How to Clear Space on Google Drive.
When you create a new Gmail account, Google offers you 15GB of free storage. However, that 15 GB isn’t just reserved for Gmail. Rather used by Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos. So, if you are a person like me who religiously uses Google Photos and Google Drive, you may have seen the “Google storage full” error. 15GB of data has run out and Google will no longer back up your photos, Gmail will not let you send emails, etc.
To fix this, you can either buy an extra 100GB of storage for just $ 2 a month, or start backing up to another Google account. But before you get on the train, there is always the option to free up storage space by tracking down large files and attachments taking up GB of storage.
Well, here’s a detailed guide on how to do it. I will also mention the amount of memory I was able to recover after each step.
Before we start
Let’s define the problem first. To see what your Google Drive storage is using, follow this link. The page provides a breakdown of the three main apps that are taking up Google Storage: Gmail, Google Photos and Google Drive . For example, in my case, Google Photos and disk are taking over 12GB of storage. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how I did it.
Step 1: Delete social and promotional emails
Let’s start with Gmail.
When I first check my Gmail it had about 3.5GB of data in it. To give you an idea, my main inbox had 800+ conversations, while this social and ad folder had about 10,000+ conversations, which is absurd by comparison. So, here’s how to get rid of them with one click.
First of all, go to the social folder. You can find it in the Categories section under the Drafts folder.
On a social network, check the box in the upper left corner to select emails.
Once you check the box, a small message will appear right below the selection tool asking you to select all conversations. For example, in a social folder I had 2342 letters. So the link gives me the option to select all these emails by clicking on it.
When all messages are selected, click the trash can icon at the top and it will clear all messages from the social folder.
Repeat the same process with the Promotions folder to get rid of any other unwanted messages.
Second Step: Delete the large attachment
Another important chunk of your mailbox space is occupied by attachments. To filter our emails with large attachments, go to the search bar, type the following and hit Enter. has: attachment larger: 10 MB
Now, carefully remove emails from the search results that you think will not be needed in the future. If you receive about 100+ emails with a 10MB attachment size, increase it to 100MB and see the results.
Step 3: Don’t forget to clear your trash
After all this cleaning, Gmail won’t immediately free up your space. These emails are moved to the trash bin, where they are stored for 30 days, and then deleted. Hence, we will have to delete the emails immediately to free up space.
To do this, go to the folders, go to the very bottom and click “More”. Once you get the expanded list, scroll and click the Trash folder.
In the Trash folder, click the checkbox in the upper left corner, and then click Select All * Conversations in Trash. Post this, click the permanently delete button next to the checkbox icon. After that, the letter will be deleted forever.
After about 5 minutes, check your Google one.
Recovered storage. A complete mailbox cleanup helped me recover about 1.5GB of data from 3.5GB.
Step 4: Delete large files on Google Drive
Let’s go to Google Drive.
An easy way to free up space on Google Drive is to delete larger files. To do this, follow this link, which sorts your Google Drive files in descending order by file size.
If you end up deleting files, make sure you also delete them from the Trash folder.
The storage is restored: This results in a cleanup of about 0.5 GB. It didn’t really matter as I had a lot fewer files on Google Drive.
Step 5: Delete by faces on Google photos
Finally, it’s time to clean up Google Photos
The bulk of your Google account storage resides in Google Photos, as all photos, videos and media from your smartphone are copied to Google Photos. But you don’t have to store all media, especially videos. Here’s an easy way to delete large files in Google Photos.
Click on the “Albums” option on the left.
On the Albums page, you will have photo albums grouped by faces, places, objects, etc. Go to the People & Pets album and you can delete photos based on people’s faces. In addition, there is an album “Things”. It categorizes your photos based on objects and phototypes like screenshots, forests, trees, etc.
Step 6: increase the pressure
The last option is to compress the photos already uploaded to your Google account. This will reduce the size of the image with no visual difference in quality. For convenience, photos with a resolution of more than 16 MP will be compressed to 16 MP. Videos higher than 1080p, i.e. 4k or 8k, will be compressed back to 1080p.
To do this, go to the settings menu. The first option is “Upload Size for Photos and Videos”. Immediately below the option, you have a button called “Restore Storage”. Click here.
Google Photos will show you how much storage you can recover by compressing your original photos into high quality ones. In my case, he predicts that I will save 10.2 GB of storage, which is about 65% of my Google storage. Click the Compress button and continue compressing.
The storage has been restored. This cleanup recovered about 10 GB of data, which is a significant amount indeed.
Step 7: third-party app data
If you use a lot of third-party apps that frequently upload and download files from Google Drive, they end up accumulating a lot of data in Google Drive.
To remove, go to Google Drive. Then click the gear icon in the upper right corner next to your profile icon and select Settings.
On the settings page, click on Application Management.
In the Manage Apps sections, you’ll see a variety of apps that have access to your Google Drive storage. In addition to the app, click the Options button and select Remove Hidden App Data.
On the pop-up screen, you will see the amount of data used by the application. In my case, I was able to find several applications taking up to 20-30 MB of space. In addition, with applications such as SMS Organizer, about MB of free space was required.
Storage recovered: When deleting hidden app data, about 50MB of data was recovered. So this step was useless for me.
Step 8: Delete Backups
Most people like me use their Google Drive account to back up their mobile data. If you switch a lot of mobile phones or use Google Drive to back up Windows 10, your old backups can take up a lot of space. Follow this link and you might be able to get rid of old Android or Windows backups.
For example, I used a Nokia device before switching to Samsung Note 9. So Google Drive still kept my Nokia backup as I never erased it. To do this, right-click the backup file and select “Delete backup”.
Storage restored: Now deleting the old Android backup saved me about 0.5GB of storage. If you have a backup of your Windows machine, it will be much larger than 0.5 GB.
So, I started with 18GB of Google storage and ended up deleting almost 12GB. Share your experience in the comments below. If you have further problems or questions, let me know in the comments below.
Also Read: Top 10 Google Drive Tips and Tricks for Beginners and Pros