Cloud

How to quickly find out what's using up your Google Drive space

If your Google Drive account is running out of space, discover the quickest way to find out which files are causing the problem and what you can do about it.

Image: Google

Google Drive is one of the cheapest cloud storage solutions available. For personal usage, only $1.99 per month for 100 GB is outstanding. And if you've purchased a Chromebook, you are often eligible for upgrades, such as the three year 1 TB upgrade for a Pixel purchase. Even with those large amounts of cloud storage space, power users can quickly run into trouble when their allocated storage is used up.

What do you do? You delete files...right? Although that is the obvious solution, how do you know what to delete? What's taking up the most space? Are there duplicate files that can be deleted?

Google has provided an incredibly handy tool for this task.

SEE: Need to free up disk space? Now Google Drive lets you pick which folders to sync (ZDNet)

Where is this magic tool?

When you open your Google Drive page, you should see a small section near the bottom left of the screen that displays how much space you've used. If you hover your cursor over that, a pop-up window will appear with an exclamation point in a blue circle (Figure A). Click that blue circle to open the Google Drive Quota page.

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen

Getting to the Google Drive Quota page.

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. You can select multiple files by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking files. Once you select files (Figure B), you can trash them, preview them (if available), or download them.

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Jack Wallen

Selecting and acting on files.

This tool is especially useful when something goes a bit sideways with your account. On a few occasions, I discovered (thanks to either a wayward Chromebook sync or Insync) duplicated uploads that wound up using over 30 GB of space on my Drive account. Thanks to the quota tool, I was able to quickly find and fix the issue.

Don't let errant apps or services gobble up your Google Drive space — keep on top of it with the Google Drive Quota tool.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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