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 Bin.
  • Drive: Files that you've stored in Drive, such as PDFs, images and videos. Anything that 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-hand 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 why the quotas could differ. For example, files that are in your bin 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 reach your limit

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

Delete items

As 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 formats 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 on the Sort button in the top right-hand 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 the Bin 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 complete the relevant fields.

Gmail Search Box

For even more search power, take a look at 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 10 M 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:01/01/2010 Messages sent before 1 January 2010 (using the date format yyyy/mm/dd.

Step 2: Select messages and send to the Bin

Open messages individually or select messages in bulk using the tickboxes. Send messages to the Bin using the Delete button.

Gmail Delete icon

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

  1. Tick the box in the Select button to select all messages, or use the down arrow for more options.
  2. Click on 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 the Bin.

Step 3: Permanently delete from the bin

Messages deleted from the Bin can’t be recovered.

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

First, open your Bin label:

  1. Hover over your label list on the left-hand 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 on Bin.

Next, review your messages carefully. 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 Bin 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 which 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 that the photos are deleted from the Bin 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.