How to run out of space on an unlimited Google Drive.

How to run out of space on an unlimited Google Drive.

I have used Google Drive for a long time. Back in elementary school, I was assigned a Google Drive account, and we used it for Google Docs and Slides and Sheets and Forms and Sites and all the wonderful things that Google had to offer. That was a time of innocence. It was before I knew a thing about drive quotas. I was probably just in 2nd grade. I couldn't have told you how much space my computer had, let alone the Google Drive.

But none of it mattered. All we worked with were jpegs from the internet and some text files. By the time I graduated my elementary school, I had never really hit that wall. It was only once I started middle school, with a new laptop and phone to match, did I start to become aware that there was a physical limit to storage space. But of course, the cloud was infinite. Or so I was told.

Well actually, it kind of was. The school paid for an unlimited drive size per person. If I check manually, I guess it's technically 100TB, but I'd like to see a middle schooler fill that.

My high school was on the same campus as my middle school, and I kept my middle school files and documents across the graduation automatically. A high schooler, though, can fill up a drive. And oh did I ever. My phone often filled, as did my computer. I was perpetually under 50 gigs free... but my Google Drive was always an easy upload away. Unlimited space, included with my school.

By the time I hit graduation, I had 216GB of files uploaded, a respectable amount.

screenshot of Google storage quota page, 216.18GB of 100TB used.

I was told that my high school Google Drive would close in 6 months, and that I should transfer anything I needed.

Well that was easy.

screenshot of google account settings page, showing "Transfer your content" option, with blue "Start transfer" button visible.

A few clicks later, and all 216GB of files and emails were transferred to my shiny new college Google Drive, which I was told also had unlimited storage, which it did! Exciting. Thanks Google!

And everyone stored their files happily ever after. The end...


screenshot of email explaining that a storage quota will be implimented


Yeah I'm just gonna ignore that...

And these.

screenshot of 5 emails reminding me about the quota

What are they gonna do? Delete my files?

No, but they will stop me from creating or editing any Google Docs.

screenshot of red banner on google drive, "Storage full - You've used all of your 60 GB individual storage. To upload more files, free up space or talk to your administrator."

And that's where things stand today. I managed to create EVEN MORE files in the time before the quota took effect, which makes this alert even funnier

screenshot of red capacity bar, with "242.31 GB of 60 GB used" below it, followed by a big red "Manage storage" button

Will I remove my files and free up space? Absolutely not. I want to see where this takes me, to the bitter end. I've been creating docs in Pages and doing presentations in Keynote, all saved locally. It's certainly been a decent motivator to get me to learn another tool. I can still collaborate in shared documents, I just can't be the creator of the document, which is interesting.

Now I was told that my high school Google Drive account would close 6 months after graduation, but uhhh... nope. It's still there, with 100TB of free space. If I really wanted to, I could transfer all my stuff back to that, and free up the space on my college Google Drive. The problem is that it could disappear at any moment, but hey it would be fun.

For now, though, I can browse though (but not edit) my 7th grade math notes, if I wanted to, and all it costs me is a big red warning bar and the inability to create files on Google Drive.

Worth it, honestly.