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, on a computer, go to .

Important: When your account reaches its storage limit, you can’t send or receive emails.

What uses your storage space

Items that take up space


Sometimes, when you delete a folder from Google Drive, the files within it aren’t deleted. Such files are known as orphan files. They aren’t visible directly in Drive. You can view them by searching the keyword ‘is:unorganized owner:me’. If files show up, delete them if not needed or move them to a folder to make them visible.

Remove hidden data from apps in Google Drive

  1. On your computer, go to
  2. Click Settings Settings and then Settings.
  3. On the left, click Manage apps.
  4. If there’s hidden data, you can find the amount under the app’s description.
  5. To delete this data, click Options and then Delete hidden app data.
Items that don’t take up space
  • Google Drive: Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites, and files in “Shared with me.” These files only take up space in the owner’s Google Drive.
  • Google Photos: Photos and videos stored in “High quality.”
Storage differences in Google Drive

Items in Google Drive for your computer take up a different amount of space than the same items 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 only sync 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.
If you run out of space

All of your current files will remain, but you won’t be able to add new files. 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 run out of storage space, you can buy more storage, back up in High quality (lower resolution), or turn off back up.
  • Gmail: You won’t be able to send or receive messages.


If you use Google Drive to backup data from third-party apps, such data will also take up storage. To view such hidden data, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open from a browser.

Step 2: Click on the settings icon at the top and select Settings from it.

Step 3: On the pop-up that opens, click on Manage Apps from the left side. Scroll down, and you will see the data taken up by apps. Click on Options next to the app and select Delete hidden app data if you no longer require the data.

Empty Google Drive Trash on Web

When you delete files from Google Drive, they are not deleted permanently. They are taken to the Trash or Bin folder where they stay until you empty your trash bin manually. So, if Google Drive is showing full, you need to empty the bin to clear the storage.

Open the Google Drive website. Click on the Bin option from the left sidebar. Click on Bin drop-down at the top and select Empty Bin. Refresh the page and check the available storage.

If, after emptying the Trash, Google Drive still doesn’t free up storage, you should sign out from it. Then, sign in again.

Get more storage space

To get more space, you can delete large items or buy more storage.

Clear space

Clear space in Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos to make room for new items.

Delete files by size in Google Drive
  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.

Tip: Within 24 hours, deleted items 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.
  2. Click Search Search
    Note: Replace “10” with a higher number to delete larger files.
  3. Select the emails you don’t need, then click Delete Delete.
  4. On the left side of the page, click More and then Trash.
  5. 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”

Change your photos and videos from “Original quality” to “High quality,” which doesn’t take up storage space.

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

Move photos & videos to Trash

  1. On your computer, go to
  2. Point to an item you want to move to Trash.
  3. At the top left, click Select Select.
  4. At the top right, click Delete Delete and then Move to trash.