How to Reduce your Google Account Storage

Emma Crameri Emma Crameri has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
on 29 January 2021

Did you get the email notification from Google about their new storage policies?

The storage policies cover your Google Accounts using Gmail, Google Drive (including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard files) and/or Google Photos.

Here are a number of ways to reduce your Google’s Account Storage ahead of these changes:

Google Storage Manager

You can manage your account storage via the Google Storage Manager. The storage manager is a handy webpage that allows you to see a snapshot of where you are using up your storage space.

Discarded items

The discarded items include deleted emails, spam and deleted files.

  • Delete contents of your bin folder: Although messages that have been in the Bin for more than 30 days will be deleted automatically, you can go to the bin and delete them at any time.
  • Delete contents of your spam folder: While you are here, go to the spam folder and delete everything.
  • Permanently delete your deleted files: These are files that you’ve moved to the bin but that haven’t been permanently deleted.

Large items

The large items section covers emails with large attachments, large files and large photos and videos.

I discovered my largest files were raw photos and raw videos, and mostly large PDF files. Depending on how you use multimedia, you may like to shoot in a lower resolution, as a way to prevent too many large files being created in future.

Other files

Fortunately, I didn’t have anything in the other files section. This is for any unsupported videos – Videos that Google Photos can’t process or play.


Google Drive

Google Drive is another way to reduce your storage.

If you go to your Google Drive and click on ‘Storage’ in the left-hand navigation bar. You can see a long list of your files. Then click on ‘Storage Used’ (top right-hand corner) so that your largest files are at the top of the list.

You’ll want to delete or archive any files that are over 100MB, then tackle the files over 50MB. My largest files were all PDFs and raw MP4 videos. You may like to move some of these off Google and back them up to your hard-drive and/or an external drive.

You might not be able to fix your Google storage issues in one session. I’d recommend breaking it down – and taking a couple of short bursts over the week to reduce your digital clutter and files online.

All Google Accounts include 15 GB of storage for free. If this isn’t enough space or you don’t have the time to delete and archive files, then you can always pay extra for more storage space and functionality.

Handy Google Resources

Manage your account storage: Make storage space across Gmail, Google Photos and Google Drive when you can review and remove extra, discarded and large items.

Find or change your storage

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