Manage your storage limits

If you’re close to your storage limit, you can buy more storage or delete items.

Buy more storage

If you run out of free storage, you can buy more storage. If you’re an administrator, you can buy storage for your business.

Buy storage

Delete items

Because your storage is shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos, you might want to see where you’re using the majority of your storage space and start deleting from there.

Google Drive

Clear space in Google Drive by sorting and deleting large files that you don’t need. To sort your files by file size:

  1. Go to drive.google.com.
  2. In the bottom left, hover over your storage usage.
  3. Click Drive in the message that appears. You'll see all your files listed by file size. You can also use search to find files.
  4. Put unwanted files in your trash, then permanently delete them.
Gmail

Step 1: Find messages to delete

To find messages to delete, try using an advanced search. In Gmail, click the down arrow in the search box and enter some words you’d like to search for. You can search for emails that have attachments, or by size, sender, or other criteria.

Gmail Search Box

Here are a few examples to get you started:

Operator Example Meaning
larger: larger:10M All messages of at least 10M bytes (10,000,000 bytes) in size.
has:attachment from:david has:attachment Messages from David that have an attachment.
filename: filename:jpg Messages that have JPG image attachments.
older: older:2010/01/01 Messages sent before January 1, 2010 (using the date format yyyy/mm/dd.

Step 2: Select messages and send to Trash

Open messages individually or select multiple messages using the checkboxes. At the top, click the trashcan to send messages to the Trash folder.

Gmail Delete icon

If you find a group of messages that you want to send to Trash all at once:

  1. Check the box in the Select button to select all messages, or use the down arrow for more options.
  2. Click Select all conversations that match this search directly above the message list.
  3. Click the trashcan to send all selected messages to the Trash folder.

Step 3: Permanently delete

If you delete a message from the Trash folder, you can't get it back. Messages in Trash will be permanently deleted after 30 days, but you can permanently delete them yourself to free up space.

First, open your Trash folder:

  1. Hover over the list on the left side of your Gmail (where “Sent Mail” and “Drafts” are listed).
  2. Click More at the bottom of your label list (you may need to scroll down).
  3. Click Trash.

Next, carefully review your messages. If you see a message that you don’t want to delete, select the message and use the Move to button to move it to your Inbox or one of your other labels.

Gmail Move to icon

Finally, you can delete messages individually using the Delete forever button, or all messages at once using the Empty Trash now link directly above the message list.

Google Photos

In Google Photos, you may want to delete blurry images, accidental videos, and photos of the inside of your pocket. Keep in mind that "High quality" photos don't count toward your storage limit.

Learn how to delete photos in Google Photos.

Matt is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about the page.

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