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Clear Google Drive space & increase storage

Your Google Drive storage limit is shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. See what takes up your Google Drive storage space.

What uses my storage space?

These items take up space
  • Google Drive: Most files in your "My Drive," including PDFs, images, videos, and items in your Trash. Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms do not use your storage. Learn how to empty your trash.
  • Gmail: Messages and attachments, including items in Spam and Trash folders.
  • Google Photos: Photos and videos stored using the "Original" size. (You can change the size so photos and videos don't use storage. Learn more about photo storage.)

Note: Some apps may store "hidden data" in Google Drive. To view how much data is used:

  1. Go to
  2. Click Settings Settings.
  3. Click Manage Apps.

If there is hidden app data, the amount will appear under the app description. To delete this data, click Options and then Delete hidden app data.

These items don't take up space
  • Google Drive: Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and files in "Shared with me." Note: Files only take up space in the owner's Google Drive.
  • Google Photos: Photos and videos stored using the "High Quality" size. Learn how to change the size in Settings.
Storage differences in Google Drive

When you use Google Drive for your computer, you may notice that items take up a different amount of space than they do at

  • Items in your Trash take up space in Google Drive, but are not synced to your computer.
  • Shared items will take up space on your computer, but not Google Drive.
  • Items that are included in multiple folders will be synced multiple times to your computer, taking up more space.
  • If you're only syncing some folders to your computer, the storage on your computer will be less than what is shown on Google Drive.
  • Your computer may show a slightly different file size than because of Mac or PC requirements.

Get more storage space

To get more space, we recommend deleting large items or buying more storage.

OPTION 1: Clear space

Clear space in Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos to make room for new items. Here are some ways to do that.

Google Drive

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

  1. Use a computer to see your files listed from largest to smallest.
  2. Put files you don't want in your trash, then permanently delete them. Learn how to delete files.
  3. Within 24 hours, the items you deleted will reflect in the increased space in your Google Drive account.

Step 1: Find large messages to delete

Use a computer to search for your largest messages in Gmail.

Step 2: Send messages to Trash

Click the checkbox next to messages you want to delete, then click Trash.

You can also open messages individually and delete them.

Step 3: Permanently delete items in your Trash

  1. Hover over the list on the left side of your Gmail (where "Sent Mail" and "Drafts" are listed).
  2. At the bottom of the list, click More (you might need to scroll down).
  3. Click Trash.
  4. Carefully review your messages. To move a message you don't want to delete, select the message and click Move to.
    • Delete messages individually: Select the message, then click Delete forever.
    • Delete all messages: Click Empty Trash now.

Keep in mind that:

  • If you delete a message that's in the Trash, you won't be able to restore it later.
  • Messages that are in the Trash will be automatically deleted after 30 days. They can't be restored later.
Google Photos

If you store photos and videos using the "Original" size, you can delete unwanted or accidental photos and videos to clear up space. Keep in mind that "High quality" photos don't take up storage space.

Learn how to delete items in Google Photos.

OPTION 2: Buy more space

You can buy a storage plan here.

If you're an administrator for work, school, or another organization, learn how to buy more storage for your organization.

Frequently asked questions

How much space do I have left?

Go to on a computer to see how much storage you have.

What if I run out of space?

If you run out of space, you won't be able to store new things. For example:

Google Drive: You won't be able to sync or upload new files, and syncing between your Google Drive folder and My Drive will stop. You'll still be able to create Google documents because they don't take up any storage space.

Google Photos: You'll only be able to upload new photos and videos stored at High quality.

Gmail: Messages people send to you will be returned to them.

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

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