By Nicky / Last Updated April 13, 2021


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How much storage is available on your Google Drive?

Generally, Google Drive automatically comes with 15 GB of storage space for free. With this storage space, you can back up your Gmail attachments and photos, or even upload files from your computer's hard drive that you want to store and share. Meanwhile, if 15 GB doesn't meet your storage needs, Google offers additional storage via its Google One subscription-based service.

Can you get extra storage in Google Drive for free?

15GB seems to be a generous amount, however, it is shared among three Google's programs including Google Drive, Gmail, Google Photos. This means all the messages in your Gmail inbox, plus the files saved in Drive folders, chip away from that 15GB of space. Therefore, the 15GB of shared space will be run out quickly. If you find that your Google Cloud storage is going to fill up, you do not need to upgrade your account in a hurry, you can go through some methods to optimize your storage and get extra storage beyond the initial 15GB for free.

How to increase Google Drive storage for free?

Here are some methods with detailed steps that you can go through each so often to optimize your storage and get more storage in Google Drive without buying extra storage. If the methods to optimize the cloud storage space still cannot meet your requirement or you don’t want to delete anything in your drive, you can turn to the bonus tip to get extra storage in Google Drive beyond the initial 15GB via CBackupper.

Way 1. Free up photos storage

In fact, every photo and video backed up to Google Photos in original size will count against your Google storage. But Google will offer you free unlimited storage if you back up photos and videos in “High Quality” mode, which compresses images down to 16MP and videos to 1080p. Therefore, you can free up much space by converting those original size photos and videos to “high-quality” mode.

1. Go to the Photos settings page, and select High quality (free unlimited storage).

2. On that same page, click the Recover storage button. That’ll compress your existing photos and videos and remove them from your Google storage quota.

Google Photos compress original items

Note: Starting from June 1, 2021, any new uploaded photos and videos will count toward your Google Drive quota.

Way 2. Use Google’s own file formats

Supporting you to upload files in their original format without having to convert them is a merit of Google Drive. But if you want to increase Google Drive space for free, you should store documents in Google’s own file formats i.e. Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, etc. because Google gives free unlimited storage for these formats.

Convert to Google Formats

Way 3. Don’t add shared files to drive

When other people share Drive content with you, that content doesn’t occupy any of your storage space unless you choose to add that content to your Drive. If you want to save space, don’t download shared files to your own Google Drive unless you absolutely have to.

Way 4. Empty Google Drive trash

When you delete files in Google Drive, they don’t initially delete forever. They get sent to the Trash where they can sit and accumulate. Over time, they add up and unnecessarily use up storage. Be sure to head into Trash and permanently delete files you don’t need anymore.

1. Open Google Drive and click on Trash in the left sidebar.

2. Click on the arrow next to the word Trash and click on Empty trash.

Google Drive Empty Trash

Way 5. Clean up Gmail

Emails don’t take up a ton of space, but attachments do. Cleaning up your Inbox, Spam and emptying your Gmail Bin is an excellent way to free up Drive space. To remove unneeded emails with large attachments:

Note: If necessary store the attachments in Google Drive.

1. In your Gmail search bar, type "has:attachment larger:10M" without the quote marks, then click on the Search icon

2. Select the emails you don't need and click Delete.

3. In the left sidebar (the one where you have Inbox, Sent, etc.) click on More and click on Bin.

4. At the top of the Bin page, click on Empty Bin now and confirm your action.

Clean Up Gmail

Way 6. Delete duplicate files

When you use Google Drive to store files, you may have many duplicates accidentally, and these duplicate files may take up your valuable storage. So, the thing you should do is check your Google Drive storage for duplicate files. Doing that can help you free up a hefty amount of space.

1. Open your Google Drive account. Click List View on the upper right corner.

2. Now, all your files are listed here. Long press the control key and click all useless replicas, which start with “Copy of…” or have the same name and a number in the brackets.

3. Right-click any of the selected file and click on Remove to delete all selected duplicate files at once.

4. Remember to empty your trash after deleting.

Google Drive Remove Duplicates

Way 7. Delete useless large files and drive debris

After a long period of use, chances are that you’re storing quite a few outdated files you could safely delete. You can review what you have on your Drive and delete the files, especially some large files, you don’t need anymore. In addition, apps associated with your Google Drive storage can sometimes have hidden data, but all it takes is a couple of clicks to remove it.

1. open in your browser. The largest files will be at the top of the list.

2. Look through the files and delete anything you no longer need.

3. Click the gear-shaped icon in Drive’s upper-right corner, and select Settings, followed by Manage Apps.

4. For any apps that have a note about hidden data, click the gray Options box to the right and select Delete hidden app data.

5. Empty your trash.

Google Drive Remove Duplicates

Way 8. Wait for Google Drive giveaway and promotions

You can get free giveaways from Google Drive from time to time, especially on big occasions. For example, Google gave a free 2GB of drive space to users who improved the security of their Google accounts in 2016.

Bonus tip: How to Get Google Drive Extra Storage above 15GB?

Since a Google Drive account provides 15GB of free storage, registering multiple google accounts and merging multiple Google Drive accounts into one can increase Google Drive space and let you protect more files. To achieve this aim, you can rely on a professional cloud service like CBackupper.

CBackupper is a free and web-based online cloud backup tool that allows you to combine cloud storage accounts owing to one or different cloud drives. You just need to create a CBackupper account and add your cloud storage accounts. Then, with a proper strategy, all free space of connected clouds can be combined into a huge, even unlimited space to store the backup files.

1. Please create a new CBackupper account and sign in. Just go to the main page of CBackupper, then type your email, password, and name to sign up for an account.


2. Add your cloud storage accounts owning to one or different cloud drives. Click "Add Cloud" under "Added Clouds" tab, select your clouds (here is Google Drive), and click "OK". Then sign in to your Google Drive account and authorize CBackupper to access and manage your Google Drive files.

Add Google Drive

3. Then modify the Display Name, Storage Path, Allocate Space, Related Tasks, and tick “Note: Please do not change the path directly in the third-party cloud disk, or modify or delete the backup file.” option, click OK to add Google Drive.

Modify Confirm

4. To add multiple Google Drive accounts, please repeat the above steps (step 2 and step 3). And you’d better change the default name to a unique one to distinguish.

Then you could see the multiple clouds added to CBackupper under Added Clouds tab like the following image.


Note: You can click the three-dot icon next to each cloud drive and manage Google Drive and other clouds flexibly.

Actually, besides the free web app that CBackupper offers for the cloud to cloud backup. CBackupper also provides a PC cloud backup app for Windows PC. With it, you can easily backup files to AOMEI Cloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive, and restore them whenever you need them. What's more, it offers 1000 GB huge backup space and a 15-day free trial. So, if you meet any problem when using Google Drive or want a more cost-effective cloud backup, you can download it to try.

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That’s all about how to get extra storage in Google Drive, you can follow the ways one by one to optimize your storage instead of buying extra storage for Google Drive. But if you want to get extra storage without changing anything in Google Drive, you can use CBackupper to combine multiple cloud storage accounts to get unlimited storage. And besides merging Google Drive accounts, CBackupper is also a good alternative to Google Drive that you can try it at any time.