How to Free Up Space on Google Drive: Tips and Tricks

Google Drive is a popular cloud storage platform that offers 15GB of free storage. However, if you find yourself running out of space on Google Drive and don't want to upgrade to a higher plan, there are several ways to free up storage. In this article, we will show you some tips and tricks to help you clear up space on Google Drive for both desktop and mobile devices.

Use Google Drive Storage Manager on the Web

Google Drive provides a built-in storage manager on the web that can help you identify and delete unnecessary files. Here's how to use it:

  1. Visit the Google Drive Storage manager on the web.
  2. Sign in to your Google account to access your Drive storage analysis.
  3. The storage manager will display deleted emails, spam emails, deleted Drive files, large files, and more.
  4. Review and clear files from each section to free up storage.

Google Drive for Web and Mobile

To free up space on Google Drive using the Drive web and mobile app, follow these steps:

  1. Open Google Drive on the web and click the “Storage” button from the left sidebar.
  2. Files will be categorized from large to small.
  3. Select the files you no longer need and right-click to remove them.
  4. The files will be moved to the Bin, where they will still be counted against your Drive storage. You have 30 days to restore the files before Google automatically deletes them.
  5. To free up storage, go to the Bin and manually empty it.

For mobile devices, follow these steps:

  1. Open Google Drive on your iPhone or Android device.
  2. By default, the files are filtered by name. Tap on the filter at the top and select “Storage used.”
  3. Find large files and long-press on them.
  4. Select “Remove” and move them to the Bin.
  5. Tap on the hamburger menu and go to “Trash.”
  6. Remove those files to free up Drive storage.

Use Gmail Web

To delete emails with large attachments from Gmail and free up storage on Google Drive, follow these steps:

  1. Visit Gmail on the web.
  2. Type “has:attachment larger:10M” in the search bar at the top.
  3. Gmail will filter emails with attachments larger than 10MB.
  4. Select irrelevant emails from the list and click on the Delete icon.
  5. Go to Trash and remove the emails permanently.

Google Photos Web and Mobile

To delete unnecessary photos from Google Photos on the web, follow these steps:

  1. Visit Google Photos on the web.
  2. Select pictures and videos that you no longer need.
  3. Click on the Delete icon at the top.
  4. Go to the Bin and remove the media files permanently.

For mobile devices, consider the following:

Starting from June 1, 2021, all media files uploaded to Google Photos will count against your Drive storage. To manage storage usage on mobile devices:

  1. Open Google Photos on Android or iPhone.
  2. Tap on the profile menu at the top.
  3. Go to Settings.
  4. From Back up & sync, select Storage saver to store more photos at a slightly reduced quality.
  5. You can also disable the upload process to Google Photos altogether to prevent media files from being counted against Drive storage.

Wrapping Up: Clear Up Space on Google Drive

By following these tips and tricks, you can effectively free up space on Google Drive and optimize your storage usage. If you're on a Google One family plan, you can share this article with your family members to encourage them to clear some of their storage as well. Alternatively, if you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you can consider using Microsoft OneDrive, which offers 1TB of storage with all Microsoft 365 plans.