Google@UH Storage Limitations and Quotas

In 2021, Google announced a new storage policy which will move our Google domain from unlimited storage to pooled storage across all Google@UH accounts by July 2024. This means that each Google@UH account’s use of Gmail, Drive, and Photos, in addition to all Google@UH shared drives, will collectively count towards our Google domain’s pooled storage. Should our collective storage use exceed our allotted pooled storage amount, some Google@UH services may be limited. In response to Google’s announcement, we looked at storage use for all Google@UH accounts and shared drives and identified some inappropriate use of the storage for Google@UH services.


As a result of Google’s change to pooled storage, as well as the discovery of some misuse of Google@UH resources, changes to Google@UH services will be made over the upcoming year to help manage the amount of our pooled storage being used.


From Wednesday, February 1, 2023 to Monday, January 29, 2024, all Google@UH accounts will have storage quotas based on an individual’s affiliation with UH, with no service impact if the quota is reached or exceeded. This one-year non-enforcement period is being provided to allow individuals time to bring their Google@UH account and shared drive storage usage under the appropriate quota before Google@UH services become impacted.


After Monday, January 29, 2024, these account quotas will start being enforced, with service impact for Google@UH accounts when the quota is reached or exceeded until storage use is brought back below the account quota.



Individual Google@UH account storage quotas

Individual Google@UH accounts will have the following storage quota based on their affiliation/status. Quotas will be enforced starting on 1/29/2024.


Affiliation Quota (in GB*)
Faculty 100 GB
Staff 100 GB
Students 25 GB
Prestudents 10 GB
Affiliates 25 GB
Departmental/Organizational Usernames 25 GB
Ohana 7.5 GB

 *1GB = 1000MB


Users who have multiple affiliations will have storage quota based on whichever affiliation has the highest allocation. Storage quotas for these users will not be the sum of quotas for all of their affiliations. For example, a user who is both a faculty member and a student will have a storage quota based on their faculty affiliation (100 GB) as their faculty quota provides a higher allocation when compared with their student quota.


Google@UH Shared Drive limitations and storage quotas

As of January 2023, Shared Drives created within Google Drive will have the following limitations and storage quotas.


  • Google@UH shared drives can only be created by UH faculty and staff using their Google@UH accounts. Other Google@UH account collaborators can continue to be granted an appropriate role within a shared drive, they just cannot request or create the shared drives themselves.
  • Newly created Google@UH shared drives have been limited to 25 GB of storage quota. Once this quota is reached, files within the shared drive will remain available, but new files will not be able to be stored in the shared drive.
  • Beginning on 4/1/2023, we will also be identifying and applying the same 25GB storage quota to existing shared drives that are well below this limit.



What counts towards my storage quota?


  • Messages and attachments including items in your Spam and Trash


  • Most files in your "My Drive," including PDFs, images, videos, and items in your Trash.
  • Files created or edited after May 2, 2022 in collaborative content creation apps like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, Recorder, and Jamboard.

Google Photos (available for users enrolled in Google@UH Consumer Apps)

  • Original quality photos and videos backed up to Google Photos.
  • "High quality" (now named "Storage saver quality") and "Express quality" photos and videos backed up to Google Photos after June 1, 2021.


How do I check my current storage use?

You can check your current storage usage by logging in at


What happens if I exceed my individual storage quota?

During the non-enforcement period from 2/1/2023 to 1/29/2024 there will be no service impact if exceeding your individual storage quota. It is recommended that you use this time to review and reduce your storage usage to bring you under your quota.

Once enforcement begins after 1/29/2024 the following services will be impacted should you exceed your storage quota and will remain in place until your storage use falls below your quota:

  • You will not be able to upload new files or images to Google Drive.
  • You will not be able to create files in collaborative content creation apps, such as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard. Until you reduce your storage usage, you will not be able to edit or copy affected files or submit forms.
  • You will not be able to back up any photos or videos to Google Photos.
  • You will not be able to record new meetings in Google Meet.
  • You will not be able to create assignments with new files, export grades to Google sheets, or make copies of Assignments in Google Classroom.

The following services will still be available to you even if you have exceeded your storage quota:

  • You will still be able to sign in.
  • You will still be able to send and receive emails.
  • You will still be able to view and download files stored on Google Drive.
  • You will still be able to view and download photos stored on Google Photos.


How do I manage my storage use by deleting emails, files, and photos?

You can find instructions and tips for finding and deleting emails, files, and photos that are taking up your storage here:

When managing your storage use, it is recommended to review items that are using the most amount of storage space first and work your way down to items using less storage space. Items that commonly utilize more storage space include large files (videos, music, software installers, etc.), high resolution or raw photos, docs/sheets/slides with images embedded, and emails with large attachments. In general, individual emails without attachments and small docs/sheets/slides without images utilize comparatively little storage space.


I deleted emails, files, or photos but my storage use has not decreased. Am I doing something wrong?

When you first delete an email, file, or photo it will be moved to the "trash". Gmail, Drive, and Photos all have their own trash. Emails, files, or photos in trash still count against your storage use. Storage in use by items in trash will be reclaimed once the items are permanently deleted. Items in trash are automatically and permanently deleted after 30 days. While in your trash, items can be recovered before the 30-day time window. You can also choose to manually and permanently delete items in your trash at any time by navigating to the "trash" folder and clicking either "Empty Trash" to remove all items in trash or by selecting individual items and selecting "Delete Forever". 

Please note that emails, files, and photos that are permanently deleted from trash are irrecoverable. This applies whether they were manually deleted from the trash or automatically deleted after the 30-day time window. If you choose to manually delete emails, files, or photos from trash, please be absolutely certain that you no longer need them.

If you delete, restore, or permanently delete a large number of files or folders at once, it might take time for the changes to be processed.


I have emails, files, photos that I want to keep but I still need to lower my storage use. What options are available to me?

You can download a copy of emails, files, and photos prior to deleting them. Once you have a copy stored on your local computer, external storage media, or another cloud storage account you can delete the emails, files, or photos from your Google@UH account to free up storage space. Google Takeout offers an easy way to obtain a copy of Gmail, Drive, and Photo data but you must be enrolled in Google@UH Consumer Apps to access Takeout.




  • Google Takeout (available for users enrolled in Google@UH Consumer Apps)
  • Download files from the web ( to your local computer, external storage media, or another cloud storage account
  • Set up Partner Sharing to transfer Google Photos to a personal Google account. After setting up Partner Sharing, follow Google's instructions in the "Save your partner's photos" section to create a copy of photos in your personal account. Then, delete the photos from your account. Remember, you need to empty your Google Photos' Trash in order to reclaim storage space used by deleted photos.


How do I request an exception to increase my storage quota?

As we are not yet enforcing storage quotas, we are not currently offering quota increases or exceptions. We will provide more information on how to request increases to your quota prior to enforcement. In the meantime, we strongly encourage users to use the non-enforcement period to review, evaluate, and shrink their storage usage. If you have any questions or concerns about your storage usage, please contact the ITS Help Desk.


I manage a Departmental or Organizational UH Username. Do these types of accounts have storage quotas?

Yes, Departmental and Organizational UH Usernames have a 25 GB storage quota. See the individual Google@UH account storage quota table above for a full list of storage quotas by affiliation/status.


Does the Shared Drive storage count against my individual storage quota?

No, Shared Drives have their own storage quotas and storage used by a Shared Drive does not count towards an individual's storage quota. Storage used by Shared Drives does count towards our Google domain's total pooled storage limit. See below for information on reviewing the storage usage of a Shared Drive.


How do I check the current storage usage of a Shared Drive?

First navigate to the list of Shared Drives that you manage or are a member of by visiting Next, click once to select the Shared Drive you'd like to check the storage usage of. After selecting a Shared Drive, click on the  "View details" icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. In the "details pane" that appears you will find a field named "Storage used" that will display the Shared Drive's current storage usage.

With the "details pane" open, you can click once to select and view the storage used by other Shared Drives that you manage or are a member of.  


Do Google Groups have storage quotas?

At this time there is no storage quota for Google Groups and messages within the groups user interface do no count towards the domain's total pooled storage limit.

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Article ID: 1882
Created: Wed, 11 Jan 2023 10:05am
Modified: Mon, 05 Jun 2023 3:08pm