How to Manage Google Drive Storage: 6 Easy Ways

How to manage Google Drive storage? Read through this post to get 6 workable solutions.


by Jonna Lasted Updated March 17, 2023

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How Do I See What's Taking up Space on Google Drive?

Google Drive gives 15GB of free cloud storage to each account for storing documents, photos, and more. Although this seems like a lot of space, in reality, this space will be used up very quickly. Therefore, it is important to learn how to manage Google Drive storage.

To manage files in your Google Drive storage, the first thing you need to know is what counts toward your storage quota. The 15GB of Google storage space is split across Google Drive, Google Photos, and Gmail. Basically, anything in these apps takes up Google Drive storage space:

  • Files on Google Drive, including documents, folders, PDFs, images, etc., and trashed files.
  • Files created and edited in Google productivity apps, such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides, after June 1, 2021.
  • Original quality photos and videos that are backed up to Google Photos.
  • Photos and videos backed up as High quality (now Storage saver) after June 1, 2021.
  • Gmail messages and attachments, including those in the Spam or Trash folders.
  • Your phone data backups.
  • Files from family storage.

To check what is taking up space on Google, you can visit the Google One page and see a breakdown of storage details.

Current Storage

How to Manage Google Drive Storage in 6 Workable Methods

If your Google Drive storage is running out, files will stop being uploaded to Google Drive, photos and videos will not be backed up to Google Photos, and you can not send and receive emails in Gmail. But don’t worry, here are some tips to help you manage storage in Google Drive and free up space on Google Drive effectively.

Way 1. Use Google Storage Manager

The most effective method to manage Google storage is with the help of Google One Storage Manager to view large files for freeing up space quickly. The tool highlights items in Trash or Spam, emails with large attachments, large photos and videos, and so on. You can click on the Review and clean up button to select unnecessary files to delete.

Google One Review and Clean up

However, it should be noted that files deleted in this way cannot be recovered.

Way 2. Remove Large Files from Google Drive

If you want to identify the problem yourself and clean up redundant files to avoid accidental deletion of important files, you can take some necessary measures depending on the space usage. Let's start with Google Drive.

You can find the files that are eating up the most space in Google Drive and delete the unneeded ones. Just visit the Google Drive website and click the Storage button below the left menu. Then, a list of files starting with the largest ones will display on the right, then choose files to delete.

Google Drive Storage Used

Way 3. Clear up Trash on Google Drive

Simply deleting files from Google Drive will not free up space, as deleted files are recoverable in Trash, and they will take up space as well until they are automatically deleted after 30 days.

You can click Trash on the left of the Google Drive web interface and click Empty trash > Delete forever to permanently remove these files.

Google Drive Empty Trash

Way 4. Delete Emails with Large Attachments on Gmail

If you want to do Google Drive storage management by removing emails with large attachments, do the following:

Step 1. Go to the Gmail web interface.

Step 2. In the search box, type something like has:attachment larger:5M, 10M, or other sizes and press Enter.

Gmail Search Has Attachment

Step 3. Select emails to delete.

Way 5. Delete Emails in the Spam and Trash folder

Please remember that items in the Spam folder and Trash folder will count against your storage quota. The following is how to manage storage on Google Drive by purging everything in the Spam and Trash folders:

  • Spam folder - Click Span on the Gmail home page, and select all the messages, and hit Delete forever.

Gmail Spam Delete Forever

  • Trash folder - Click Trash on the Gmail home page, tick deleted emails, and click Delete forever.

Gmail Trash Delete Forever

Way 6. Get Rid of Unwanted Photos and Videos on Google Photos

If photos and videos are taking up your storage space, you can try to remove duplicates in Google Photos and delete pictures that are no longer needed. Just select items on Google Photos, click Delete, and then Move to trash.

Remove Duplicates from Google Photos-2

You can also stop uploading photos and videos to Google Photos from your computer and phone to help Google Drive manage storage efficiently.

What to Do When Google Drive Storage is Full?

What if the space quota is still run out after managing Google Drive storage? There are two tips for you!

Tip 1. Increase Google Drive Free Storage by Merging Clouds

CBackup, a free cloud backup service, allows you to combine multiple Google Drive accounts to increase cloud storage for free. For instance, if you have two free Google accounts, you are able to combine them and get 30GB of free Google Drive space. This tool can help you merge Google Drive and OneDrive/Dropbox as well.

Step 1. Sign up for a CBackup account for free. Download and run CBackup on your computer, then log in.

Download CBackupWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Click Storage > Google Drive > Authorize Now to grant CBackup access to your cloud storage. Then, repeat the step to add all your cloud accounts.

Select Cloud Drive

Step 3. Click Storage > Add Combined Cloud subsequently.

Add Combined Cloud1

Step 4. Select the clouds you want to combine and click Next > Combine.

Tick all Google Drive Accounts

With the combined huge space, you can backup local files (click Backup > Backup PC to Combined Cloud) and backup cloud files (click Backup > Backup Public Cloud to Combined Cloud) and restore backups easily.

Tip 2. Backup Google Drive to Another Cloud

Backing up Google Drive files to another cloud and removing them from Google Drive is another helpful solution to free up space. CBackup gives you the ability to back up Google Drive to Dropbox, OneDrive, and more clouds with one click. It also enables you to transfer files from one Google Drive to another.

Step 1. Add another cloud drive to CBackup by clicking Storage > Add Cloud.

Add Cloud

Step 2. On the Backup screen, select the Backup Public Cloud to Public Cloud option.

Backup Public Cloud to Public Cloud

Step 3. Choose Google Drive files to back up and select another cloud as the backup destination.

Step 4. Then, click Start Backup. Then, you can remove files from Google Drive to make room.

Start Backup Google Drive to OneDrive

Note: To back up Google Drive files automatically, you can click Settings and enable Scheduler to set up daily, weekly, or monthly backups according to your needs.


On this page, we cover 6 methods for you to manage Google Drive storage effortlessly and provide you with how to increase Google Drive storage for free and how to back up Google Drive files for clearing up space. We really hope that this post will make some sense in Google Drive space management.

Jonna · Editor
Jonna becomes a professional in the areas of cloud backup and restoration, data protection, etc. after years of learning and researching. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.

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