As you likely know, Google Drive is a cloud storage service connected directly to your Google account. Everyone gets 15GB of storage space free with their account, but it extends to Gmail, and Google Photos, as well.
That means if you receive a lot of attachments via email, and you store a lot of high-quality media, you can easily use up your free space.
Other than the occasional promotion — sometimes Google will give away 2GB and smaller increments for completing an action — you cannot boost your storage capacity for free.
Personally, I was able to boost my storage capacity to 117GB by purchasing a Chromebook, which came with 100GB free. Other devices may include storage space such as Pixel smartphones and Google brand products.
There are some ways to boost space, but most of them require spending money.
1. Buy More Storage
Luckily, Google’s premium cloud storage plans aren’t expensive at all. It starts at 100GB of storage for $1.99 per month and goes all the way up to 30TB. However, 2TB is $9.99 per month which is bordering on steep, so the higher plans are a lot more.
To buy more, just go to Google Storage Settings, scroll down to view the plans, and click the blue Upgrade button to activate it.
2. Use Google File Formats
Google Drive is also connected to several office tools like Docs, Sheets, and Slides. If you use these apps to create and share documents then it will not use up any space you have available.
That includes documents you embed within emails. This is because Google’s file formats are designed not to take up any cloud storage space.
You can take advantage of this by converting Word docs and similar files to Google’s preferred format.
3. Change Google Photos Quality
Google Photos is an excellent cloud storage service to back up your personal photos and videos from any Android device.
Stock devices — like the Pixel line — already use the app and service by default.
You can store an unlimited number of photos so long as they are in high-quality format. Anything higher and they take up space. That includes photos that are already stored in your account.
To Google photos quality:
- Open the Google Photos app.
- Tap the menu button and choose Settings.
- Navigate to Back up & sync > Upload Size and make sure “High Quality (free unlimited storage)” is selected.
5. Delete Large Files from Drive
Open “https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/quota” in your browser and you should see a full list of all the files you have stored in your Drive account, with the largest at the top.
Just right-click on the files you want to delete and select Remove from the context menu that appears.
Alternate Space Savers
Of course, there are some other things you can do to either save space or boost your storage capacity, as well.
- Become a Local Guide to earn free perks
- Students, teachers, and academics get unlimited free storage with an Edu Gsuite Domain
- Delete emails and large attachments stored in your Gmail
While it’s not really possible to get more storage for free outside of the rare promotion, you can boost capacity and make better use of what you have by following these tips.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to reply in a timely manner.