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.
    • Note: Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Sites don't take up storage space.
  • Gmail: Messages and attachments, including items in your Spam and Trash folders.
  • Google Photos: Photos and videos stored using the "Original" size.

Remove hidden data from apps in Google Drive

  1. Go to
  2. Click Settings Settings and then Settings.
  3. On the left, click Manage Apps.
  4. If there's hidden data, see the amount under the app's description.
  5. 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 use "High Quality" size.
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?

All your files will stay safe, but you won't be able to store anything new. For example:

  • Google Drive: You won't be able to sync or upload new files. Syncing between your computer's Google Drive folder and My Drive will stop. You can still create Google documents because they don't take up any storage space.
  • Google Photos: If you store photos in Original quality and you run out of storage space, we'll ask if you want to buy more storage, back up in High quality (lower resolution), or turn off back up.
  • Gmail: Messages people send 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.

Permanently delete large emails

  1. In the Search box, type "has:attachment larger:10M", then click Search SearchNote: Replace "10" with a higher number to delete larger files.
  2. Select the emails you don't need, then click Delete Delete.
  3. On the left side of the page, click More and then Trash.
  4. At the top, click Empty Trash now.

Permanently delete emails in Spam

  1. On the left, click Spam. If you don't see Spam, click More.
  2. At the top, click Delete all spam messages now. Or, select specific emails, then click Delete forever.
Google Photos

Store photos & videos as High Quality

Clear space by changing your photos and videos from the "Original" size to the "High quality" size, which doesn't take up storage space.

  1. On a computer, go to
  2. Click Recover storage. This will not change the quality of your future uploads.

Permanently delete unwanted photos & videos

  1. On your computer, go to
  2. Place your cursor over items you want to move to trash. At the top left, click Select Select. You can also select multiple items. 
  3. At the top right, click Delete Delete.
  4. To permanently delete photos and videos, click Menu Menu and then Trash and then select the photo or video and then Delete Delete

OPTION 2: Buy more space

Learn more about buying a storage plan.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?