline, Cloud Identity, Essentials Starter, G Suite Basic, G Suite Business, or any Archived User license. For example, if a user has a Frontline license, which includes 2 GB, and you set a storage limit of 30 GB, they’re still limited to 2 GB.

  6. Click Save. For Gmail and Photos, it can take up to 24 hours for the storage limit to apply. For Drive, the storage limit applies after the user next uploads, creates, or edits a file.

To specify individual storage limits, turn on this setting for your entire organization, organizational units, or groups. For example, if you select your top organizational unit and turn on a 10 GB storage limit, all users in your Google Workspace will have a 10 GB individual storage limit.

If you want members in an organizational unit called “Marketing” to have more storage, you can set an individual storage limit of 20 GB for all users in this specific organization unit. This storage limit will then override the base storage limit of 10 GB for members of this organizational unit to 20 GB.

Similarly, you can also add individual storage limits to groups. For example, you might have a few photographers in the “Marketing” organizational unit who need more storage than the other users. You could create a group named “Photographers” and turn on a storage limit of 500 GB to this photography group. Now anyone added to the photography group will automatically inherit a 500 GB storage limit.

How users experience storage limits


With storage limits turned on, when users go to Drive, they see a status bar of how much storage they’re using, and which products are using the most storage.

Users who are over the quota limits you set see alert boxes at the top of Google Drive saying either “Storage low” or “Storage full” with a button to click to Free up space, which takes them to an article instructing them how to clear up files.

What happens when users go over storage limits

If users exceed their storage quota, they can be blocked from creating Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, among other service degradations. If your user goes over storage limits:

  • They can’t upload new files or images to Google Drive.
  • They can't back up any photos and videos to Google Photos.
  • Their ability to send and receive email in Gmail will be impacted. Note: Education customers are exempt from this.
  • They can’t create new files in collaborative content creation apps like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard. Until they reduce storage use, nobody can edit or copy their affected files or submit forms owned by the user.
  • They can’t record new meetings in Google Meet.

Note: Users over storage quota can still sign in to and access their Google Workspace account and view and download files.

How to free up storage space

Message high-storage users

Email users in your organization who are top users of storage and ask them to delete large files they don’t need to store in Google Workspace. Users can view how much storage they’re using when they’re signed in to their Workspace account by going to

Email template to send to high-storage users


Your account has been identified as consuming a large amount of Google storage.

We are enforcing new storage limits in our organization, which will take effect soon [give a date if you have one]. In order to prepare, we need you to review your current storage use and delete any unnecessary files in Drive, Gmail, and Photos.

Please complete the following steps:

  1. To review your storage use and delete large or unnecessary files in Drive, go to
  2. To review and delete large or unnecessary files in shared drives, go to
  3. Consider deleting Drive content that you may have copied to a shared drive.
  4. To search for and delete unnecessary or large emails, go to Manage files in your Google Drive storage and follow instructions for Gmail.
  5. And finally, if you have larger storage needs due to projects, data sets, film production, etc. please reach out to us so we can explore other Google Cloud storage options.

[Remove if not applicable] Please review our organization's Acceptable Use Policy [Link to your Acceptable Use Policy] and make sure you're storing data in accordance with our policies.

Please complete the steps above as soon as possible.

We’ll share more information, including your specific storage limit, later this year.

Thank you,

Your friendly IT team

Delete a user to return their storage to the pool

You can delete a user from your organization to free up storage. Once deleted, reload the page to see their used storage quota added back to the organization’s pool. Note that it can take up to an hour for quota values for deleted users to update.

Note: Only delete a user after reading the warnings in Delete or remove a user from your organization.

Delete a shared drive

For shared drives that consume a lot of your pooled storage, contact the owner to see if there are alternatives. If you find the storage use is from activity outside of your Acceptable Use Policy, you can delete the shared drive. For details, see Manage shared drive users and activity.

Get more storage

If you need more storage, see Options to get more storage. For Education customers, learn how to get more storage.

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