How to Make the Most of Google’s 15 GB of Free Storage

Google Photos

Google has been making a few changes to how its apps operate. The first monumental change was the cap on storage that comes with your Google account. Previously, there was no limit on the amount of storage used by free Google account users however that has changed.

When you create a Google account, you’ll receive 15 GB of free cloud storage space spread across three key products: Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos. Once you’ve reached that limit, you’ll need to sign up for a Google One storage plan, which starts at $1.99 per month for 100 GB.

This article will provide you with certain tips and tricks on how to use your 15 GB storage smartly. It is worth noting that if you exceed your allocated storage, your files will not disappear but you will not be able to add new files or receive emails unless you free up some space or subscribe to one of the paid packages.

How to save space on Gmail

Individual emails don’t take up a lot of space, but if you’ve had your Gmail account for a long time, you may notice that they’re starting to pile up. Searching for and deleting old emails is one approach to clean the decks. To find messages older than a year, type “older than:1y” into the search box at the top of Gmail.

When your ‘older than’ emails display, choose all of them using the selection box above the left-hand list, then select the Select all conversations that match this search option. When you click the Delete button, the selected emails are deleted—or, more accurately, they are put in the Trash folder for 30 days before being deleted. You can play around with the filters and simply delete all the spam or unwanted emails.

Clear up your Google Drive

Click the Storage link on the left from the main Google Drive interface on the web, and you should see all of your files in your account, with the largest at the top (if not, click the Storage used link in the top right) – you might be surprised at how much space some of your files, particularly large documents and videos, are taking up.

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To delete a file, simply pick it and drag it to the Trash folder using the Remove button in the top right corner (the trash can). It will remain there for 30 days before being permanently erased, but you may speed up the process by clicking Trash on the main interface’s left side and choosing Empty trash.

You even have the option to select multiple files at once or look for specific files that you no longer need by looking them up through a search. Limit the data saved through phone sharing.

Manage Google Photos

When it comes to assisting you in reducing the number of unneeded files taking up space in your account, Google Photos is rather proactive, but most of the major tools in this sector aren’t available on the web – you’ll have to download Google Photos for Android or iOS to access them.

Tap Library and Utilities on the mobile apps, and you should see a few options for deleting blurry or otherwise low-quality photos – you can still review these and decide before they’re wiped. You can also tap Search and scroll down to discover some automatically produced image categories, such as Screenshots, that may contain files you’d wish to delete.

Make use of Google Photos’ strong search capabilities as well. Searching for phrases like “receipt” or dates like “March 2000” will bring up photographs and videos that you might not need. Simply select an image or video, then select Delete to remove it from your account.

The Bottom Line

The key to making the most of your 15 GB free storage is to periodically delete all the unwanted files or media taking up your storage space.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at

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