How to use Google’s Storage Manager tool to free up space


While Google One is relatively new to the scene and provides many unified tools for managing individual and family data, most users may not be aware of the built-in functionality to free up storage space on their Google account. Google’s “Storage Manager” is a powerful system that takes advantage of corporate servers to allow you to process large amounts of data at one time. With limited space on free accounts and Google’s recent decision to say goodbye to unlimited, this method and the direct bulk management of Google Photos can save lives!

You can simply visit each Google service and manually delete files, but this new option frees you from the need to strategically plan and execute individual tasks by combining them all on one web page. For anyone not yet using Google One, you can sign up and get a subscription which includes not only the aforementioned storage management but also device backups, Google Store rewards, Pro help sessions right from Google support, additional Google Photos editing features, hotel discounts, and even a VPN (for 2TB + plans). As a warning, even free Google Account holders can use Storage Manager, but these other benefits come with a subscription.

Access Google Storage Manager

With all the basics out of the way, let’s see how you can potentially free up hundreds of gigabytes of data in your Google Account so that you start the New Year with a clear head and storage space to spare! First, you will need to navigate to the Google One Storage page.

From there, you’ll see a full breakdown of your Google Account storage space on Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. Additionally, Google Recorder and the storage space you share with loved ones through your family group is also listed here. It’s a colorful bar that’s segmented the same way Apple has been doing it for years. This is my second favorite feature of Google One, just below the storage management tools ie.

Okay, let’s scroll down. Right below your breakdown you will see a banner titled “Reclaim Your Space”. It says here that you can “see ways to free up space in Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos.” Go ahead and click on “Release Account Storage”. As a reminder, you can just upgrade below that space if you want to remove account restrictions until you have time to clean things up, but I recommend you follow through today so you can get started. the new year in a big space!

Review and delete items

On this next screen, you will see suggestions for skipped items like recently deleted emails and files, and spam that you can delete to free up space. Additionally, Google Photos sometimes contains “unsupported videos” – or videos that the service cannot process or play due to their file type. At the bottom of this screen, you can remove them completely, but I’d recommend downloading a copy with Google Takeout instead! Just because Google can’t use them doesn’t mean you want your precious memories to be deleted, right?

I just want the steps

1. Go to the Google One storage manager
2. Scroll down and click on “Release Account Storage”
3. Review Thrown objects, large objects and other objects
4. Select the items you no longer need
5. Click on the trash can icon at the top right of the window (These elements will be permanently deleted!)

Most of the work here will be going through the “Large Objects” section. As you can see in my example above, there is almost 50GB of storage that I can free up on my account! That’s pretty impressive, but it’s important to understand that you might not want to delete all of these files. In fact, I’ve found that I don’t do this often. Google just knows these are big items, but it doesn’t understand their sentimental value to you.

Clicking the “Review and Release …” button under each of the three boxes (Email with Large Attachments, Large Files, and Large Photos and Videos) will bring you to a screen where you have filtering tools and organization powerful enough to make sense of these articles.

I’ll go ahead with the large files in Drive. In the photo below you can see I’ve blurred my personal items, but what you’re looking at is 31.5GB of photos and videos in Drive from the days Google Photos was linked to it. On July 10, 2019, the company separated the two to reduce confusion, but I and others continue to have a lot of storage space taken up by what was left in Drive, which is frustrating.

The Great Drive and Photos sync debacle of 2019, aka “Can I really delete these files?” “

Instead of removing these items, we have kept them lest they be removed from both services if we remove them from one or the other. In order to determine whether or not you can safely delete these files without losing your precious memories, we are going to ask you a few questions.

First of all, did you use the “Download from Drive” tool in Google Photos to place items in the service? If so, they are copies of the Drive photos and videos and have no connection with the originals! This means that you can safely delete them from the Storage Manager in the Drive section without fear. Remember that original quality items you copy from Drive to Photos will count towards your storage quote on both products, and all copied photos and videos will remain in each department until you delete them. separately.

At, you can use a new feature called “Download from Drive”, which allows you to manually choose photos and videos from Drive to copy to Photos. This feature may not be available to everyone until the end of July 2019.

After items are copied to Photos, items are not connected between the two products.

Google Photos Help

If you’re not sure if you’re currently syncing your content from Drive in Photos, just go to your Google Photos settings and see if there’s a “Google Drive” section. If there isn’t, then you’re not syncing the two. If there is, then you are! If you used to sync your photos library with Drive back then, you’ll see a “Google Photos” folder in your Google Drive, and there will be subfolders labeling years and months., Then you used to sync your Photo Library to drive! However, these are no longer connected to each other in any way.

So in summary, as long as you have copied all this data to Google Photos, you can literally delete the entire Google Photos folder in Drive and you won’t lose any data. since – and I repeat – they are no longer connected, but you’ll definitely free up a ton of crappy storage, and the Storage Manager makes it a snap.

To boost your confidence, you can see directly on the help page of this Google Photos and Drive Sync debacle the change that Google directly declares that after July 10, 2019, photos or videos that you delete or edit in Drive won’t affect the copy you uploaded to Photos. Hooray! Again, make sure you’ve synced a copy by following the previous steps before deleting anything!

Plain and simple, but it’s up to you to make sure you have a copy in the service opposite!

As a final note on this whole mess, anyone using Google Drive Backup & Sync with photos (the option “Download newly added photos and videos to Google Photos”) Please note that it does not take duplicate storage, but removing it from either does not affect the opposite service. Plus, removing it from any of these services won’t remove it from your computer, even with Sync installed (unless you’re using file streaming)!

Some important points

It is important to note that Storage Manager only displays files that count towards your account’s storage quota., so all files that you uploaded or modified before June 1, 2021 are stored without filling your One bar, but all files that were created or modified after June 1, 2021 are counted for you. Here are some cool details: Google reserves the right to completely remove all of your Gmail, Photos, and Drive content (including Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard files) if you remain on your storage quote for 2 years or more, so yes… it’s probably a good idea to take advantage of these tools periodically!

Pro tip: If you are not sure that you can keep your account active within the 2 year time frame, you should consider setting up the inactive account manager. This tool allows you to share parts of a Google Account or its data with a trusted contact. I’ve heard of people using it to archive or manage the accounts of deceased loved ones to prevent this data from being deleted until they find a way to commemorate it or take action.

That being said, the company will send you email notifications and notifications within these services and contact you at least 3 months before deleting anything to see if they can get a response from you or get you there. to take action. Pay for additional storage or simply use Google Takeout to download a copy of all your data Avoiding losing all of your files are also great options.

Take advantage of your freed up storage space!

Ultimately, using the Takeout tool to download a copy of the Google Photos folder from Drive to a local hard drive is another way to ensure that you don’t lose any photos or videos. While Google has clearly outlined their method of separating Drive and Photos, it still makes people uncomfortable deleting items because they were previously linked.

We take no responsibility for any lost data in case you do not follow the above instructions exactly, so be careful and back up your data with Google Takeout before trying to use the storage manager. I say it a third time because it is crucial!

However, if you have followed this tutorial, you should now have tens of gigabytes for free in your Google Account, mainly thanks to the removal of the Large Files section in Storage Manager! Hope this helped clear things up, and I hope you’ve freed up tons of storage for the New Year. If you have any questions about anything here let me know in the comments so I can help clear it up!


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