It’s official – cloud storage provider Google Drive has decided to add an official cap on the amount of files that can be stored on a single account.
Per Ars Technica (opens in new tab), the limit, set at five million files, started cropping up for some Google Drive users in February 2023, despite Google offering no warning that the cap was being introduced, and offering a notification that wasn’t all that clear at explaining what the problem was: “The limit for the number of items, whether trashed or not, created by this account has been exceeded.”
Said notification has evolved since then, and now reportedly reads: “Error 403: This account has exceeded the creation limit of 5 million items. To create more items, move items to the trash and delete them forever.”
Google Drive file cap
As of last week, the notification for one Reddit user (opens in new tab) read “Please delete 2 million files to continue using your Google Drive account.”
The new policy (which remains undocumented across all pricing pages) means Google Drive customers are being prevented from accessing the full extent of the storage they’ve paid for. However, it’s worth noting that 5 million files, in real terms, is a pretty big allowance.
For Google Drive’s 2TB offering – the highest personal plan available – the average file size across an account would have to be 400 kilobytes (KB). There are certainly instances where that may be the case – the storage of large amounts of record data, for example. But in the vast majority of cases, users shouldn’t run up against the limit.
Business users are even less likely to face issues with the limit. A spokesperson for Google told Ars Technica that the limit applied to “how many items one user can create in any Drive,” rather than a blanket cap.
Details were thin on the ground, but they also noted that the new limit is “a safeguard to prevent misuse of our system in a way that might impact the stability and safety of the system.”