How to Free Up Space in Google Drive

It’s easy to run out of space on Google Drive, since it stores data across much of your Google account. Fortunately, it’s also easy to delete data and free up some storage. As you will see, I am running out of space. Let’s explore how to do this.

Google Drive Header

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
August 10, 2021

It’s easy to run out of space on Google Drive, since it stores data across much of your Google account. Fortunately, it’s also easy to delete data and free up some storage. As you will see, I am running out of space. Let’s explore how to do this.

This is for devices using Google Drive. Screenshots are from Drive on Windows 10 PC

Dilbert and Sane
Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

If you use Google Drive to share large files, it’s quite easy to hit the 15GB free data limit on your Google account. While you can upgrade, for a price, it’s best to manually delete some data for more space first. After doing this, I upgraded to the 100GB plan, yet I am still out of space.

You will not need to spend hours combing through every nook and cranny in Google Drive. The website has a storage management feature that lists all your files, sorting them based on their file size.

First, open the Drive website in your browser.

You will see the Storage section at the bottom of the left sidebar. This will show you how much storage space you have left in your account. Now, click the Storage button. Refer to below image:

Drive 1
Your used Storage space

Next, you will see a list of all the large files in your account. Just click a file to select it. To select multiple files, hold the Command/Control key while selecting the file.

Now, to delete the file (or files), click the Remove button (the Trashcan icon) in the top toolbar. See below image:

Drive 2
Delete a file

Google Drive will remove the file and send it to the Trash.

If you want to find and open a folder where a particular file is saved (or find more files to delete), right-click and choose the Show File Location option. See following image:

Drive 3
Find more files

Next, you can select multiple files and use the Remove (Trashcan icon) in the toolbar to delete all the files at once. (You can use this method to delete entire folders as well.)

If you do not have a backup of the file that you are planning to delete, click the Download button in the right-click menu to download a copy of the file to your local storage. Refer to below image:

Drive 4
Download a file before deletion

Once you delete files like this, the files are no longer available in Google Drive, but you have not recovered any storage space yet. That’s because Google Drive does not actually delete the files for 30 days. So, if you change your mind, you have up to 30 days to recover the data.

If you want to reclaim the storage space, you will have to force Google Drive to permanently delete the data. To do this, go to the Trash or Bin section in the sidebar. See below image:

Drive 5
Accessing the Trash

Now, in the Trash, you will see a list of files that have yet to be deleted. To individually delete a file, right-click and choose the Delete Forever option. Or, click Empty Trash to delete all the files. See following image:

Drive 6
Delete your file(s)

Next, in the pop-up that appears, confirm using the Delete Forever button. Refer to below image:

Drive 7
Confirm to delete the file(s) forever

Now, all the files will be deleted. Once you reload the page, you will see that the storage space has been recovered.

Quote For the Day

I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.

Stephen Hawking

You now know how to clean up storage space on Google Drive. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter.

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I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong: Events and Aftermath

Author: Raymond

I am Raymond Oglesby, an Information Technology (IT) specialist with 30 years in the field. I have taught Microsoft Applications and troubleshot computers in 15 countries and many States. My career was focused on mainframes and desktops from application development to implementation. I have written hundreds of programs for various architectures. I decided to start a blog to share my knowledge and experiences with you. I plan on updating this blog at least twice a week about smart phone apps to Windows. Please feel free to leave a Comment or Tweet. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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