Google Storage Project FAQ

This page answers frequently asked questions regarding the changes to U-M Google accounts and storage.


What happens if I go over/reach my new storage limit?

Refer to What Happens When My Storage is Full in U-M Google? for more information on how your U-M Google account is affected when you reach/go over your storage limit.

Note: If you were over the new storage limit when limits were applied on January 16, 2023, you were contacted by ITS via email with additional information and next steps. Refer to How Am I Affected? for details.

However, you will not be contacted by ITS if you reach your new storage limit after January 16.

Can I pay for additional storage?

No, it is not possible to pay for additional storage in U-M Google. There are no exceptions. (Google does not provide the ability to do so.)

I need more space - can you increase my individual / Shared Account / shared drive limit?

No, we cannot increase your storage limit. There are no exceptions.

Can I convert my U-M Google account to a personal account?

No, you cannot convert your U-M Google account to a personal Google account.

Storage Limits

If another user shares files with me in Google, do those files count against my storage limit?

No, files owned by someone else do not count toward your storage limit. They only count against the owner’s limit.

If I create/upload data to Google using the integration in Canvas, does that data count against my storage limit?

Yes, data created or uploaded through the use of the Google integration in Canvas counts toward your storage limit.

Do Google file types (e.g., Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) count against my storage limit?

Yes, Google file types, such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides, count against your account's storage limit.

Where do I find how much storage my shared drive is using?

To check your current storage usage, navigate to the shared drive and click the information "i" icon in the top right corner of the page. In the sidebar that appears, you will find the drive's storage usage under Drive details > Storage used.

Exporting/Managing Data

Can ITS transfer my Google data for me?

No, ITS will not transfer your Google data for you.

If you are a faculty, staff, or student, you can use the ITS Google Storage Transfer Tool.

If you are an alum or retiree, you can use Google Takeout.

Can I transfer my data to a personal Google account? (i.e., Google Takeout Transfer)

No, Google Takeout Transfer is not available to transfer data from U-M to a personal Google account.

Google Takeout Transfer notice stating "Transfer Your Content" is only available to eligible education accounts

Will sharing permissions/collaborators be retained if I move my data out of Google using the ITS Google Storage Transfer Tool? Using Google Takeout?

No, sharing permissions and collaborators are not retained when transferring your data out of Google using either the ITS Google Storage Transfer Tool or Google Takeout.

Can I export and download my Google data?

Yes, you can use Google Takeout to export and download your data from U-M Google. Refer to Getting Started With Google Takeout for instructions on using the tool.

How do I transfer ownership of files/folders in Google?

Refer to Transfer Ownership of Files and Folders in Google Drive for instructions on transferring ownership of files/folders in U-M Google.

I tried to change the owner of my files to my personal Google account, but Google says that it’s not allowed. Can you allow it?

Unfortunately no. Google only allows individuals to transfer ownership to another account within the same domain (i.e., U-M Google). ITS has no control over this.

Google warning pop-up stating you cannot transfer ownership to another user because they are outside our organization

I have too much email taking up storage space - what should I do?

Refer to Tips for Cleaning Up Your U-M Google Account for suggestions on cleaning up your Gmail.

A file/folder I use in Google Drive is owned by someone no longer at the university — what should I do?
How do I search for files/folders in my shared drive that are taking up the most space?

Google does not have robust search or sort functionalities for shared drives. For example, there is no way to search or sort by file size in shared drives.

Can I use Google Photos Storage Saver to save space in my U-M Google account?

Unfortunately, the option to use Storage Saver in Google Photos is not available for education domains like U-M Google.

How do I delete a Google shared drive?
  • Only individuals assigned the Manager role can delete shared drives.
  • The shared drive must be completely empty of all files and folders.
    • This includes the shared drive's trash (under the shared drive name, select View trash from the drop-down menu and click Empty shared drive trash to permanently delete everything).
  • Once both the drive and trash are empty, a Manager can select Delete shared drive from the drop-down menu (under the shared drive name).
    • If it's not empty and/or you are not a Manager, the option will be grayed out and unclickable.
Why aren't my Google Photos taking up storage space in my personal account after transferring them using Partner Sharing?

There is a known bug with transferring Google Photos using Partner Sharing. After completing the steps in the documentation, you'll notice that your photos do not take up any storage space within your personal Google account. This is the bug, and Google is aware of it. There is currently no ETA on when it will be addressed and fixed by Google. Please be aware that Google could fix this bug at any time, which could cause you to exceed your storage limit in your personal Google account.

Where did my shared drive go? I can no longer find it in Google Drive.

Shared drives that had no Managers with an eligible university role were required to take action. Those who did not take action were deleted on January 2, 2024. These drives are unrecoverable, and you will no longer find them in your Google Drive.

Moving forward, to help mitigate the deletion of data that is still being used by eligible collaborators at the university, Google shared drives with no eligible Managers (and the content stored in them) become inaccessible to any collaborator or shared drive member within 24 hours of losing eligibility. Collaborators have 90 days to contact the ITS Service Center for assistance before the shared drive is deleted. If you believe this happened to your drive, reach out ASAP.

Faculty, Staff & Students

What will happen to my storage when I retire?

Your storage limit will change from 250GB to 15GB. Any data over the limit will be deleted 90 days after your affiliation changes.

Note: If you are an emeritus faculty member, your storage limit will not change upon retirement.
What will happen to my storage when I graduate?

Your storage limit will change from 250GB to 15GB upon graduation.

For upcoming graduates: Refer to Leaving U-M for Graduating Students to understand your U-M computing service deadlines, including when your alumni Google storage limit will be applied and what happens if you do not reduce your storage in time. If no action is taken, your account will be considered abandoned, deactivated, and scheduled for permanent deletion.

Alumni & Retirees

What will happen to my account if I come back to the university as a faculty, staff, or student?

If you return to the university as a faculty, staff, or student, your storage limit will change from 15GB to 250GB for as long as you hold the active affiliation.

Why has my Google account been deactivated?

If you were still over the 15GB storage limit on January 2, 2024, your account (and all its data) was considered abandoned, deactivated, and scheduled for deletion. All deleted data is unrecoverable.

Why was my Google account deleted? Can I get it back?

You did not take action to reduce your storage, and your U-M Google account and all its associated data (including emails, files, photos, chats, calendars, etc.) were permanently deleted. Your data is now unrecoverable. However, you can still request a new, empty account to be recreated by going to, reading the information, and clicking the "Request a New Google Account" button. If you are concerned about missing emails, you can set up a forwarding address in MCommunity to send to a personal (non-UM) email address.