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Decorative photo: Google Drive

Google storage update

Submitted by stauffeg on

Google’s elimination of unlimited free storage for the academic community is forcing CU Boulder to make significant changes to the Google services it offers. In order to better manage CU Boulder’s new limited storage, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) recently announced the retirement of the Google Photos service and plan to soon set quotas for Google storage.  

What should I do?

If your Google storage exceeds 5 gigabytes, we recommend that you remove files that are no longer needed by you or others with whom they were shared. Here is how you can check your current Google storage. Please note that you must be logged in to your CU Boulder Google account to check your usage. Here are other tips for reducing your Google storage

Setting quotas for Google storage is dependent upon having an administrative management tool which Google promised to provide in 2021 but has yet to deliver. OIT is also testing tools that will help with the migration of files from Google to other campus storage solutions. We will directly email those who must reduce their storage as soon as these tools are available and provide direction on how you can migrate the files you wish to keep. 

Why just 5 GB of storage? 

Reducing your storage to just 5 GB might sound challenging and even unreasonable if you have used Google Drive to back up your files. Since announcing this change, Google has said that their services are intended for collaboration and were never intended to serve as file storage. As such, if you focus your storage reduction and migration efforts on non-Google file types (e.g., Microsoft documents, PDFs, videos, photos, etc.) you will find that Google-produced files take up very little storage space. In fact, 5 GB is a reasonable amount of storage if you only keep Google files that are being used for active collaboration. 

How can I get help? 

We know you may have a lot of files you wish to keep, that moving them can be cumbersome and that you might have questions about how to do that. 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.