Why Does My Google Drive Say It’s Full?

Raza Ali Kazmi
Updated on

Google offers a gorgeous storage of 15 GB when you create a new account. This storage is divided across all of your Google services such as Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photos. As a result, sooner or later, you face the problem of inadequate storage space.

Thankfully, deleting duplicate Google Drive files is super easy these days. Some specialized Web-based tools like Cloud Duplicate Finder make it an easy job with a few clicks. In this tutorial, we’ll discuss both manual and automated methods to help you recover lost storage.

Verify Google Storage

Before we look into the process to fix shrinking Google Drive storage, let’s find out what is taking up your precious storage.

  1. Login to your Google account.
  2. Open the Google One page.
  3. Click on the Storage tab.
  4. Your Google account will show what’s taking up your storage- such as Google Drive, Gmail, Google Photos, etc.
    The Storage section of Google One

Delete Large Email Attachments

If your inbox gets flooded with a ton of emails everyday with large attachments, your storage starts filling rapidly. Instead of purchasing additional storage and spending money, it’s wise to look for the content that adds up to your Google Drive storage. Large email attachments are often hog the storage of your Google Drive account and also lead to data disorganization.

Deleting large attachments

  1. Open your Gmail account.
  2. Type “has:attachment larger:2M” in the Search box.

  3. Gmail will filter all emails that have attachments over 2 MB in size.
  4. Use the selection checkbox on the upper left to check all the emails (You can manually uncheck those you want to retain).

    Using the selection checkbox to select multiple emails at once

  5. Click on the Delete icon.

Delete Duplicate Documents & Files

Duplicate documents, photos and videos can waste GBs of your Google Drive storage without your knowledge. While sharing and collaborating on documents with your colleagues, you may acquire multiple copies of the same document on different occasions. Over time, your Google Drive runs into low storage problems and you’re forced to delete the files that you really need.

  1. Open up the Cloud Duplicate Finder website and click the Sign Up Using Google button to create your CDF account within seconds.
  2. You can also click the Create an Account button to create your account. Be sure to activate your account by clicking the verification link received in your registered email.
  3. Set up a password for your Cloud Duplicate Finder account and you will be redirected to the scan area.
  4. Click on the Google Drive tab and then click the Add New Drive button.
  5. Login to your Google Drive account and provide the required file access permissions.
  6. If your account is protected with a One-Time Password, you may be prompted to enter the OTP.
  7. Select the folders to scan for duplicates from the left-hand side panel.

  8. Choose between All Files and Custome Files and then click the Scan button to launch the scan.
  9. A scan result screen will appear shortly with a summary of the scan results. Click on OK.

    Duplicate scan result

  10. Now, you can manually review your files using the checkboxes or use the automated selection patterns (using the Select Duplicates button) to mark or unmark hundreds of files with One-Click.
  11. Once you’re done marking, click on Select Action and choose whether to delete your duplicates or move them to another folder on Google Drive.


  • Fully cloud-based solution.
  • Delete newest files/ oldest files in each group.
  • Permanently delete duplicates or move them to another folder.
  • Works with other popular cloud services such as OneDrive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, and Box cloud.
  • No files are downloaded to your PC which saves your time and Internet bandwidth.

Is Cloud Duplicate Finder Secure?

A question might arise in your mind whether CDF is really secure. The Web app uses official APIs from your cloud service provider- a highly secure way to access your documents without compromising your privacy. This means that you can disable access to your documents anytime by revoking the permissions later. Moreover, CDF uses the 256-bit encryption algorithm to protect your confidential data such as passwords.

Compress Google Drive Files

File compression is the process of reducing a file’s size to take up less storage. Your file zipping tool fixes the redundancy of bits that can produce significant storage.

Compressing files that are already uploaded to Google Drive isn’t possible since there is no in-house file compression option provided. Therefore, you may want to download all your files on your hard disk, compress them using a file compression program such as free 7 Zip File Manager, and then re-upload them back. Keep in mind, it can be a very time consuming procedure.

Compress Google Photos

Another option is to compress your Google Photos. If you’re regularly syncing photos and videos from your mobile, there is a good possibility that a large number of photos & videos might have already been uploaded automatically. In most cases, it includes your screenshots, camera shots, WhatsApp media, downloaded images & videos, etc.

Set the picture quality to High Quality instead of Original. Google Photos will automatically compress your photos and videos so they take up less storage.

Empty the Trash Folder Contents

When you delete a file or folder from Google Drive, it is moved to the Bin folder. It remains in the Bin folder for 30 days and is then permanently deleted from your account. You can empty the Bin folder contents now to free-up your storage.

  1. Open Google Drive.
  2. Click on the Bin icon on the left.
  3. Click on Empty Bin and then click on Delete Forever to confirm your action.

Disassociate yourself from Shared Folders

If you’ve shared a lot of files and folders with other people, the shared content can impact your storage quota. Remove yourself from the shared content to free-up some storage.

Delete App Data

Some mobile apps might store their data on Google Drive. If you’re using any smartphone apps (such as some call recording apps), they automatically upload their data to Google Drive, you might want to delete this data and change the program settings to disable this feature.

You can also revoke permissions to these apps by following the steps given below:

  1. Open Google Drive.
  2. Click the Settings icon on the upper-right.
  3. Select Settings.

    Opening up the Settings section of Google Drive

  4. Click on Manage Apps.
  5. Click on Options and then Disconnect from Drive to revoke permissions for that app.
  6. Click Done once you’re finished.

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