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In June 2021 new Photos, Docs, Sheets, and more will count against Google Account storage

Google announced today that it will begin counting "High Quality" backed-up photos, Docs, Sheets, and more towards your Google account storage on June 1, 2021.  Also, if you are not active in Gmail, Drive, or Photos for 24 months, your content in that product will be deleted. 

You can get an estimate of how long your current storage will last at and purchase additional storage if you need it.

Keep in mind: 

  • This will not affect photos, videos, docs or files that you are uploading now. This only affects content uploaded, created, or edited starting June 1, 2021.
  • High Quality photos and videos backed up from a Pixel 1-5 phone will not count against your Google account storage. 
  • This does not affect YouTube channels.
  • This does not affect Blogger blogs. 
  • This does not affect Google Sites sites.
  • This does not affect Google Keep notes.
  • You can keep Gmail, Drive, and Photos active by signing in periodically.
  • This will affect G Suite and Google Workspace customers. Learn more here.
Read on for more details.

What content counts against your Google Storage?

What currently counts against your Google Account storage includes::

  • Original quality photos and videos backed up to Google Photos
  • Gmail messages and attachments, including what's in your spam folder
  • Most Google Drive files, photos and videos

Additional items that will count against your Google storage starting June 1, 2021

  • High Quality and Express Quality photos backed up to Google Photos (excepting those from a Pixel 5 or earlier)
  • Files created in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard. 
  • Older files edited in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard.

What happens if you go over the storage limit?

Free Google accounts come with 15 GB free storage. 

You can also pay for more storage through Google One. Currently it's $20/year for 100 GB, $30/year for 200 GB, and $100/year for 2 TB, and it can be shared with your family group.

If you are over the storage quota, beginning in June 2021: 

  • You won't  be able to back up photos to Google Photos.
  • You won't be able to upload files to Google Drive.
  • You won't be able to create new Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms or Jamboard files.
  • No one will be able to edit your existing Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms or Jamboard files.
  • Your ability to send and receive email in Gmail will be impacted.
  • If you are over quota for more than 2 years, your content in Gmail, Photos and Drive (including Docs, Sheets, and so forth) will be deleted. You will be warned at least 3 months before that happens. 

Content in inactive products will be deleted

In another significant change, Google will begin deleting content in products where you are not active for at least 2 years. 

This is on a per product basis, not per account, so, for example, using Google Photos won't count as activity in Google Drive. 

Google will give at least 3 months notice before deleting any content. But that does mean you need to keep an eye out for announcements.

What you can do: 

Learn more


  1. It's always a good idea to stay active in accounts that you want to keep. Google should do something like this with YouTube channels that are dormant.
    I'm surprised that anything can be free nowadays.

    1. It's funny you mention that about YouTube. There was a period when completely inactive YouTube channels (no uploads, no playlists) were deleted. I believe that was in the transition to Google accounts.

      But I think the issue of deletion of content can have severely negative consequences, because - right or wrong - people assume their content is safe when they upload it. And there are cases where people don't access their accounts for a long time, but eventually want to access that data (think, for example, a channel created in school).

      It will be interesting to see what happens when Google does start the deleting.


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