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Google Drive (and Gmail) Storage Reduction

Please set aside a few minutes to clean up files in Google Drive and Gmail that you no longer need, especially files that are large in size.

How to Clean Up Files

The fastest way to clean up files in Drive and Gmail is to search by file size.

In Google Drive:

  1. At, click on Storage on the left-hand side.
    Google Drive Menu
  2. If the page is not already sorted by size, click “Storage used” in the header.
    Google Drive Storage Header
  3. Delete any files that are no longer needed. (Reminder: Personal files should not be stored in your Boise State Google Workspace account.) Deleted files will be removed from Trash every 30 days.

In Gmail:

  1. Open the Advanced Search by clicking on the “Show search options” button at the right-hand side of the search bar.
    Gmail Search Bar
  2. Look for the option to search by size. Start by searching for items larger than 15 MB. If that doesn’t return results, decrease the number and try again.
    Gmail Advanced Search Options
  3. Delete any emails that are no longer needed. Deleted emails will be removed from Trash every 30 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to clean up my files?

File Cleanup

Since 2008, Boise State has enjoyed unlimited storage in Google Workspace. Google now requires Boise State to pay for storage, based on the amount being used. 

How can I see how much storage I'm using?

Storage Usage

In Gmail, you can find your storage usage by looking at the bottom left-hand side of the page.

Gmail Storage Amount

In Google Drive, you can find your storage usage by looking at the left-hand side of the page. It’s displayed below Storage at the bottom of the menu.

Drive Storage Amount

You can also visit Google Drive Settings: Storage to see your storage usage.

Will I be limited to a certain amount of storage?

Storage Limits

As of May 21, 2024, the default storage quota is 100 GB.

If you need additional storage, please contact the Help Desk.

Do I also need to clean up department accounts?

Department Accounts

Yes. If you manage a department Google Workspace account, please log in to that account and remove any files your department no longer needs.

I deleted several large files, so why hasn't my storage amount changed?

Files in Trash

Files deleted in Drive and Gmail are first moved to Trash. Trash is automatically deleted every 30 days, unless you do it manually. Until Trash is emptied, the deleted files will still be included in the storage amount.

Which file types count toward my storage?

File Types

Currently, Google file types (such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) do not count toward the amount of storage used. It is still a good idea to remove any files that are no longer needed, regardless of file type.

What should I do with university records or documents that need to be retained?

University Records and Archives

To ensure compliance with University Policy 1020, faculty and staff may utilize University Archives to permanently preserve documents. The best way is to download folders as zip files or individual files.

Visit the University Archives website for more information.

What else is being done to reduce storage requirements?

Additional Steps

Google storage cleanup will be a university-wide effort. There are many aspects to managing our storage at Boise State, and we will be deleting inactive accounts and taking additional steps to reduce our overall storage footprint.

Contact the Help Desk

For more information, contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357,, chat, or Help Desk Self Service.