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Google Storage Limits


Google will no longer provide unlimited data storage as part of their education service agreements. Adjustments may need to be made to your Google storage to avoid losing important files.

Due to changes in Google's approach to digital data storage associated with education subscriptions, it has become necessary for ISU to implement updated data storage limits. Specifically, Google will no longer provide unlimited data storage as part of their education service agreements without universities incurring substantial costs. Meaning, our costs will continue to rise as our storage usage increases.

To determine the best approach for adapting ISU’s data storage procedures, current University storage consumption data was examined across all units. Then various storage limits were modeled to identify the limits that best align with ISU’s needs, while also considering the impact on our budget.  

As a result, every Google account at ISU will be subject to new data limits for electronic storage space. This includes Gmail and Google Drive, along with some Google Workspace applications, such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Google Photos will not be available through ISU accounts going forward. The new Google storage limits will vary depending on your role at ISU. Every account holder or manager will need to consider options for transferring or deleting files if they are over their data limit. Resources such as IT support and information forums will be available to assist with this process.



Data Limits Based on Role

Storage limits vary depending on your role at ISU

  • Faculty (including Emeritus): 50 GB
  • Adjunct Faculty: 30 GB
  • Affiliate Faculty: 20 GB
  • Staff: 20 GB
  • Temporary Employees: 20 GB
  • Students: 10 GB
  • Alumni (not employees): 5 GB (email only)
  • Retirees: 5 GB (email only)
  • Departments: 20 GB
  • Shared Drives: 20 GB
  • Existing Service/Club Accounts: 10 GB

If you have multiple roles, the higher limit applies to you. It is not possible for individuals to purchase additional storage for their ISU Google Account.


Find Your Current Storage Usage

Students, Faculty, and Staff

To see your personal storage usage, click this Drive Storage Link and log in to your ISU Google Account.


Alumni and Retirees

To see your personal storage usage, log in to your ISU Email and scroll to the bottom.

For additional guidance visit the Google Storage knowledge base.


Transition Timeline

November 9, 2023 - Alumni Notified of Google Changes

February 20, 2024 - Alumni Drive and Photos access disabled

February 21, 2024 - Google Storage Limits Forum

April 15, 2024 - Google Photos disabled for all ISU

May 1, 2024 - All Google accounts under storage limits


Managing Files and Storage Limits

If you are deleting things from your ISU Google account, you need to empty the trash after you've deleted it. Otherwise Google keeps the item in your account for 30 days before that item is removed from the trash--and your account.


Remove All Photos From Google Photos

As of April 15, 2024, Google Photos will no longer be available as an ISU Google App.  This means you will be unable to access ANY photos you currently have stored in ISU's Google Photos App.  You will need to remove all photos--both personal and professional--from Google Photos if you want to access them after April 15th.  Work-related photos can be moved to Box, if applicable.  You may need to un-sync your phone from Google Photos to stop your phone from automatically saving photos to Google Photos.

We have specific instructions for transferring and deleting Google Photos to help you out.


Move Personal Files

Move personal files and documents out of your ISU Google account. These can be moved to a storage device, a separate personal Google account, or a commercial cloud storage solution.

Google has developed a tool called Google Take Out to simplify the process.

Refer to Google Account Help resources for additional guidance.


Remove Unnecessary Files

Purge files you no longer need from Google Drive, including all apps, services, images, and documents.

Helpful hint: sort your drive by document type to bring all documents, sheets, images, or PDF's to the top.


Move Old Work Related Files to Box

Employees should move older, important, work-related files to Box.

Google has developed a tool called Google Take Out to simplify the process.

Refer to these instructions on uploading files to Box for additional guidance.


Review Gmail and Attachments

Gmail is included in the data storage limits, so you will need to remove old content, unnecessary files, and personal emails.

For official correspondence, visit the State of Idaho's website for specific information.

State Board of Education - Higher Education Records Retention Schedule


Shared Drives


Departmental Share Drives

These drives belong to a department, not a person, and are allocated 20 GB of storage. The persons assigned to manage Department Shared Drives do not have the data in that drive added to their storage amount.  It belongs to the Department, not the person.


Individual Shared Files

These are files shared among collaborators.  The storage data for that file is counted against the Owner of the file, and not the collaborators.  To see who owns the file, open it and click on Share, in the upper right corner.  There it will list the owner and all the collaborators (Editors, Commenters, and Viewers). 

If you no longer want the shared file, you can delete it, but that will remove access for everyone else you have shared it with.  If you want to transfer ownership to someone else so they can continue to use the file, you can click Change Ownership (in the Share link) and transfer the file to them.   


If there is an important file you use that does not belong to you, you should contact the file's owner and ask that they transfer ownership. If you cannot get ahold of the file's owner, reach out to the Service Desk for assistance.  Or you can make a separate copy of the document for your own use.



Google Chat does not count against the data storage limit.

Google Calendar entries on your calendar do not count against the data storage limit, but the emails you send and receive from Calendar, including those with attachments, do.

Google Meet does not use up storage, but if you save the recordings to Drive it will.

Google Sites do not count against your data storage limit.