How to clean up Google Drive and save space and money

Google Drive

The free storage space offered by Google is combined between its email service (Gmail) and its hard drive in the Cloud (Google Drive) in addition to other services. This can be quickly depleted as it is just 15 Gb. And although Google offers the possibility of expanding this space through various payment plans, there are also ways to manage this free space and, in this way, to increase the amount of free space, save both space and money.

Google Drive shares its cloud storage space with Gmail and all other in-house applications.

Before getting down to work, it is recommended that you proceed by from a computer rather than from a mobile device due to the fact that the Mac and Windows file management system makes this task much easier than tackling it from iOS or Android.

Some of the steps to follow would be these:

Delete large files in Google Drive

To make space the first thing to do is to discard videos, presentations or other large documents. Once you access Google Drive this is what you need to do:

-Click “Storage” in the menu on the left side of the screen.

-Sort files by size

-Select those larger files you want to delete and drag them to the trash on the left side of the screen.

-Empty the recycle garbage can by choosing the “Delete forever” option (you must have previously saved a backup copy of these files on another medium if you wish to keep them).

Deleting emails with large files in Gmail

Another major space trap is emails with attachments, especially if these are large in size. These would be the steps to follow to get rid of them:

-Click this text in quotation marks: “has:attachment larger:10MB”, modifying the number of megabytes by the size of the files you want to locate.

-Type this text in quotation marks: “has:attachment .avi”, changing the file type to other document formats.

-Select the e-mails containing the files to be deleted. Again, it would be time to make a backup copy on another medium before deleting them completely.

-Access to the Trash and permanently delete the deleted emails.

Empty the Spam folder

The unwanted emails filtered by Gmail are stored in the Spam folder taking up space, so there is another set of useless data there to get rid of, for which you should do the following:

-Enter in Gmail.

-Access to the Spam folder that appears on the left side of the screen. If it is not visible, click on “More” to display the expanded menu.

-Click on on “Delete all spam messages now”.

Cleanup in Google Photos

Google Photos is another Google service that shares the 15 Gb of data. It is probably where most large files can be found, especially videos. It would be advisable to make a backup copy of photos and videos that you want to keep before deleting them. This is the procedure to delete them:

-Delete the cursor over the images and videos to be deleted, marking them with the icon at the top left of each one.

-Click on the trash can icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

-Select “Move to trash”

-Click on the trash can icon and empty it.

Download the files

It has been previously recommended to make a backup copy of the files to be deleted to leave available space on Google services, but sometimes this will not be an option but will have to resort to it by necessity, copy the data on the hard drive of a computer, an external hard drive, pendrive, memory card … or even in another space in the Cloud.

Fortunately Google includes a method to download a copy of all the data stored in Gmail, Google Drive or Google Photos in a quick and easy way:

-Go to to any of the three services mentioned above.

-Select the files, e-mails, photos or videos you want to download.

-Click the icon with three dots in the upper right corner of the screen.

-Select “Download”. In the case of e-mails Gmail downloads them with the .eml extension.

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