Are you a student? If so, you can get unlimited cloud storage for the very low price of free.
Google on Tuesday announced a new version of Drive that is free for students. Described as an “infinitely large, ultra-secure and entirely free bookbag for the 21st century,” the new Drive for Education offering will be available to all Google Apps for Education customers at no charge.
It includes unlimited storage (with a 5TB per-file size limit) plus access to the Google Apps Vault for your message archiving needs.
“No more worrying about how much space you have left or about which user needs more gigabytes,” Ben Schrom, project manager for Google Apps for Education, wrote in a blog post-Tuesday.
Google stressed the security of Drive, noting that every file uploaded to the service is encrypted both while it travels from your device to the company’s data centers, and also while at rest on Google’s servers.
“We want educators and students who use Google Apps for Education to be able to focus on the learning experience — not the technology that supports it,” Schrom wrote. “With Drive for Education, users can put an end to worries about storage limits and more easily maintain a safe, effective and compliant learning environment.”
The move comes after Google in May unveiled Classroom, a free tool in the Google Apps for Education Suite that aims to make teachers’ lives a little easier and more organized. The classroom is integrated with Drive to automatically organize assignments into folders.
Google also recently launched Drive for Work, a premium offering for businesses that includes unlimited storage, advanced audit reporting, and new security controls for $10 per user per month.
By default, Google gives you 15GB of space to use for everything associated with your account. (If you have a paid Google Workspace — formerly G Suite — account, your limit’s likely higher.) That includes content connected to Gmail, Google Drive, and all Google Photos saved after June 1st. Needless to say, data adds up fast.
You can check your current storage status by visiting this page, and if push comes to shove, you can purchase more space there, too, for as little as $2 a month for an extra 100GB. But shelling out more money might not be necessary. A quick round of old-fashioned housekeeping could be enough to clear away your virtual cobwebs and give yourself ample room to grow. Here’s how to do it.
DELETE DRIVE DEBRIS
Google Drive is commonplace for space-sucking files to build up and wear down your quota, but tidying things up doesn’t take long.
- Open this link, which will show you a list of all of your Drive files sorted by size with the largest items at the top
- Look through the heftiest offenders and delete anything you no longer need
- Click the gear-shaped icon in Drive’s upper-right corner, and select “Settings,” followed by “Manage Apps”
- For any apps that have a note about hidden data, click the gray “Options” box to the right, and select “Delete hidden app data”
- Open your Drive Trash folder and click on the “Empty trash” link at the top of the page
Emails don’t take up a ton of space, but you know what does? Attachments. Odds are, you’ve got plenty of old attachments sitting in your Gmail account that you don’t really need.
- Go to the Gmail website and type “has: attachment larger:10M” into the search box at the top
- Identify any messages with disposable attachments and delete them.
- Open your Spam folder, and click the link to “Delete all spam messages now”
- Open your Trash folder, and select “Empty Trash now” to send everything away for good
FREE UP PHOTOS STORAGE
Unless you currently have a Pixel phone (in which case, you will for now, keep the unlimited “high quality” option), as of June 1st, 2021, every photo and video backed up to Google Photos is going to count against your Google storage. If you’ve been saving photos at their original sizes, you can free up tons of space by converting them to Google’s “high-quality” option, which compresses images down to 16MP and videos to 1080p (a change that’s unlikely to be noticeable for most people and purposes).
Go to the Photos settings page, and select “High quality (free unlimited storage)”
When you make that selection, you’ll be asked whether you want to switch to the “high quality” format and compress your existing photos. If there are any photos you don’t want to compress, click on the “Learn how to keep original files” link for instructions on saving those photos to your device.