Google Drive: Is your Google Drive on the brink of overcrowding? Learn how to track and delete personalized files, large videos, PDFs, and things you no longer need.
Have you received a warning that your Google Drive storage is about to run out? If so, it is time to identify the most common files. Decide which ones you can delete to create space. And possibly prevent people from sharing files with you in the future.
The process for freeing up space in Google Drive. Is basically the same whether you have a personal or organizational account for Google Workspace. The details of what you see and what options you have vary slightly, with one major difference. Personal account administrators can use the tool from One Google to help them identify large files. In any case, the real process is to find the files you don’t need. And delete them — from your Drive and then Trash, too. Trash files are counted against your storage, so don’t forget to delete them.
Another option is to pay for extra space, starting at the most reasonable $ 19.99 per year per 100GB. Recent upgrade options point you to Google One. Which adds a few benefits out of storage, such as phone backups and extended support.
First, Check Your File Deletion Options
Before you download all kinds of files from Google Drive, consider what you really want to do with it. For example, you may be able to delete old, full stop files. Old men, they are useless, just remove them, right?
It is possible. But for some files, you can download them first. And store the copy elsewhere, such as on your hard drive. Backup drive (either an external drive or an online backup program), or a separate cloud storage service. Once you have saved another copy, you can delete it from Google Drive. This option only works if you have a lot of space available elsewhere.
You can download files to your hard drive, compress them into a ZIP file. Delete the original from Google Drive, and then upload the ZIP file to Google Drive. Let me emphasize the “possible” and add that I do not recommend this strategy because it is very disruptive and only works a bit in freeing up space. But you could do it.
How to Use Google One Storage Manager (Personal Account Only)
With your personal Google Account — which is a work account — you can go to the Google Storage Manager page at one.google.com/storage/management. This link is not easily seen anywhere in your account, but it is incredibly helpful in freeing up space in Google Drive and across your Google Account.
The link takes you to a page with a summary of the major Google files that you have identified and where they live, such as Drive, Gmail, your Spam folder, and more. From there, select the category you want to identify, click the related text displayed (such as “Update and release 2.3MB”), and follow the instructions for selecting the documents, photos, or videos you will delete. If you finally click the Trash icon to remove it, Google will warn you if what you throw away cannot be recovered, so listen.
How to Find and Delete Large Files (Personal and Business Accounts)
If you believe that a lot of your storage problems are coming from your files, as opposed to the files other people have shared with you, start with this process of finding and extracting large files.
Log in to your Google Account and navigate to Drive (drive.google.com).
On the left, click Storage. It is next to the cloud icon.
The opening view shows all your files sorted by size. Depending on the type of Google Account you have, you may also see a summary of how your storage is used across all applications, such as the amount used by Gmail, Drive, and Photos.
Save the sorted files so you can view the largest files you can download first. If you see a very large file and are not sure what it is, you can preview it by clicking.
To delete individual files, right-click (or Ctrl-click) on them and select Delete. You may see information that asks you to confirm that you want to move the file to the trash. You can also bulk files. Or, hold down the Cmd or Ctrl key as you select multiple files offline. When everything you want to delete is highlighted, right-click and select Delete.
The last step is to trash, select all the files in it, and then right-click to select Delete Forever.
There is another way to see the same information. Go to Settings> General> Storage. There you will see View Storage Items or Manage Storage, depending on the type of Google account you have. Click anywhere, and you will end up in the same situation as described above.
How to Extract Shared Files in Google Drive
If most of your storage problems are due to files shared by others, you may want to identify those files for deletion. I’ll tell you how to do it here, but you may want to prevent people from sharing files with you in the future, again, which I cover in the next section.
From your main Google Drive view, select Shared Left. You may need to wrap your My Drive folder to easily view it.
Although you can filter this list of shared files by date (shared date, last modification, last opening, etc.) you can not, sadly, adjust it by file size.
You may need to hunt and pack to find files to delete. Select a file or select bulk, then right-click and select Delete.
How to Block Unwanted Shared Files in Google Drive
If you are tired of spam, lost relatives, and other people who share files with you on Google Drive, you can prevent them from doing so in the future.