Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service created by Google. It allows users to store files in the cloud, share files, and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with collaborators. Google Drive encompasses Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, an office suite that permits collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, forms, and more.
Google Drive was launched on April 24, 2012, and had 240 million monthly active users as of October 2014.
Your storage limit
You have 15 GB of free storage to share across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos. If you use Google Apps at work or school, you have at least 30 GB of storage. While you may have a lot of files and folders in your Google Drive, only items that you’ve synced or uploaded use storage space. Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides or items shared with you don’t count toward your storage space.
Check your storage
You can use Google Drive on the web, your mobile device or on your computer. To see how much storage you’re using, go to Google Drive on the web and hover over the bottom left corner. A window will appear that shows your usage. You can also go to www.google.com/settings/storage to see how you’re using your storage across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos.
In Google Drive, you may see a difference in the storage usage listed for Drive on the web and Drive for your Mac/PC. Here are some reasons you may see different storage numbers:
- Files that are in your trash count toward your storage on the web, but not on your desktop.
- Files shared with you never count toward your storage on the web, but if you move a file to “My Drive” the shared file will sync to your desktop and count toward the storage of your Drive folder on your desktop.
Items that count toward your storage limit
- Gmail: All the messages and attachments in your mail, including those in your Spam and Trash folders.
- Drive: Files you’ve stored in Drive, like PDFs, images, and videos. Anything you’ve made with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides won’t count toward your storage limit.
- Google+ Photos: Only photos over 2048×2048 pixels and videos longer than 15 minutes count toward your storage limit.
If you exceed your storage limit, you’ll receive warnings and you’ll need to free up storage as soon as you can. Otherwise, you won’t be able to sync or upload additional items to your Drive or add photos to Google+. After a period of time, incoming messages to your Gmail account will be returned to the sender and you won’t be able to send new messages.
Items that don’t count toward your storage limit
- Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Presentations, Drawings, etc.
- Files that others have shared with you
What to do if you hit your limit
If you’re close to your storage limit, you can delete items that are taking up space or buy more storage.
Since your storage is shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos, you might want to see where you’re using the majority of your storage space and start deleting from there.
Buy more storage
If you run out of free storage, you can buy more storage that can be shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos. Learn more about storage plans. If you’re an administrator, you can buy storage for your business.
Here are a few important things to know before buying a storage plan:
- If you buy more storage, you’re buying a subscription that renews automatically. You can cancel your subscriptionat any time, but storage purchases are non-refundable.
- You can make changes to your storage planat any time. You’ll be upgraded to your new storage level right away and your charges will be adjusted on your next billing cycle.
- A storage plan for one Google account can’t be transferred to a different account.
- It can take up to 24 hours before purchased storage is added to your account.