By Ailsa / Last Updated March 19, 2021

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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 community.spiceworks.com

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 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 you are offline (cannot 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.

Solutions to Google File Stream Taking Up Space

If you find the Google Drive File Stream disk 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:

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

Delete Google Drive File Stream Cache Folder Windows

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:

Please go to Drive File Stream > Settings icon > Preferences... > Local cached files directory.

Google Drive File Stream Cache Location

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

Mac Finder Library

Note: 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. 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 is pretty much bigger. Hence, to free up space, you have to disable the Available Offline and enable Online Only option. Here are the steps to fix Google Drive File Stream taking up space on Windows/ Mac:

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

Enable Online Only

Enable Online Only Mac

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 Windows backup software AOMEI Backupper Standard, which is dedicated to syncing files to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc with simples clicks. Please download AOMEI Backupper Standard to have a try:

Step 1. Select Sync tab at the left, then choose Basic Sync.

Basic Sync

Step 2. Click + Add Folder button to select the folders to sync to Google Drive. Edit Task Name if required.

Add Folder

Step 3. Tap the triangle icon > Select a cloud drive > choose Google Drive, and hit OK.

Sync Select A Cloud Drive

Select Google Drive

Step 5. Press Start Sync >> button to sync files to Google Drive automatically.

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

What If Google File Stream Storage 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, and 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 CBackupper to merge multiple Google Drive accounts to gain extra storage space for free.

1. Please create a new CBackupper account, and sign in.

Sign Up

2. Tap Added Clouds > Add Cloud, choose Google Drive, and click Add. Then follow the guide to allow CBackupper access to your Google account.

Add Cloud

3. Customize the Display Name, edit the Storage Path, Allocate Space, and other settings, then 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.

Add Google Drive Edit Setting

4. Then repeat the 2-3 steps to add other Google File Stream accounts.

Now, your Google Drive storage space has been increased, and you could backup files to Google Drive freely.

Write in the End

Google Drive File Stream taking up space and there is no 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 full, you could increase Google Drive storage for free with CBackupper.