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What to do when you run out of storage space in Gmail?

Present storage capacity of each Gmail account defaults to 15GB. Especially for service users Google Workspace customers G Suite (Gmail by business domain), users will have at least 30GB for the Basic version. However, when the archives are not only ordinary documents but also videos, images, designs, etc., over time, it is highly likely that that memory will not be enough. 

Maybe you don't know: The total storage of an account will be used for both Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos. So how to use the capacity in the most optimal and effective way? There are a few things you need to be aware of:

1. What leads to the usage of space?

1.1. Items that don't take up storage space

Google stipulates that files or items created by Google applications do not count. Include:

Google Drive:

    • Các tập tên tin được tạo bởi ứng dụng Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites và tập tin trong “Shared with me”. Tức là nếu cùng một nội dung, nếu bạn tạo file đó trong word rồi mới up lên Drive thì sẽ tốn dung lượng. Nhưng nếu ngay từ đầu tạo bằng Google Docs thì sẽ không chiếm bất kì MB trong tài khoản của bạn.
    • Only files that you are the owner of take up Google Drive space.

Google Photos:

    • Photos and videos are stored at the "High Quality” (High Quality) will enjoy unlimited and free storage.
    • When you save in “High quality” size, images and videos will be compressed to save memory while maintaining the quality of the file.

Pixel phones:

    • When using Pixel phone by Google, you can backup unlimited photos and videos to Google Photo. 

1.2. Items that take up storage space

Google Drive:

    • Most of the files that you save in “My Drive” take up space, including PDFs, photos, videos (due to work factors, users can not always create and save files with Docs, Sheets, Slides,...)
    • Items in your trash


    • Messages and attachments.
    • Including items in the Spam and Trash folders.

Google Photos:

    • Photos and videos stored in “Original” (Original Size). When uploading photos and videos and keeping their original size, these files will take up a lot of space and will be charged to your account's limit.


1.3. Memory difference in Google Drive

When you use Google Drive for personal computer (Backup and Sync), you may find the files stored above take up space in a different way (compared to cloud storage :

  • Items in the Trash will take up space in Google Drive, but it won't be synced to your computer.
  • Items shared with you take up space on your computer, but not on Google Drive
  • Files in multiple folders will be synchronized with all folders on your computer, thus taking up more storage space.
  • If you only sync some folders to your computer, the storage space on your computer will be less than what is displayed on Google Drive.
  • Your computer will display slightly different file size information on Google Drive ( as required by your MAC or PC.

2 . storage capacity


2. What happens when you run out of space?

If your storage space runs out, all your files will still be stored but you won't be able to store new stuff. Like:

Google Drive:

  • You will not be able to sync or upload new files. Synchronization between the Google Drive folder on your computer and My Drive on the web will be stopped. You can still create documents using Google apps (Docs, Sheets,…) because they don't take up extra space.


  • You will not be able to receive any more messages from customers or senders to you. These messages will be returned to the sender.

Google Photos:

  • You will only be able to upload new photos and videos that are stored in “High Quality”.


3. What to do when you run out of storage space?

3.1. Solution 1: Clean up storage space

In this solution, we will clean the memory space in Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photo with unnecessary files. Here, you will have to do the following:

3.1.1. Google Drive

  1. Go to Google Drive.
  2. Go to “My Drive” and select unnecessary folders and files by pressing the key combination “Ctrl + Left Mouse”
  3. Choose Trash  in the upper right corner of the screen or you right-click and select “Remove".

Note: When you select folders and files and select delete, those folders and files will not be permanently deleted from the Google system, but will be saved in the “Trash” and still take up space.

     4.On the left side of the screen you go to the Trash: The system will display a list of folders and files in the recycle bin.

     5. Select the folders and files to delete from the recycle bin. Right mouse select "Delete Forever" (Permanently deleted)

In this step you will have to delete again the folders and files. At that time, the new system confirms the deletion of the above folders and files, which means freeing up memory and storage space.


3.1.2. Gmail

a) Delete unnecessary emails.

  1. Select the emails to delete or use the search to filter the list of emails to delete and select Delete
  2. On the left side of the screen, go to More > Trash
  3. On the screen, select “Empty the trash now

***Note: Usually, emails that are in the trash for more than 30 days will be automatically deleted by the system.

b) Delete Spam email:

  1. On the left side of the screen, Select More > Spam
  2. At the top of the screen, select “Delete all spam mail now” or you can select each email. Then select “Delete Permanently”.

3.1.3. Google Photos

Change the quality of archived photos and videos:

In this section you clean up storage space by changing your photo and video information from “Original” to “High Quality”. This will not take up your storage space.

  1. To enter Google Photos -> Settings
  2. Choose "Memory recovery". This will not change the quality of your videos and images the next time you upload videos and images.

Remove unwanted videos and images:

  1. Go to Google Photos
  2. Select the videos and images you want to delete.
  3. At the top right of the screen, select Erase or right click and select Erase.
  4. On the left side of the screen, select Expanded list > Trash can.
  5. Choose Permanently deleted video, image or video image selection and choose Erase.

3.2. Solution 2: Buy more storage

In this solution it will be easier because you will not have to consider deleting important messages or files needed for work and transactions. You just need to spend your budget on buying more storage.

In this section there will be 2 options for you:

3.2.1. For individual users (accounts ending in

Users can use international payment cards to buy Drive storage directly from Google. You just need to access here, you will see:

    • The amount of space you used compared to total storage.
    • Storage packages that you can buy. When you click on these options, you will see further instructions to complete the purchase process.
    • These packages will be upgraded later on Google One – a shared hosting package will be launched by Google in the near future.

Drive capacity 3

3.2.2. For users G Suite (

There will be two options:

    • Users can buy it themselves or ask the business's admin to buy more storage for themselves. To buy more Drive space, you follow instructions here. However, when buying by themselves with an international payment card, customers will not receive a red invoice from Google and have to perform the configuration steps themselves as well as contact Google themselves when there is a request for technical support.
    • Businesses buy through Google's partner in Vietnam: When buying through Google partners, customers will receive a red invoice while the price is the same. In addition, customers will receive technical support from Gimasys experts when required.

***Note: When using G Suite:

  • Drive and add-on services in G Suite are sold by license. After declaring the purchase of a Drive license, the admin assigns (assign) the license to which account, that account has the right to use the purchased space.
  • Additional purchased capacity cannot be used to split into multiple accounts.
  • Admin has the right to block users from buying more storage or renewing more storage, or prevent users from using Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos.

For storage needs with a large volume (design files, videos, images, ..) and 30GB is not enough, businesses can refer to the higher versions as G Suite  or Enterprise with unlimited storage.

Update: Gimasys 

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