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Set storage limits for your users

Supported editions for this feature: Business Starter, Business Standard, and Business Plus; Enterprise Standard and Enterprise Plus; Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Education Plus; Essentials, Enterprise Essentials, and Enterprise Essentials Plus; Nonprofits. Compare your edition

Education customers go to Set storage limits.

To free up space in your own Google Account, go here instead.

Business Starter customers: Pooled storage is rolling out to you as of May 2023. Storage limits greater than 30 GB set in the Admin console won't take effect until your organization is moved to pooled storage.

To allocate your organization’s pooled storage, set a storage limit for your users. When a user goes to My Drive, they then see a status bar showing how much storage they’re using. As they reach their limit, they're prompted to free up more space.

If you don't set storage limits:

  • Drive storage for any user is limited only by the total pooled storage for your organization.
  • Users don't see storage limit indicators in Google Workspace products.

Tip: You can also set storage limits for shared drives.

On this page

Set storage limits for users

Set a storage limit for users in an organizational unit

Before you begin: If needed, learn how to apply the setting to a department or group.

Important: Before setting a limit for a configuration group, make the group a filtering group. Then wait 24-48 hours before setting the storage limit. For details, on this page, go to Set a limit for a configuration group.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Storage.
  3. In the Storage settings section, click Manage.

  4. (Optional) To apply the setting only to some users, at the side, select an organizational unit (often used for departments) or configuration group (advanced). Show me how

    Group settings override organizational units. Learn more

  5. If the User storage limit section isn't open already, click it.
  6. Select On and enter the amount of storage allowed for each user.
  7. Click Save. Or, you might click Override for an organizational unit.

    To later restore the inherited value, click Inherit (or Unset for a group).

    Important: If any users in an organizational unit already exceed the storage limit, you are warned. For configuration group members, you're warned only if the group is set as a filtering group. For details, on this page go to Some users already exceed your new storage limit.

For Gmail and Google Photos, it can take up to 24 hours for the storage limit to apply. For Google Drive, the storage limit applies after the user next adds or edits a file.

After you apply a user storage limit, users see a status bar in Drive that shows how much storage they’re using and alerts them if they're low on storage.

Example storage limit scenarios

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Set a default storage limit for all users in your organization
Select your top organizational unit and turn on a user storage limit. For example, if you set a 10-GB user storage limit, all users have a 10-GB individual storage limit unless you override that storage limit with storage limits on child organizational units or groups.
Set a storage limit for one user
Put the user in an organizational unit or a configuration group. Then set a storage limit for that organizational unit or group.
Set a limit for users in an organizational unit
If you want members in an organizational unit to have more or less storage than the default, first set the default limit then select the organizational unit that should have a different limit. For example, if you set a 10-GB user storage limit on the top organizational unit, you can set an individual storage limit of 20 GB for all users in the “Marketing” organizational unit. The 20-GB storage limit overrides the default storage limit of 10 GB.
Set a limit for a configuration group

Perhaps you want to limit users in your Marketing and Sales organizational units to 50 GB storage. But a few photographers in these departments need more storage. Use a configuration group to give the photographers extra storage, like this:

  1. Create a Photographers group, and add the photographers to the group.
  2. Important: Make the group a filtering group, so your Admin console can alert you if any members exceed your proposed new limit, before you save the change. Then wait 24-48 hours.
  3. Set a storage limit for the Marketing and Sales organizational units of 50 GB.
  4. Set a storage limit for the Photographers group of 500 GB.

People in the Photographers group will have a limit of 500 GB,  while their colleagues in Sales and Marketing will be limited to 50 GB.

How users experience storage limits

With storage limits turned on, when users go to My Drive, they see a status bar of how much storage they’re using. 

As they reach their storage limit, an alert at the top of My Drive says either “Storage low” or “Storage full.” They can then click a Free up space button to learn how to clear up files.

When users exceed storage limits

When users go over their storage limits, the following happens immediately:

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

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

Storage limit warning messages

You may see warnings or error messages when you try to apply a storage limit to users. The following are common error messages and ways to resolve them.

Expand section  |  Collapse all & go to top

Some users already exceed your new storage limit

When you apply a user storage limit to an organizational unit or configuration group, some users might already use more storage than your policy allows. Before the limit is applied, you’ll see a warning that some users may exceed your new limit. If you continue, those users can’t create new content until they reduce their storage.

To see an alert for users in a configuration group, you must make the group a filtering group. Then wait 24-48 hours before applying the storage setting. 

Learn more on this page at When users exceed storage limits.

Find out which users are over the limit

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Storage.
  3. Click View all users.
  4. Filter users by organizational units and by how much storage they use.
Storage limit exceeds edition limit

When you apply a storage limit policy to an organizational unit or group, some users might have a Google Workspace license that restricts their available storage to less than your storage limit. In this case, you see the following message: "Storage limits may not apply to users with existing storage restrictions".

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