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Clear Google Drive space & increase storage

Your storage is shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. To see how much space you have left, go to on a computer.

What uses my storage space?

These items take up space
  • Google Drive:
    • Most files in your "My Drive," including PDFs, images, videos.
    • Items in your Trash. Learn how to empty your trash.
    • Your storage isn't used by Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Sites.
  • Gmail: Messages and attachments, including items in your 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.)

Remove hidden data from apps in Google Drive

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

  1. Go to
  2. Click Settings Settings and then Settings.
  3. On the left, click Manage Apps.

If there is hidden app data, the amount will show 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, Sites, and files in "Shared with me."
    • 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 can see that items take up a different amount of space than they do at

  • Items in your Trash take up space in Google Drive, but aren't synced to your computer.
  • Shared items will take up space on your computer, but not Google Drive.
  • Items that are in multiple folders will be synced to all folders on 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.
What if I run out of space?

If you run out of space, all your files will stay safe, but 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 computer's 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.

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 show in the available 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: Move messages to Trash & empty your trash

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

You can also open messages individually and delete them.

Learn how to empty your Gmail trash.

Step 3: Permanently delete items in your Trash​

  • 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.

Learn how to empty your trash in Gmail.

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

Learn more about buying a storage plan.

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

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