By Ailsa twitter/ Last Updated January 31, 2023

Why Do You Need Cloud Backup?

  • Are you afraid of accidentally losing the data stored on your hard drive?
  • Are you anxious that there is not enough space locally for backup?
  • Are you panicked that you have lost all local backups due to local accidents?
  • Backup all your data to the cloud offsite, never lose data and recover them from any PC.

Eliminate all your concerns with the Best Cloud Backup service - CBackup

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Google Drive File Stream Taking Up Space?

"My team just started using Google Drive File Stream as it is much more simple and easy to use. The only problem is that we found there is a limit with our "Unlimited Storage" with 5 g-suite users or more. On the created partition by Drive File Stream, it shows this image:

Google Drive File Stream Disk Full

Why Google Drive File Stream disk full and taking up space so much? And how to free up space for the Google Drive File Stream?"

Question from

Does Google Drive File Stream Taking Up Space?

As a matter of fact, Google Drive File Stream (Google Drive for Desktop) does not take up space, because the Drive files are stored in the Google Cloud storage unless turning on the Available offline feature for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

The Google Drive File Stream available offline feature allows you to view and edit Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides files even if you are offline (cannot be connected to the Internet). If you edited the files when you’re offline, these changed files will be synced back to the Google cloud when you’re online, then all the files will be updated everywhere. 

2 Solutions to Google File Stream Taking Up Space

If you find the disk of Google Drive File Stream (which has been renamed Drive for desktop) is full or taking up space, you could try the following solutions to free up space for your hard disk.

Way 1. Google Drive File Stream Clear Cache

Clearing cache for Google File Stream will fix general problems. So, where is the Google Drive File Stream cache location? The cache location is here:

  • Windows: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\DriveFS

  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Google/DriveFS

Therefore, you could try the below steps to clear cache for Mac or Windows to fix Google Drive File Stream taking up space problem:

For Windows:

1. Please press Win + R key combination, and paste %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\, and hit Enter.

Delete Google Drive File Stream Cache Folder Windows

2. Select DriveFS folder, choose Delete.

Delete File Stream Cache Folder Windows

Or you could add the ContentCacheMaxKbytes QWORD registry key under Computer/HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Google\DriveFS, and give it a decimal value 100000, it will the cache once it hits 100 MB.

Google Drive File Stream Delete Cache Registry Key

Drive File Stream Delete Cache Value

To make the registry patch to work, please uninstall Google Drive File Stream, clear File Stream cache directory, update the registry, then install Drive File Stream.

For Mac:

1. Please go to Drive File Stream > Settings icon > Preferences... > Local cached files directory. (The steps are consistent on Drive for desktop)

Google Drive File Stream Cache Location

2. To delete the DriveFS cache directory using Terminal and it also deletes credentials:

$ rm -rf ~/Library/Application\ Support/Google/DriveFS/

If you would like to clear cache without deleting credentials, you can just delete the numeric directory cache from Google Drive File Stream:

$ rm -rf ~/Library/Application\ Support/Google/DriveFS/[0-9]*

Or you could use Finder to delete the DriveFS folder, and the library folder may be hidden, to find it, please open Finder > click Go > hold Option > select Library.

Mac Finder Library

Tips: Be careful to clear the Google Drive for desktop cache. Because files will be deleted from the cache location if you clear the cache before an upload is complete, that file will be lost.

If you want to open files on your computer, it’s cannot open, you have to quit the Google Drive File Stream and restart, then sync files.

Way 2. Make Google Drive Files Online Only

Although Google Drive File Stream does not occupy your hard disk and the files Online Only option is selected by default, you might get some files and folders available Offline, and the files and folders are pretty much bigger. Hence, to free up space, you have to disable the Available Offline and enable the Online Only option. Here are the steps to fix Google Drive File Stream taking up space on Windows or Mac:

Click the Google Drive icon on your desktop, and go to My Drive, right click the files you want to keep only in the cloud, select the Online only option from the Google Drive File Stream menu:

Offline Access Online Only

3 Ways for Google Drive Taking Up Space

Now, Google Drive File Stream is replaced by Google Drive for desktop, if you still find Google Drive taking up space on your computer, there is some information you should know. Only the following items take up space on your hard drive:

  • Shared items will take up space on your computer, but not in Google Drive.
  • Google Drive duplicate files take up more space on your hard drive.
  • If you choose Mirror Files instead of Stream Files in Google Drive for desktop app, all the Google Drive files will be stored on your computer and take up space.

According to the above information, here are some tips for you to free up space for your computer:

1. Remove the Google Drive shared files that you don't need anymore.

2. Remove Google Drive duplicate files.

3. Choose Stream Files to save Google Drive online and use disk space only when you use files or make files available offline.

Tip 1. Best Way to Save Disk Space without Taking Up Space

To sync files to Google Drive without taking up hard drive space, please try the free cloud backup software CBackup, which is dedicated to backing up and syncing files to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc with simple clicks. After that, you could delete the local files, and the files on the Google Drive will keep the original files.

Please download CBackup to have a try:

Download CBackup Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

1. Please create a new CBackup account for free and sign in to your account.

2. Navigate to Storage > choose Google Drive or any other cloud drive, and click Authorize Now. Follow the guide to allow CBackup to access your cloud drive account. 

Add Google Drive

3. Select the Sync tab at the left, then choose Sync PC to Public Cloud.

Sync PC to Public Cloud

4. Edit Task Name if required, select the folders to sync in Source, and choose a Google Drive folder as the target. Then press the Start Sync button to sync files to Google Drive automatically.

Start Sync Files to Google Drive

★Tips: There are some functions you could set up in Settings (lower left corner):
You could enable scheduler to sync files to cloud on regular basis, like one time, daily, weekly or monthly.
Enable email notification will send you the email about the sync result when the task is finished.
File filter helps you to exclude or include the file types you want.

Sync Scheduler

Then you could delete the local folders manually, and it will save your hard drive space and keep the files online only.

Tip 2. What If Google File Stream Storage is Full?

Besides, if you are currently using the Google Drive personal account with 15 GB free storage space, or Google G-Suite Basic account or Business Starter with 30 GB storage, the storage space will be filled up quickly with your files. Is there any way to increase Google Drive storage for free? The answer is definitely.

If you have multiple Google Drive accounts, it’s highly recommended to try the free cloud backup service CBackup to merge multiple Google Drive accounts to gain extra storage space for free.

1. Tap Storage > + Add Cloud, choose the cloud drive you wanna add, and click Add. Then follow the guide to allow CBackup access to your Google account.

My Storage Add Cloud

2. Customize the Cloud name, edit the Storage path, then tick "Note: Please don't modify or delete the CBackup path or backup files in your Google Drive account." option, and click OK.

Complete Google Drive Info

3. Then repeat the 1-2 steps to add other Google File Stream accounts, and click + Add Combined Cloud under Storage. then follow the guides to merge Google Drive storage space.

My Storage New Combined Cloud

Now, your Google Drive storage space has been increased, and you could backup files to Google Drive combined cloud freely by clicking Backup > Backup PC to Combined Cloud.

Besides, there are some other valuable functions of CBackup might help you a lot while performing online backup:

Transfer Google Drive to another directly within minutes, there is no need to download from one cloud and re-upload manually to another cloud.
Backup files to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and other clouds directly and easily.
Combine multiple Google Drive accounts to increase Google Drive storage space for free.

Write in the End

Google Drive File Stream taking up space and there is not enough space for storing files. Try the above 2 ways to fix it, or try the better way to sync files to Google Drive. If the Google Drive File Stream storage is full, you could increase Google Drive storage for free with CBackup.

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