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Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides will count toward storage caps, new auto-delete policies announced

In addition to Photos ending unlimited free backup, Google is making a change to how Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other similar files are stored. The company also announced new auto-delete polices for inactive and full accounts.

Starting June 1, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard files will count toward “your free 15 GB of allotted storage or any additional storage provided through Google One.” Like Photos, existing files will not count and be exempted. These rules also do not apply to Google Keep or Sites.

These Google Docs storage changes come as “4.3 million GB are added across Gmail, Drive and Photos every day,” with people “uploading more content than ever before.” This move is meant to ensure “great storage experience” for all users and “keep pace with the growing demand.”

Additionally, Google is introducing a new policy for accounts that are inactive or over storage limit:

  • If you’re inactive in one or more of these services for two years (24 months), Google may delete the content in the product(s) in which you’re inactive. 
  • Similarly, if you’re over your storage limit for two years, Google may delete your content across Gmail, Drive, and Photos.

The company says this better aligns with common practices across the industry and will go into effect on June 1. Google will “notify you multiple times before we attempt to remove any content so you have ample opportunities to take action.” At least three months notice will be given through email and app notifications.

 The simplest way to keep your account active is to periodically visit Gmail, Drive, or Photos on the web or mobile, while signed in and connected to the internet. 

The Inactive Account Manager tool can help “manage specific content and notify a trusted contact if you stop using your Google Account for a certain period of time (between 3-18 months).”

Note that the new two-year inactive policy will apply regardless of your Inactive Account Manager settings. 

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: