How To Free Up Google Drive Space
Google Drive is an excellent cloud storage service where you can save files that would otherwise be on your HDD. A free Google Drive account gives you 15 GB of storage, which is pretty good compared to some of the other alternatives.
For more Google Drive storage space, a $1.99 monthly subscription is required. However, there are various ways you can preserve file space to ensure your GD cloud storage fills up more slowly.
How to Check Google Drive Storage
First, check how much Google Drive storage you’ve used up by opening your Google Drive account in a web browser. Checking the amount of storage is easy on a web browser.
All you need to do to view how much storage you’re using and how much you have available is to open Google Drive and look to the lower left-hand corner of the home page.
Here, you will see the storage bar. If you’d like to upgrade your allotment, click the ‘Buy Storage’ hyperlink. But, if you’d like to keep your current amount of storage, keep reading. We’ll go through the steps to clean up your Drive.
How to Delete Items from Google Drive
If you aren’t quite ready to upgrade your storage, you can start by getting rid of the older or less-useful files, documents, images, and more. If you have a lot of files this may not be the best solution to make a serious dent in your storage, but this method can still help quite a bit.
To delete files from your Google Drive, follow these steps:
- Press the ‘Settings’ cog in the upper right-hand corner after you’ve signed into your Google account.
- Click on ‘Settings’ in the dropdown menu that appears.
- Click on the ‘View items taking up storage’ hyperlink.
- Now, you can see all of the documents in your Google Drive. Use the Shift+Click keyboard and mouse combination to highlight files in bulk. Or, you can use the Control+Click (CMD+Click on a Mac) command to highlight multiple files that are not sequential.
- Right-click one of the selected files and click ‘Remove.’
Trim Image and Email Storage
As both images and emails can waste GD storage, you can free up quite a bit of space by deleting Gmail emails and reducing photo resolution. First, open Gmail and delete outdated emails.
Enter ‘has:attachment’ in Gmail’s search box to search for and erase emails with attachments. Emails in the trash also waste storage space, and you can erase those by selecting More > Trash and then clicking Empty Trash now.
You don’t need to delete images in Photos to free up GD storage space. Instead, open Google Photos and click the Main Menu button at the top left of the page. Select Settings to open the options shown in the snapshot directly below.
There you can select a High quality (free unlimited storage) option. This effectively compresses images from their original resolution, but the compressed images don’t consume any Google Drive storage at all. So select that setting, and upload all your images to Photos instead of separately to Google Drive.
Empty Google Drive’s Trash
Deleted files accumulate in Google Drive’s Trash much the same as the Recycle Bin. So they still waste storage space until you’ve cleared the Trash. Click Trash on the left of the Google Drive account page to check if there are any files there.
Now you can right-click files there and select Delete forever to remove them. Alternatively, press the Trash button and select Empty Trash to fully empty it. If you press the Grid view button, you can check the file size of each deleted item in Trash.
Remove Google Drive apps
Google Drive storage isn’t just for documents and photos that you save to it. Additional apps also take up GD storage space. So disconnecting apps is another good way to free up GD storage space.
First, click the Settings button at the top right of your Google Drive page. Click Settings and select Manage Apps to open the window shown in the shot below. That window lists all your Google Drive apps. To remove apps, click their Options buttons and select Disconnect from Drive.
Convert Your Documents to Google Formats
The great thing about Google Drive is that it enables users to edit files without needing to save them to Windows again. You can edit your spreadsheets, presentations, and text documents within Google Drive, which converts them to Docs, Sheets, and Slides formats. Those formats don’t take up any storage space at all!
To edit a document in Google Drive, you can right-click it and select Open with. Then select the Google format for it from the submenu. For example, a spreadsheet would include a Google Sheets option. That will give you a second copy of the document that takes up no storage space, and you can delete all the original files to save space.
Compress PDF, Audio, and Video Files
Compressing files is one of the best ways to free up storage space. PDF, audio, and video files can take up lots of cloud storage space. As such, compress PDF, audio, and video file formats before saving them to Google Drive.
There are lots of software packages to compress files with. To compress PDFs, check out 4dots Free PDF Compressor covered in this Tech Junkie guide. You can compress videos with Format Factory, which is open-source software. Or check out MP3 Quality Modifier to cut your MP3s down to size.
There are also plenty of web tools that compress various file formats. For example, you can compress PDFs on the Smallpdf website. This MP3 Smaller page enables you to compress MP3s without extra software. That page also includes a hyperlink to VideoSmaller that compresses MP4 videos.
So you don’t need to delete lots of files in Google Drive to free up extra storage space. Compressing files, converting them to Google formats, selecting the High-quality setting in Photos, and removing apps can save loads of GD space.