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How To Optimize Your Google Drive Storage

Google Drive is without a doubt one of the best cloud storage providers available as it is hosted on Google’s highly reliable servers and offers up to 15GB of free storage to all users. If you’ve used Gmail for your emails, you’re already using Drive to store email attachments.

The free 15GB storage offered by Disk is sufficient for most users who only use it to store a few important files. However, if you use it for more files and there are a lot of files in your Google Drive account, your account will soon run out of space.

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However, there are several ways that, when applied, will help you extend your free storage. These Google Drive tips and tricks will optimize the content already stored in your account, so your content takes up less space and you have more storage space for other files.

Delete (large) attachments from your Gmail

Many users think that Gmail has its own storage quota and has nothing to do with Google Drive However, it is not. All emails and attachments you receive in Gmail actually count towards your Drive quota.

Therefore, it is important to get rid of attachments and emails that you no longer need in your inbox. Here’s a quick and easy way to find all those space-consuming attachments.

Open Gmail in your browser and click the down arrow icon in the search box. The advanced search menu will open.

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In the newly opened search menu, select the “Has attachment” checkbox. This will ensure that only emails with attachments are searched. In the Size box, select more than X MB, where X is the attachment size. You can try 5 to 10 MB. Then click “Search”.

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You will now see all emails with attachments larger than those listed above. Check the emails you want to get rid of and click the Delete button at the top.

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Don’t forget to delete emails from your Trash as well, and you’ll free up space on Google Drive

Convert Microsoft Office documents to Google Docs format

If you haven’t lived under the rock, you probably know that Google has its own online office suite called Google Docs. Like the traditional MS Office suite, Google Docs lets you create Word-style documents, Excel-style spreadsheets, and PowerPoint-style presentations.

What’s more, all files created with Google Docs don’t count towards Drive storage. So, if you have MS Office or any other office files in your storage, it’s time to convert them to this format to save storage space.

Here we will take a look at how to convert MS Excel spreadsheet to Google spreadsheet:

Open Google Drive in your browser, locate the file you want to convert, right-click it and select “Open With,” then Google Sheets.

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When the file opens, click the File menu at the top and select Save As Google Sheets.

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It will quickly convert your spreadsheet and launch its Google Docs version.

Most of the elements in the original document will remain intact. However, there may be some features that are not carried over during conversion. Keep the original file with you until you check to make sure the converted version has everything.

Upload high-quality photos and videos to Google Photos

Google Photos lets you upload, organize, and store your photos in the cloud. If your photos and videos are set to high quality rather than their original quality, uploaded files will not count towards your Drive quota.

Go to the Google Photos website and click the hamburger icon and then Settings.

On the next screen, turn on the High quality option. Click the Restore Storage button to convert your existing photos and videos to high quality.

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Keep unsupported elements in Google Docs

Google Drive provides free unlimited storage for only a few file types. If your file is not one of the supported file types, you can combine it with a supported file type to get free unlimited storage.

For example, if you have an image that you don’t want to modify, you can create a Google Docs document and put the image in there. Since Google Docs docs get free storage, your image inside the doc will get the same rights as well.

Delete app data from your Google account

If you’ve connected any apps to your Google Drive account, they might use some of your Drive storage. This app data is usually hidden, but you can remove it from your account.

While on the Google Drive site, click on the gear icon at the top and select “Settings.”

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Click on “Manage Apps” on the left sidebar on the next screen to view your apps. Click on the Options option for any app you think is using your storage and select Remove Hidden App Data.

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Empty Google Drive Trash

If you don’t already know, even files that you deleted from your Google Drive account count towards your storage. When you delete a file, it usually goes to the trash and is not permanently deleted.

To actually recover the space that the files you deleted were occupying, you need to empty the trash as shown below.

Sign in to your Google Drive account and click “Trash” in the left sidebar.

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Click on the trash can header at the top and you will see the Empty Trash option. Click on it.

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Your G Drive Trash will be emptied.


Knowing some of these optimization tips will save you from buying paid storage plans, as the free one will last a lifetime with some clever implementations.

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