Google@UH Storage Policy 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 were made to help manage and reduce the amount of our pooled storage being used.


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


On Monday, January 29, 2024, storage quota enforcement began, with service impact for Google@UH accounts if their quota is reached or exceeded and until storage use is brought back below their account quota. Users can check their current storage usage by logging in at



Individual Google@UH account storage quotas

Individual Google@UH accounts have the following storage quota based on their affiliation/status. Quotas enforcement began on 1/29/2024.


Affiliation Quota (in GB*)
Faculty / Emeritus Faculty 100 GB
Staff 100 GB
Students 25 GB
Prestudents 10 GB
Affiliates / Retirees 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.
  • A shared drive can contain a maximum of 400,000 items, including files, folders, and shortcuts. Note: This limit is based on item count, not storage use. We recommend that you keep shared drives well below the strict limit. Shared drives with too many files might be difficult to organize and search, or members ignore much of the content.
  • On 4/1/2023, we began applying the same 25GB storage quota to existing shared drives that were well below this limit.


Google@UH Add-on Storage

Faculty and Staff with a need for additional storage can purchase Google@UH Add-on Storage for an annual purchase term. Google@UH Add-on storage can be applied to a Google@UH Shared Drive or to an individual or departmental Google@UH account. ITS will be absorbing add-on storage costs for a portion of the inaugural purchase term from February 1, 2024 through June 30, 2024. Add-on storage requests received and processed prior to June 30, 2024 will be charged only for the remainder of the purchase term from July 1, 2024 through January 31, 2025. Purchases through this program can be made ONLY by UH Departmental payments. For more information about Google@UH Add-on Storage or to place an order, visit our Google@UH Add-on Storage article.



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.
  • "My Drive" folders can contain up to 500,000 items (files, folders, and shortcuts).

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?

The following impacts will be experienced 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 actions 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". Emails, files, and photos in trash continue to count against your storage quota until permanently deleted. The Gmail, Drive, and Photos apps each have their own, individual trash. While in your trash, items can be recovered within 30 days. Items in trash are automatically and permanently deleted after 30 days. 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 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 may take several minutes 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 (note, you must first be enrolled in Google@UH Consumer Apps to access Google 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 or increase my storage quota?

Information Technology Services (ITS) has established a program to provide add-on storage for Google@UH (Google Drive, Gmail) for a fee. This add-on storage is in addition to the allotted storage quotas provided to all Google@UH accounts. Active UH faculty and staff may participate in this program and purchase add-on storage via UH Departmental payment. Purchases through this program can be made ONLY by UH Departmental payments.

Add-on storage provides the user with the “right to use” a specific allocation of additional storage for Google@UH on an annual basis for the duration of the purchase term. Purchase term to begin on February 1 and end on January 31 of the following year. Add-on storage purchased after the start of any purchase term will be prorated to the month of purchase. For example, add-on storage purchased in April will be charged 10/12ths of the total annual cost.

Google@UH Add-on storage can be applied to a Google@UH Shared Drive or to an individual or departmental Google@UH account.

For more information about Google@UH Add-on Storage, please visit our Google@UH Add-on Storage article.

Note: we recommend faculty and staff review and reduce their Google@UH storage usage as much as possible before considering purchasing Google@UH Add-on Storage.


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. 


How do I delete a Shared Drive?

You must have manager access and the shared drive has to be empty (files must be deleted or moved out of the shared drive you wish to delete). Note that each shared drive has its own trash where deleted files are stored for 30 days. To review and permanently delete files from a shared drive's trash:

  1. In your browser, visit
  2. In the Shared drives view, double-click to enter the shared drive whose trash you want to view.
  3. Click on Trash in the left nav bar.
  4. To permanantly delete individual files, right-click individual files and select Delete forever.
  5. Otherwise, to permanently delete all files in the trash, click Empty shared drive trash located in the gray banner.

To delete an empty shared drive:

  1. In your browser, visit
  2. Right-click the shared drive you want to delete.
  3. Click Delete shared drive.


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, 15 Apr 2024 1:46pm