Your storage limit

You have 15 GB of free storage to share between Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos. Your storage use is based on which of the following items you’ve stored in these three products:

  • Gmail: All the messages and attachments in your mail, including those in Spam and Trash.
  • Drive: Files you’ve stored in Drive, like PDFs, images, and videos. Anything you’ve made with Docs, Sheets, and Slides won’t count towards your storage limit.
  • Google+ Photos: Only photos over 2048 x 2048 pixels and videos longer than 15 minutes count towards your storage limit.
If you exceed your quota limit, you'll receive warnings in each product and you'll need to correct the issue as soon as you can. Otherwise, you’ll be unable to upload additional items to your Drive or photos to Google+, and, after a period of time, incoming messages to your Gmail account will be returned to the sender and you won’t be able to send new messages.

Check your storage

You can see your storage usage and limit at the bottom of any Gmail page and at the bottom left corner of Drive on the web. You can also go to to see how you’re using your storage across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos.

Specifically in Google Drive, it's normal to see a difference in storage listed in Drive on the Web and Drive for your Mac or PC. There are many reasons the quotas could differ. For example, files that are in your trash count towards your quota on the web, but not on your desktop. Also, shared files never count towards your storage on the web, but if you move a file to "My Drive", the shared file will sync to your desktop and impact the size of your local Drive folder on your desktop.

What you can do if you hit your limit

If you are getting close to your limit, you can delete items that are taking up space or purchase additional storage.

Delete items

Since your storage is shared between 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

Files in the Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides format don’t use any of your storage space. Only stored files such as PDFs, images, and videos use storage space. Stored files can be up to 1TB each.

To clear space, look for larger files that you no longer need. An easy way to do this is to sort all your files in My Drive by file size:

  1. Open Google Drive.
  2. Click the Sort button in the upper right corner.
  3. Choose Quota used.

You can also use search to find files. Learn more about how to search your Google Drive.

Once you have found files to delete, send the files to Trash and permanently delete them from there.


Step 1: Find messages to delete

To find messages that you’re willing to part with, try using advanced search. In Gmail, click the down arrow in the search box and fill out the relevant fields.

Gmail Search Box

For even more search power, check out Gmail’s advanced search operators. Here are a few search operators 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 messages in bulk using the checkboxes. Send messages to Trash using the Delete button.

Gmail Delete icon

If you found a large set of messages that you want to send to trash all at once, follow these steps:

  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. Use the Trashcan icon Delete button to send all selected messages to Trash.

Step 3: Permanently delete from trash

Messages deleted from Trash can’t be recovered.

Messages in Trash will be permanently deleted after 30 days, but you can permanently delete them yourself to make space.

First, open your Trash label:

  1. Hover over your label 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 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+, you may have a few blurry images, accidental videos, and photos of the inside of your pocket that are taking up space. Keep in mind that photos up to 2048 x 2048 pixels and videos up to 15 minutes won't count towards your storage limit.

Learn how to delete photos in Google+. Then make sure the photos are deleted from Trash to create free space.

Purchase additional storage

You can pay for additional storage that can be shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos. Learn more about storage plan pricing.