How to check your Gmail, Google Drive and Google+ Storage

Did you know that your total Google storage is shared by:

  • Gmail
  • Google Drive
  • and Google+ Photos?

In this guide, I’m going to show you how to see your total storage, view how much you’re using and then delete the heavy hitters.

Currently Google gives you 15 GB of free space to stash all your emails, photos and files.

This might seem like a commodious amount but it can fill up pretty quickly especially if you have an Android smart phone that automatically uploads high resolution photos in the background.

Let’s start by seeing how much space you have.

Login to Gmail, click your name in the upper right corner and choose Account.

If you pick the Data tools tab you’ll see the storage breakdown across all your accounts.

A shortcut is to simply bookmark https://www.google.com/settings/datatools

View Google Data Storage

Go ahead and click Manage storage plan in the lower right corner of the Storage box and you’ll see a pretty pie chart displaying how your data is apportioned.

Just mouse over to see the pie to get the delicious details:

Google Drive Storage

Does everything count against me?

Actually no.  Anything that anyone shares with you doesn’t count against your storage:  Here are major Google resources that don’t count against your storage:

  • Google Docs and Sheets
  • Google Calendar Events
  • Youtube videos you’ve uploaded

Freeing up space in Gmail

The fastest way to get a grip on your biggest files is to use the larger: search operator in the Gmail search box.

For example, I wanted to find emails with attachments greater than 30MBs so I typed the following into Gmail:

larger:30m

Google Mail larger:30m search operator

As you can see, those photos from my 30th birthday need to go!  Maybe I’ll back those up later.


 

If you just want to delete all message prior to a certain date use the older: search operator.

For example, if I wanted to display emails older than January 1st 2009 I would type this:

older:2009/01/01

Using the Gmail older search operator

Then if you click an empty area of the Gmail wallpaper (in this case, my rocky picture background) you can press the asterisk key and the letter a to select all messages in this older subset.

Incidentally, this “star-key-a” shortcut to select all your messages is pretty slick. If you like stuff like that, check out the full shebang of Gmail shortcuts on Google’s website.

Freeing up Space in Google Drive

It’s even easier to clean up space in Google Drive.

Open Google Drive and click the little down arrow in the rightmost column header.

Google Drive Quota Used

Selecting Quota used sorts all files by size with the largest on top.

at 640MB, it looks my video trip to North Miami Beach is going to be the first one axed today.

Google Drive Quotas

Cleaning up photos in Google+

My Samsung Galaxy S4 has Autobackup turned on by default, so all my photos and screenshots automatically get backed up to Google+.

You can disable this by tapping the Photo App on your Android phone (it looks like a multicolored pinwheel), pressing the Settings soft key and swiping the Autobackup feature off.

Google+ Autobackup

But sometimes this isn’t necessary because only photos greater than 2048 x 2048 in resolution or videos longer than 15 minutes count toward your storage limit.  Thus, it might make sense to just leave it alone.

But if you still want to delete them you can check out all your Google+ photos by visiting https://plus.google.com/photos

Google Plus Photos

To delete a photo or video just double click it then choose the little trashcan icon near the top of the browser window.

That’s it!

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  • Nice article. Was hoping you’d show a way to filter all G+ photos larger than 2048 x 2048. Since I have a lot of G+ photos and many of them are larger than that. There’s no way I’m going to click through thousands of photos one at a time, looking at each to see whether its size counts against my quota and makes it a candidate for deletion.
    But, there’s another way to get around the quota. Open a new Gmail account and switch to that.
    BTW, disqus login with google account is broken.

  • kill liars

    you cannot both bemoan dishonest developers while endorsing usage of google properties

    google primarily profits via privacy rape