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Google storage reduction timeframe extended

Submitted by stauffeg on Tue, 04/26/2022 - 2:44 PM

Over the past year we have been sharing information about Google’s elimination of unlimited free storage for the academic community and what it will mean for CU Boulder. Originally, Google planned to enact this new storage cap starting June 30, 2022; however, an extension was granted and so the reduction efforts will now happen in stages across the rest of the calendar year, up to December 31, 2022. 

Repurposing Google storage 

CU Boulder currently uses more than 12 times as much storage as we will be allotted under Google’s new model. Given the magnitude of our storage problem, we are staggering the reduction effort across the remaining calendar year. Google is, and will continue to be, an appropriate tool for creating, sharing and storing Google file types (e.g., Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, etc.).  

The scaled-back storage allotted to CU Boulder by Google makes Google services inappropriate for storage of non-Google file types (e.g. PDFs, Word and Excel documents, pictures, videos). Individual accounts will have their Google storage capped, likely at 5 gigabytes. This cap will include all CU Boulder provided Google services including Gmail. Quotas of 5 gigabytes will not allow for the storage of non-Google files, but it can easily accommodate many Google files since in large part these file types consume very little space. 

Migration plans 

For currently affiliated students, faculty and staff who have Google accounts that exceed 5 GB, CU Boulder will provide a service that will allow for automatic migration of all non-Google file types to an owner’s Microsoft OneDrive (OneDrive). OneDrive provides 5 terabytes of storage per user which is 1,000 times more than the 5 GB limit in Google (Please note: this is subject to change based on Microsoft's recent announcement about a move toward pooled storage). Self-migration tools will also be provided for those who wish to opt out of the automatic migration to OneDrive and choose to remove their own files from Google. OIT will email all faculty and staff and currently enrolled students about these migration choices when the migration tools are available. Automatic migration will not be offered to other affiliate groups such as retirees, alumni or those who no longer have an active affiliation with CU Boulder. 

Important note: Keep an eye on your email over the summer and check in at the New Google Storage Limitations page for more information about migration plans and your options. 

Google Photos 

Google Photos was disabled for current faculty, staff and students on April 15, and will be disabled for the rest of CU Boulder before the end of the year. After Photos is disabled for an account, it will still possible to download Photos albums using Google TakeOut until December 31, 2022.  Information about Photos access will be shared via direct email with all Photos users.  

Support & Questions 

We know many of you have a lot of files, some of which you need to keep. Moving them can be cumbersome and raise a lot of questions about how best to move and store them. Whether you have questions about Google services or more generally about your CU Boulder account, please contact the IT Service Center at or 303-735-4357. If you are a Dedicated Desktop Support (DDS) customer, please use the DDS Service Request Portal to create a support case. We’re here to help.