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How Storage Caps Work in Google Drive for Faculty, Students, and Staff

This article applies to: Strategic Storage Initiative


You can see how much storage you are using and how much space you have before reaching your storage cap at your Drive Storage page. (If you have another Google account, such as a personal account, make sure you're looking at the Drive Storage page for your Cornell account by clicking your profile icon in the upper right. Your Cornell Google account is the one using your netid@cornell.edu email address.) Google also provides recommendations for how to manage files in your Google Drive storage. When reducing storage, bear in mind that video and image files can be significantly larger than most other types of files.

In June 2022, a storage cap was added to faculty, student, and staff Cornell Google Drive accounts. The cap is intended to hold off the growth in storage that naturally occurs when storage is unlimited. This growth could quickly become economically unsustainable now that Google is charging for storage.

The cap was added above the amount stored in the account at that time.

  • Accounts that contained less than 15 Gigabytes (GB) were capped at 15 GB. This applied to most accounts. About 89% of student accounts and 83% of faculty and staff accounts contained less than 15 GB. New faculty, student, and staff accounts are provisioned with 15 GB of storage space.
  • Accounts that contained more than 15 GB had a cap added above their storage at that time.
  • If the owners of these larger accounts reduce their size, their cap will be lowered, but will still be above their stored amount. These reductions will continue until the account is smaller than 15 GB and the cap is set at 15 GB.
  • If you need more space, first try following Google's advice to manage your storage. If you are Cornell faculty, student, or staff and still need more space for education, research, or Cornell business projects, you can request a higher cap.
  • Accounts that are extremely large may be contacted to discuss how the storage is supporting coursework, research, or university work, and whether other options at Cornell may be a better fit.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Monday, October 10, 2022 - 12:03pm

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