By Kelsey / Last Updated December 30, 2020


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Photos Taking up Space in Google Drive!

“Google Photos is taking up most of my space. Anyone can help me get rid of this problem? How do I find out which are the files that take up space (they don't appear on the quota page)? And how can I free up my Google Drive space? I know that's a lot to digest, thanks in advance.”

Photos Taking Up Google Drive Space

Google Drive generously provides 15GB of storage space for newly registered users, which is generous compared with many other cloud storage services on the market. However, many users report that Google Drive photos taking up space shortly after use, which makes them feel distressed. Don’t be panic, this article will show you why photos taking up space in Google Drive and how to free up Google Drive space.

Why is Google Photos Taking So Much Space?

Google Drive and Google Photos upload photos in two formats: "High quality" and "Original quality. But only when you choose to save pictures in "High quality", Google Drive can save photos for free and unlimited. If you don't have to pay attention to the prompt displayed when installing Google Photos, or have not checked the settings of the application, you may miss the difference between the upload quality options. Uploading "Original quality" photos will quickly take up your Google Drive space.

How to Free up Google Drive Space?

This chapter will show you how to free up space when Google Drive storage full.

Method 1. Change photo storage settings

The first thing you need to do is to change the photo upload settings so that you can upload photos for free and unlimited.

Step 1. Navigate to, and select High quality (free unlimited storage).

Step 2. Then click Restore storage. This step compresses your existing photos and videos and removes them from Google's storage quota.

Convert To High Quality

Method 2. Dump the trash of Google Drive

When you delete files or folders from Google Drive, they will enter the trash until you clear them from the trash. The longer you let the garbage accumulate, the more they will occupy your storage space.

Step 1. Navigate to your Google Drive interface and click the trash can on the left side of the interface to continue.

Step 2. Click the inverted triangle icon next to Trash and click Empty trash.

Empty Trash

Method 3. Delete copy of file

Google Drive may produce duplicate files for various reasons, which you may not find at ordinary times.

Step 1. Click List View located in the upper right corner of your Google Drive interface.

Step 2. Press and hold the Control key, click the file that starts with "Copy of ...", or a file with the same name in parentheses.

Step 3. Right-click any one of the selected files, and then click Remove. Finally, remember to empty the trash.

Remove Copy Of File

Method 4. Delete old and spam E-mails

If you have been using Gmail for a while, these old useless emails will pile up for a long time, and in fact, they will take up much more space than you think.

Step 1. Navigate to your Gmail interface, select all unwanted emails, and click Delete.

Step 2. Then select More in the left sidebar of the interface and click Bin.

Step 3. At the top of the page, click Empty Bin now and click OK to confirm your action.

Clean Up Gmail

Method 5. Use other cloud drives to store files

In addition to the above methods, when the Google Drive space is used up, it is also a good choice to use other cloud drives. And now the free cloud storage service on the market, in addition to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Mega, etc. also have a good reputation.

Most cloud drives can get a certain amount of storage space by registering a new account like Google Drive. You can apply for multiple accounts to back up your data. Using CBackupper, a professional and safe third-party service, you can add these cloud drives with a small amount of space to CBackupper one by one, and then combine the small amount of space into a large backup space.

CBackupper Main Page

Tip: Backup Windows PC with CBackupper

If you have higher requirements for backing up data, or if you want to back up computer data with a higher cost performance, we recommend that you use the client of CBackupper. It is a professional cloud backup application, which is more professional than Google Drive in backing up data, and has a very high cost performance (1000GB only costs $6/month) and is liked by many users. It also offers a 15-day free trial, you can download and try it now.

Step 1. Download and install the CBackupper PC client, and then launch it.

Step 2. Create an account and use your registered account to log in.

Sign In

Step 3. Under the Tasks tab, click New Task.

Create Task

Step 4. Then click Add Source to select PC files that you need to backup, and click Start Backup to backup.

Add Source

Frequently Asked Questions about Google Account Space

In the process of dealing with Google photos taking up space, you may encounter some other questions. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and useful answers.

#1. How can I see what's taking up space in Google Drive?

You can visit to view the current storage status of your account, and you can confirm which Google product occupies the most space on this interface.

You can also follow the steps below to check the quota usage of your Google Drive. Navigate to your Google Drive account and click on Storage in the left sidebar. Here you can also see how much space you have used. Click the arrow next to Storage used in the upper right corner of the page to filter files by size (arrow down, arranged from largest to smallest).

Google Drive Storage Used

#2. How to clean up Google Photos?

You can clean Google photo backup by following tips.

Disable the 3rd-party photo folders for backup.

Google Photos for Android provides a function to control the upload of photo folders. Navigate to Google Photos, tap the hamburger menu located in the upper left corner, and then all folders containing photos in the device will be displayed.

A cloud icon is displayed next to each folder. If the icon is blue, it means that the photo has been backed up or is being backed up to the server. If the icon is white, the situation is reversed. This way you can see if Google Photos adds any unnecessary content.

Delete already uploaded bad photos.

Enter the keyword screenshot or *.png to take screenshots in Google Photos and delete them, and delete them in the trash.

#3. How to get more space in your Google Storage?

Upgrading a plan through a paid subscription is the easiest way to get more storage space. The price of a Google Drive subscription varies according to different countries and regions, you can click Details to learn more. As reference, 100GB: $1.99/month, $19.99/year; 200GB: $2.99/month, $29.99/year; 2TB: $9.99/month, $99.99/year.


I hope this article solves all your doubts about Google Drive photos taking up space. Now you can use the above methods to free up Google Drive space or get more storage by subscribing. In addition, you can also use the web version of CBackupper to combine free space in multiple Google Drive accounts to back up your data or use the CBackupper client to back up local files.