Humans have evolved so much over time and so have their ways to store their data. We used to use large storage lockers, which were replaced by huge machine vessels which store a few megabytes of memory. As time passed the means of storage became compact and larger in size, but now the future lies in online cloud storage and many people are shifting towards it. Many online services exist that provide online storage for important files and folders, but the most popular and reliable is Google Drive.
Google Drive allows us to view documents, presentations, and spreadsheets and play audio or video files. It also provides us with the ability to share these documents with other people to work in a collaborative manner and then save all these files to keep them secure. Google Drive is extremely functional, but the downside comes in the form of its low storage space which is limited to just 15 GB of free storage per Google Account. Even though this storage can be expanded by purchase, a lot of people don’t prefer it. This article will focus on how you can manage space in Google Drive and what you should do in case your Google Drive has run out of storage space.
First, try to see how much storage is left in your Drive, this will help you determine if you need to manage space or not. In order to do so follow these steps.
Step 1: Search ‘Google Drive’ in your Browser.
Step 2: Click on the link and choose your Google Account or log into one.
Step 3: In the left sidebar, your remaining storage will be displayed.
The following solutions will help you manage space on your Google Drive account.
SOLUTION 1: Clear your Trash
We all are aware of the ‘Recycle Bin’ found inside all windows computers. A similar concept was placed inside Google Drive which is known as ‘Trash’. When we delete files from Drive they get stored in the trash for a limited time, in case we change our mind, we can recover these deleted files. As the files are not permanently deleted, they still take up your storage space. So it is recommended to get rid of the files you don’t want permanently so they don’t hinder your Drive experience. You may follow these steps to empty your trash.
Step 1: Go to your Browser and search ‘Google Drive’ and click on the link.
Step 2: Log in to Google Drive using your Google Account.
Step 3: In the left sidebar, the ‘Trash’ option will be visible. Click on it.
Step 4: On the right side of your screen the ‘Empty Trash’ option will be visible.
Step 5: You will be presented with a warning. Click on the ‘Delete forever’ button and all the files in the trash will be permanently deleted. This way you will be able to recover some storage space.
SOLUTION 2: Compressing the Uploaded Files
The photos and videos that are on your phone get backed up to your account which is logged in on Google Photos. These files also take up your cloud storage, especially when they are in a higher resolution. It is a nice perk to have, that the moments you captured safely get backed up and you can easily access them on multiple devices, hence the shareability increases too. However, this does affect your Drive Cloud Storage, reducing it by a considerable size. We recommend that you ‘Compress’ these files instead of letting them upload in their ’Original’ form, choose the ‘High Quality’ option instead. This will save you a lot of useful memory and your image quality will remain decent. In order to do so, you can follow these steps.
Step 1: Log in to Google Photos.
Step 2: Access the ‘Settings’ by clicking on the ‘Cog’ icon.
Step 3: Choose the ‘Storage Saver’ option and your settings will be saved.
Now your backed-up Photos will consume less space than usual and they will be of a slightly lesser quality, which is a small price to pay, to free up some space in your Drive.
SOLUTION 3: Clear Drive’s cache from the Web and the App
Even though cache makes it easier for us to access the drive by providing faster loading speeds and by saving some necessary information to make our work more efficient. However, when the cache gets accumulated, it can cause a lot of problems and take up unnecessary space on your Drive. We recommend that you clear your cache regularly by following these steps.
Step 1: Access Google Drive from your Chrome browser.
Step 2: Click on the small ‘padlock’ icon and a small menu will appear.
Step 3: Now click on the ‘Site Settings’ and a new window will open. These site settings are special settings for a particular website.
Step 4: This menu will show Drive’s usage, cookies, and the permissions it requires to function. Click on the ‘Clear Data’ button.
Step 5: A warning will appear. It is important to note that all your offline data will be lost and your Drive account will be logged out. Click on the ‘Clear’ button. This way the cached data will be cleared and you will be able to free up some space.
Step 1: Go to your device ‘Settings’.
Step 2: Navigate through ‘Settings’ and locate ‘Apps & notifications’ and access it.
Step 3: Press on the ‘SEE ALL APPS’ buttons and a list of all the apps installed on your phone will appear.
Step 4: Locate the ‘Google Drive’ application and tap on it.
Step 5: In this ‘App Info’ menu press on the ‘Storage & cache’ option.
Step 6: Press the ‘CLEAR CACHE’ button, to delete the cached data of the Drive app.
SOLUTION 4: Deleting Gmail Attachments
The attachments you receive through Gmail, get stored on the Cloud Storage, hence these attachments take up space on your Drive as well. Especially, if you receive a large number of attachments via email, due to work or any other reason. The larger the attachments, the more space they will consume. In order to delete your emails on Gmail, you can follow these steps.
Step 1: Go to your browser and search ‘Gmail login’ and open the relevant link.
Step 2: Log in to your Gmail account and access your emails.
Step 3: Now go through the emails manually and look for emails that have large attachments.
Step 4: Right-click on the email you want to delete and click on the ‘Delete’ button. Your email will be moved to the trash.
Step 5: In the left sidebar reveal more options.
Step 6: Scroll to find the ‘Trash’ option and click on it.
Step 7: Check the ‘box’ to select all files in the ‘Trash’.
Step 8: A ‘Delete forever’ button will appear. Click on this button to permanently delete your emails.
You can use the has:attachment larger:10M command by typing it into the ‘Search Bar’ of Gmail. This will help you filter out emails that have attachments larger than 10 MBs. You can also change the filter to look for smaller files, by changing the ‘10’ numbers by the desired amount.
SOLUTION 5: Delete Hidden App Data
There are a lot of third-party apps that can affiliate themselves to your drive account and they start utilizing its space, hence reducing the storage space for you to use. The third-party apps tend to leave their backup files on your Google Drive and this data is hidden. But Google Drive allows you to delete these hidden residual files. To get rid of ‘hidden files’ follow these steps.
Step 1: Open Drive from your browser.
Step 2: Access the settings by clicking on the ‘Cog’ icon.
Step 3: On the left, three options would be visible, and click on the ‘Manage Apps’.
Step 4:A list of apps will appear. If the options are accessible and they allow you to ‘Delete hidden app data’ you may click on this button to free up some storage space.
SOLUTION 6: Remove Unnecessary files from your Drive
This perhaps Is the most obvious method on this list and that is to remove the files you no longer need you’re your drive. These could be the files that you have used once and you will never need again, it could be extremely old photos, or even unnecessary documents or spreadsheets. You can delete a file or a folder on Drive by following these quick and easy steps.
Step 1: Go to Google Drive on your browser.
Step 2: In the ‘My Drive’ section all your files and folders will be displayed.
Step 3: Right-click on any file or folder to reveal a menu.
Step 4: This menu will allow you to perform various tasks. Click on ‘Remove’ and your file will be moved oooo the ‘Trash’ section of Drive.
Step 5: If a removed file is left unattended it will stay in the ‘Trash’ for 30 Days. In order to delete a file from the trash you can access the ‘Trash’ section from the left sidebar.
Step 6: Here a list of all your removed items will be displayed. You can choose specific files you want to delete or you can delete all the files in ‘Trash’ by clicking the ‘Empty trash’ in the top right corner.
As we discussed earlier, Google Drive provides the ability to work collaboratively and share files with each other. If a file or a folder is shared with you, you have the option to save it to your Drive as well if necessary, otherwise these shared files do not occupy your storage on Drive. So it is recommended to not save such shared folders or files, not unless it is extremely important. In case you already have shared folders and files, it is recommended that you remove them, however before you remove such files to ensure no content is lost on behalf of all the collaborators of a file ask the other users to back up the content.
It is extremely important to manage your cloud storage if you are not keen on buying more storage. A lot of users keep dumping their files on Google Drive, without realizing the fact that their space could very well run out. So, keep a check on the bar which indicates storage on your Drive, to maintain the storage capacity and avoid any space-related inconveniences.