Google Drive Limits File Storage Without Warning

Google has implemented a strict cap on the number of files that can be stored on a single Google Drive account, catching users off guard.

Those who exceeded the limit found that they were unable to upload additional files, and were left to troubleshoot the issue themselves as Google did not provide any warning.

One Reddit user woke up to a warning message saying: “Please delete 2 million files to continue using your Google Drive account.”

And this is not a new change either as this error has been around since February. This month, the error was updated to say “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.”

A Google spokesperson has confirmed to Ars Technica that the file limit is intentional and that it’s not a bug. The 5 million file limit is “a safeguard to prevent misuse of our system in a way that might impact the stability and safety of the system.”

Only Affects a Few Users

Google has explained that the file limit applies to “the number of items an individual user can generate within any given Drive,” rather than serving as an absolute restriction on the total number of files within a Drive.

Although this distinction may not be significant for individual users, it could be relevant for those who share storage across multiple accounts.

Google has also stated that the vast majority of users will not be affected with only a tiny fraction of users impacted.

Still Unfair

Google’s decision to impose this limit on its users without prior warning is unacceptable, even if the company claims that the limit is justified.

Google should have communicated this change to its paying customers in advance through email, blog posts, and pop-up warnings in the Drive user interface, and provided several months’ notice before implementing the change.

This sudden change is particularly perplexing for Workspace business customers, who pay for a more dependable version of Google’s services and expect a more measured rollout of updates.

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