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Wake Forest University

Managing your Google Drive Storage

Modified on: Wed, Jan 17, 2024 1:23 PM


As good stewards of university resources, it is important to periodically review your current Google storage use. 

View your current storage usage and see your largest files in Google Drive on this page. Files will be listed from largest to smallest. To see details about your file, including who has access, last modified date, and more, click on the ūüõą in the upper right toolbar. Once you have reviewed the content, you can click on the trash can icon to move the file to trash. Files in trash will be automatically deleted after 30 days.

screenshot of Google Drive storage for a personal account that displays total spaced used as well as a list of drive files in largest to smallest order


Here are just a few suggestions for content that may be deletable:

  • Old Meet, Zoom, Webex recordings

  • Outdated documents, spreadsheets, and forms

  • Files transferred to you from a former colleague that are no longer referenced/needed

  • Emails with large attachments

  • Personal content that should be saved on your personal device

Google has created helpful content on their site to further assist you in managing your storage for Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos.

As you go through this thoughtful review process, make sure you are storing data in accordance with our Policy on Responsible and Ethical Use of Computing Resources.


Google Drive Organization Tips

Tip 1: Put files in folders. 
Drag a file into a folder for easy organization. If you're still editing a document, give it a name, then click the folder icon next to the name field to place it into your desired folder.

Tip 2: Minimize top level folders. 
Experts agree that the fewer top level folders we have, the easier it is to organize and manage our Google Drive. Rather than having dozens of folders in your Google Drive, consider organizing folders by year or course or project, leaving just a handful of folders at the top level. Organize all of your files into those top level folders, creating subfolders if necessary.

Tip 3: Color code your folders. 
Add colors to your folders to make them more visually meaningful. Right-click a folder, select Organize from the menu, then select a color.

Tip 4: Star your important files.
Use the Star feature for quick access to important files and folders.

Tip 5: Use Advanced Search features to find and organize your files.
When your Google Drive becomes overwhelming, use Advanced Search to find what you're looking for. Then, organize files into folders or delete them! Click the Advanced Search button on the far right of your Search bar, at the top of your Google Drive. (Pro Tip! Use the Date Modified field to search for files more than 10 years old, then click Search. Note all the potential files that can be deleted!)

Tip 6: Consider a Shared Drive
Not to be confused with a shared folder, a Shared Drive is a special folder in Google Drive that belongs to a team rather than an individual. Contents in Shared Drives persist, even if a member leaves the University. (Files in Shared Drives do not count toward individual user storage quotas, but rather to the institution's storage quota.)


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