University Technology

Frequently Asked Questions: Google Storage Quotas

Google has ended unlimited storage that was previously granted to Google Workspace for Education customers. This change has required that all users of Western Illinois University Google services have storage quotas applied to their accounts so that the University can stay below the storage limits provided by our contract. 

Why did Google make this change?

As part of a re-brand in mid-2021, the free tier of G-Suite for Education was renamed Google Workspace for Education. As a cost control measure, Google introduced a new storage policy with an effective date of July 2022.  

What are the quota limits?

  • Students, employees and departmental accounts: 25 GB
  • Alumni and retirees: 5 GB

When will quota limits be applied?

Individuals that were not over the above storage limits had quotas applied to their accounts on July 1, 2022.

Individuals that were over the above quota limit on July 1 were allowed until October 1 to review their Google data and get their account below the allotted limit.  After October 1, the above quota limits were applied. 

Please review the instructions below on how to reduce your storage. Email support@wiu.edu if you need assistance during this process.

What happens if I am over quota?

If you reach/are above your quota limit, access to the services such as Drive, Gmail, and Photos will be affected in the following ways:

  • Gmail: Users will still be able to send and receive email.
  • Drive: Users cannot sync or upload new files, nor create new files in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard. Until the storage amount is reduced, no one can edit or copy the affected files. Syncs will stop between the computer's Google Drive folder and My Drive.
  • Photos: Users won’t be able to add any more or back up existing photos or videos.

When a user’s account is 80-100% full, in-app notifications will be visible in both Drive, Photos, and Drive for Desktop to warn users of disruption of these services.

Alumni and retirees that are still considerably over quota after the October 1 deadline will have their accounts disabled on November 1 if storage is not brought below current quota limits.

How can I find large files to delete or remove?

Users can navigate to https://drive.google.com/drive/quota to see overall storage numbers in Drive, Gmail, and Photos. This narrows the focus to the service that needs the most immediate attention.

To remove large or unnecessary files in Drive and Shared Drives:
  1. Go to https://drive.google.com/drive/quota. This webpage can also be accessed through Drive Settings >  Manage Storage
  2. Sort by ‘Storage used’ column to view the largest files
  3. Delete files as needed
  4. Files count toward the overall storage limit of the account until they are removed from Trash in 30 days.
    To expedite this process, navigate to ‘Trash’ on the left, right-click an individual file / folder and select Delete forever or select Empty trash in the upper right to purge all files / folders. Confirm by clicking Delete forever.
  5. If files have been copied to Shared Drives, scan through the contents of accessible Shared Drives and trash files as needed as this data may be consuming twice the storage space.
To begin removing data from Gmail, consider the following options:
  1. Search for large emails by typing ‘has:attachment larger:10M’ in the Search box, selecting the emails not needed from the results, and selecting the Delete icon
  2. Search for emails before a specific date by typing ‘before:enter date’, selecting the emails not needed from the results, and selecting the Delete icon
  3. Remove all items from the Spam folder by clicking the checkbox for all messages and selecting Delete forever
  4. Emails will still count toward the overall storage limit of an account until they are removed from Trash in 30 days. To expedite this process, navigate to Trash on the left, select all messages in Trash, then select Empty Trash now.

Can I request more space?

In order to manage the University's storage limitations, quota limits will be enforced with very few exceptions.  In limited cases where employees have job duties that require the management of large files, quotas may be able to be increased upon request, and/or uTech may have additional solutions to offer for a particular use-case.  If additional storage is needed for legitimate business purposes, an employee’s supervisor must make a request by emailing support@wiu.edu for consideration.

Note: we do ask that all individuals first take the steps outlined above to review their Google content and remove unnecessary files before requesting additional space.

Where/how can I store items that I need to keep but are too large to keep in Google Drive?

uTech may have additional solutions to offer for a particular use-case. For example, in limited cases where employees have job duties that require the management of large files, quotas may be able to be increased upon request.  Otherwise, for individuals, large files and files that are infrequently needed (archives and backups) can be stored on external hard drives or thumb drives.  Employees can also save files in their S: drive if they are shared with others within their department. Please email support@wiu.edu so we can help you make the best determination.

What can I do with large video files used for classroom/instructional purposes?

The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research (CITR) recommends putting videos used for instruction in YouTube.  Files in YouTube do not count against your storage quota. For instructions and best practices with YouTube, please visit CITR's website and see the section labeled "YouTube".

Can I transfer my content to a personally owned Google account?

Data may be able to be transferred to a personal Google account.  All members of the University community are subject to the Data Security and Handling Policy; sensitive data must be properly protected when copied to a source outside of University control, so bulk transferring of data without careful review may not be possible. Email support@wiu.edu for assistance, and visit the Google "Data and Privacy" section for transfer instructions.

When I become an alumni or retiree, how does my quota change?

When a student graduates and becomes a member of the WIU alumni body, and when an employee retires, Google quotas will be reduced to 5 GB. Alumni and retirees over the new quota limit will be able to send and receive email, but will not be able to sync or upload new files to Google Drive, create new files in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard, or add/backup photos or videos in Google Photos until the amount of storage used is reduced.

I have additional questions; who can I contact?

Please contact the uTech Support Center at support@wiu.edu, via phone at (309) 298-TECH, or online at wiu.edu/supportcenter/. Our intention is to update this FAQ as necessary to assist the University community with managing their Google data. We appreciate your patience and understanding as University Technology navigates the implementation of these new requirements.

Note on Non-University Usage of WIU Google Account

Per the Technology Use Policy, non-University use of University-owned computing resources is strictly prohibited regardless if you are a student, employee, alumni or retiree. Any non-University related files located in your WIU Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos and any other Google services should be immediately removed, and action should be taken to discontinue any future non-University use of your WIU Google account. Personal (non-WIU) email accounts and storage solutions must be used for all non-University purposes.