Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (2023)

Are you surprised that Google Drive says your account storage is full, but you know that’s not the case? It seems Google is right when it says that.Your Google account storageis used across all your services, including Drive, Photos, and Gmail.

You may not have large files stored in Drive, but your Photos service may be using a considerable portion of your storage quota. Similarly, you may have large files in the trash of Google’s various online services. You have deleted these files, but they still use your space as you haven’t entirely removed them from your account.

Table of Contents

    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (1)

    This guide will cover how to clear items in various services to free upyour Google Drive space.

    Delete Files From the Google Drive Trash

    After deleting a file, people often forget to clear their trash to remove the file forever. Until you empty the trash, even your deleted files use your Google account storage.

    Luckily, Google makes it easy to remove your deleted files selectively and all at once. Here’s how.

    1. Launch a web browser on your computer and openGoogle Drive.
    2. Sign in to your Google Drive account on the site.
    3. SelectTrashfrom the sidebar on the left.
    4. To delete files individually, right-click a file and chooseDelete foreverfrom the open menu.
    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (2)
    1. To get rid of all your Trash files, chooseEmpty trashat the top of the file list. Then, selectDelete foreverin the prompt.
    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (3)

    Remove Large Files From the Google Drive Storage

    If Google Drive still says your storage is full, you probably didn’t have large files in your trash. In this case, analyze your Drive’s files and see if you can remove some of the files from there.

    Google Drive allows you to quickly sort your files by size, making it easy to find and delete the storage-hogging items.

    1. Open a web browser and launch Google Drive.
    2. SelectStoragein the sidebar on the left.
    3. ChooseStorage usedat the top-right corner of the file list. The arrow should point downwards.
    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (4)
    1. Your largest file in Drive should appear at the top. Next, review the files on the list and decide the ones you’d like to delete.
    2. Select the files to delete and choose the trash can icon at the top.
    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (5)
    1. Make sure to empty theTrashafter removing the files.

    Delete Hidden App Data Stored on Google Drive

    Google Drive links with various third-party apps, allowing those apps to store data on the cloud storage. When you find Drive saying you’re running out of storage, it’s worth checking and removing the data for those apps.

    That will free up your Drive space, possibly fixing the full storage error.

    1. Access Google Drive on your computer.
    2. Select the gear icon at the top of the site.
    3. ChooseSettingsin the menu that opens.
    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (6)
    1. SelectManage Appsin the sidebar on the left.
    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (7)
    1. ChooseOptionsfor an app and selectDelete hidden app data. Repeat this step for each app you want to remove the data for.

    Delete Photos and Videos From Google Photos

    Your photos and videos stored on Google Photos use a lot of storage space, making Drive say you don’t have enough space in your account. One way to fix this issue is to delete the unwanted photos and videos from your account.

    That will significantly free up your Drive storage and remove the full storage error message.

    1. OpenGoogle Photosin a web browser on your computer.
    2. SelectPhotosin the left sidebar.
    3. Select the checkmark icon at the top-left corner of a photo or video to add it to the delete list. Then, select the other items to remove.
    4. Choose the trash can icon at the top-right corner.
    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (8)
    1. SelectMove to trashin the menu that launches.
    2. Empty the Trash by selectingTrashin the left sidebar and choosingEmpty trashon the right pane.
    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (9)
    1. SelectEmpty Trashin the prompt.

    Compress Your Photos and Videos on Google Photos

    One way to reclaim your Google account space without deleting your photos and videos is to reduce your items’ size. Google Photos allows you to compress your multimedia files, resulting in less usage of your account space quota.

    You can compress the files you’ve already uploaded to Photos by choosing an option on the site. The site turns your files from their original quality (high quality) to storage saver quality. This might impact the quality of your files, but in most cases, that wouldn’t be noticeable.

    Keep in mind that Photos compresses your items stored in other places, like Blogger. However, your Google Drive and YouTube files aren’t affected.

    1. Open Google Photos on your computer.
    2. Select the gear icon at the top-right corner.
    3. ChooseRecover storageon theSettingspage.
    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (10)
    1. SelectCompressin the box that opens.
    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (11)

    Find and Delete Unwanted Emails in Gmail

    Your Gmail emails don’t use as much data as other services, like Photos. However, it’s worth checking your inbox to see if you have any large attachment files. You shoulddelete any unwanted attachmentsto make space in your Google account.

    Gmail lets you quickly findthe large attachments in your emails, which helps you reclaim your account space.

    1. LaunchGmailin a web browser on your computer.
    2. Choose theShow search optionsicon next toSearch mailbox.
    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (12)
    1. Selectgreater thanfrom theSizedrop-down menu.
    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (13)
    1. Enter a size in the box next to theSizedrop-down menu. For example, type10to find all emails with an attachment larger than 10 MB.
    2. EnsureMBis selected in the drop-down menu. Then, selectSearchat the bottom.
    3. You’ll see your emails using more than 10 MB in your account. You can remove these files by first selecting them using the checkbox icon beside each email. Then, select the trash can icon at the top.
    4. Empty your Gmail trash folder by choosingTrashin the left sidebar and selectingEmpty Trash nowon the right pane.
    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix (14)

    Solve the Google Drive Storage Full Message

    Once you realize that your Google account storage is used across all Google products, you wouldn’t be surprised when Drive says your storage is full. The methods outlined above will help you find the unwanted and storage-hogging files in various services, so you can get rid of those files and also make theGoogle Drive backup processmore manageable.


    Google Drive Says Storage Is Full but It’s Not: How to Fix? ›

    If you receive lots of emails with attachments, they might be responsible for hogging your Google Drive space. To free up some storage space, open your Gmail account and delete all messages that you no longer need.

    Why is my Google account saying my storage is full? ›

    If you receive lots of emails with attachments, they might be responsible for hogging your Google Drive space. To free up some storage space, open your Gmail account and delete all messages that you no longer need.

    Why isn't my Google Drive storage going down? ›

    Check for orphaned files. If the shared folders you've saved are deleted by the owner after being added, these files may become orphaned files and take up storage, which causes Google Drive space not updating.

    How do I refresh my Google Drive storage? ›

    Empty Google Drive Trash on Web

    Open the Google Drive website. Click on the Bin option from the left sidebar. Click on Bin drop-down at the top and select Empty Bin. Refresh the page and check the available storage.

    How do I clear my Google Drive cache? ›

    You can also pull up the app drawer and search for Google Drive there. Instead of tapping on it, long-press the app icon and choose "App info." From the Drive app's info page, tap Storage or "Storage usage." You will see the file size the Google Drive app's cache is currently taking up. Tap "Clear cache."

    Is Google Drive having issues today? ›

    Google Drive status is operational.

    Why is my Google storage still full after deleting emails? ›

    What many users do is delete emails from their inbox and sent folder, however, when you manually delete emails from Gmail, they are moved to your trash folder, where they stay for 30 days before being automatically deleted. So, the first thing you can do to tackle the issue is clearing out your Trash Bin in Gmail.

    What happened to Google Drive storage? ›

    The old Google Drive app is going away, but that doesn't mean you'll have to migrate off of the popular cloud storage app or move to a different service. The replacement app will depend on whether you are a business or consumer user. Right now, both groups are using the same Google Drive app.

    How do I force Google Drive to resync? ›

    How to Perform Google Drive force sync on Windows 10
    1. Solution 1. Pause and resume Google Drive. ...
    2. Solution 2. Restart Google Drive app. ...
    3. Solution 3. Reinstall Google Drive sync client. ...
    4. Solution 4. Run Google Drive as administrator. ...
    5. Solution 5. Remove desktop. ...
    6. Solution 6. Change Proxy Settings. ...
    7. Solution 7.
    Feb 1, 2023

    How long does it take for storage to update on Google Drive? ›

    If you change your storage limit, it can take up to 24 hours for the changes to apply to your account. In these 24 hours, messages you send or receive through Gmail can be affected. Try these troubleshooting steps: Sign out of your Google Account, then sign back in.

    What happens if I delete Google Drive cache? ›

    WARNING: If files are pending upload to Drive, deleting the cache may cause the files to be lost (see comment). The side-effect of this is that it also deletes your credentials so you'll need to login again.

    What does clearing cache do? ›

    Clearing your cache on Android can free up valuable space and resolve issues with your phone's battery, speed, and security. Old cached data can corrupt, causing larger performance problems. If a particular app receives an update, the cached data from a previous version can cause conflict.

    What does clearing Google cache do? ›

    When you use a browser, like Chrome, it saves some information from websites in its cache and cookies. Clearing them fixes certain problems, like loading or formatting issues on sites.

    Is Google Drive being phased out? ›

    In September 2017, Google announced that it would discontinue the Google Drive desktop app in March 2018 and end support in December 2017.

    How do I check my Google Drive status? ›

    To see how much space you have left, on a computer, go to If you use Google Drive for work or school, you can check if your administrator set an individual storage limit. If you're close to or over your limit, you can: Permanently delete files to clear space.

    How do I contact Google Drive support? ›

    To contact a support specialist for help with your Google Workspace account:
    1. Sign in to your Google Admin console. ...
    2. At the top right of the Admin console, click Get help .
    3. In the Help window, click Contact support.
    4. At the bottom of the Help window, describe your issue and click Send .

    What is filling up my Google Drive? ›

    From the Quota page you can filter the results by name to find duplicate files or by quota used (i.e., how much space a file takes up). Viewing the results by quota, you can scroll through and then delete the larger files that are no longer necessary to free up space on your Google Drive account.

    Does Gmail affect Google storage? ›

    Every Google Account comes with 15 GB of storage that's shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. When you upgrade to Google One, your total storage increases to 100 GB or more depending on what plan you choose.

    What is the difference between Google Drive and Google storage? ›

    As mentioned above, Google Drive provides free storage of up to 15GB, with the option to upgrade for a fee. As for Google Cloud Storage, the platform is scalable and designed to store large amounts of data, making it ideal for businesses with high storage requirements.

    Is Google storage the same as Google Drive? ›

    Google preserves Google Cloud Storage but not Google Drive as an enterprise platform, so you will not get a solid business application with Google Drive data storage.

    What replaced Google Drive? › is the best alternative to Google Drive, though pCloud comes close. If security is why you're moving away from Drive, don't go for Dropbox or OneDrive, as they have similar privacy issues. If that doesn't concern you, they have similar cloud collaboration features.

    How do I know if Google Drive is syncing? ›

    Click the Drive File Stream icon on the taskbar. Here, you can see the sync status, recent activity, and notifications.

    How do I restart Google Drive app? ›

    1. On your computer, open Drive for desktop. Mac: In the top menu bar, click Settings. Quit. Windows: In the bottom right taskbar, click Settings. Quit.
    2. Reopen Drive for desktop.

    Does Google automatically refresh? ›

    As we've mentioned, Chrome might take a lot of your system resources, especially if you have a lot of open tabs. Instead of keeping every tab running, Chrome is focusing on the ones that you're using, which is why it keeps refreshing tabs. To give Chrome fewer tasks to handle, close the tabs you don't need at the time.

    How long does it take Google to refresh storage? ›

    Within 24 hours, deleted items will show in the available space in your Google Drive account. Here's one more simple step you can take. The Files by Google app helps you find all the junk files eating up space.

    Why isn't Google Drive syncing? ›

    If you're having issues with Google Drive folders not syncing, it's possible that the user didn't select the folder. Check now. Step 1: Click on this app's icon in the system tray and select Preferences from the 3-dot menu. Step 2: On the Google Drive tab, select Sync everything on my drive.

    Why can't I update my Google storage? ›

    If you try to upgrade your account, but you are prompted that you are unable to purchase Google Drive storage, you can refer to the following common reasons: Your network connection is unstable. You haven't connected to the right account. Your payment methods are incorrect.

    Does clearing Google cache delete everything? ›

    Clearing your browser's cache and cookies means that website settings (like usernames and passwords) will be deleted and some sites might appear to be a little slower because all of the images have to be loaded again.

    Is it good to clear cache on Google? ›

    If you don't clear your cache, you may see old forms. Old files can cause display or access problems when you apply online.

    Is it safe to clear cache on Google? ›

    Clearing your cache and cookies from time to time is good “tech hygiene,” and it can help you troubleshoot when your device is running slowly or you're having trouble with an app.

    Is cache OK to delete? ›

    Clearing unused cache files on Android is a decent way to free up space temporarily and comes in handy when troubleshooting app issues. But it's not something you should do often, or through unreliable third-party apps. Use it only as a specific tool when needed for device performance.

    How often should you clear your cache? ›

    As a general rule, you should clear your browser cache and cookies at least once a month, or more often if you experience any of the following: slow running or crashing browsers, difficulty loading websites or features, outdated or incorrect information or images on some websites, the need to free up storage space on ...

    What deletes when you clear cache? ›

    After you clear cache and cookies: Some settings on sites get deleted. For example, if you were signed in, you'll need to sign in again. Some sites can seem slower because content, like images, needs to load again.

    Will deleting browsing history delete bookmarks? ›

    Clearing out a web browser's cache does not damage any information stored in a browser, such as bookmarks or your homepage. Instead, it simply makes the web browser think that you have not visited a webpage before.

    Does deleting cookies delete passwords? ›

    Will clearing cookies delete passwords? Yes, clearing cookies will wipe saved passwords from autofill settings saved on web browsers.

    Does clearing cache delete passwords? ›

    Download history: The list of files you've downloaded using Chrome is cleared, but the actual files aren't removed from your computer. Passwords: Records of passwords you saved are deleted.

    How can I increase my Gmail storage for free? ›

    Upgrade your Google storage
    1. Make sure you're signed in to your Google Account.
    2. On your computer, go to
    3. On the left, click Upgrade.
    4. Choose your new storage limit.
    5. Review the new plan prices and payment date. Then, click Next.
    6. To confirm your Google One plan, click Subscribe.

    What to do when Google Photos storage is full? ›

    Clean up storage
    1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app .
    2. Sign in to your Google Account.
    3. At the top right, tap your Profile picture or Initial.
    4. Tap Photos settings Back up. ...
    5. Under "Review and delete," select any category.
    6. Tap Select.
    7. Select the items you want to delete.
    8. Tap Move to trash .

    How do I change my Google storage settings? ›

    Downgrade your plan
    1. Go to
    2. Click the rate on the plan you want.
    3. Click Subscribe.
    4. You'll get a confirmation email. On the start of the next month of your plan, your plan will be canceled or downgraded.

    Why can't I upgrade my Google storage? ›

    If your extra storage is for a personal account, you'll be automatically upgraded once Google One is available in your country. If your extra storage is for a Workspace Account, you can't upgrade because Google One isn't available for this account.


    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Nicola Considine CPA

    Last Updated: 20/11/2023

    Views: 5243

    Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

    Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Nicola Considine CPA

    Birthday: 1993-02-26

    Address: 3809 Clinton Inlet, East Aleisha, UT 46318-2392

    Phone: +2681424145499

    Job: Government Technician

    Hobby: Calligraphy, Lego building, Worldbuilding, Shooting, Bird watching, Shopping, Cooking

    Introduction: My name is Nicola Considine CPA, I am a determined, witty, powerful, brainy, open, smiling, proud person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.