Google Storage Containment

Changes to Teachers College Google Storage

Google Policy Change

Google has announced a storage model change that involves no longer offering free, unlimited storage to accounts using their services, including higher education institutions. 

What's Changing

As a result of Google's policy change, Teachers College must limit its Google Storage footprint. The TC Google Photos service will be discontinued on March 1, 2024; in addition, storage limits will be implemented on every account as of March 1, 2024.  Teachers College has updated its Terms and Conditions for Use of Teachers College Google Workspace policy with provisions to reduce and contain its Google Storage.

Storage Limits

  • The Google Photo service will be disabled for all users on March 1. Visit to see if you have photos stored in this space.

  • On March 1, Google Drive Limitations  will take effect:

To view your Google storage utilization, visit:

Students Google Accounts limited to 15 GB
Faculty/Staff Google Accounts limited to 50 GB
Alumni Google Drive Disabled

Exporting your Data

To preserve your data before deleting it from your Google Account, we recommend using Drive for Desktop or Google Takeout. 

  • Drive for Desktop lets you find your Drive files and folders on your computer with Windows File Explorer or macOS Finder. This facilitates swift access to your files and folders for easy transfer to other locations. Follow these Drive For Desktop instructions to transfer your Google Drive content.
  • Google Takeout allows you to export your content to a downloadable file, allowing you to transfer your data to an alternative storage solution. For guidance on how to use this tool, you can follow these Google Takeout instructions.

For additional support, visit the Technology Drop-in Session page and register for an upcoming session.


Files that are used by your team should be stored in Shared Drives. This ensures continuity if the individual hosting the files leaves TC, and there is no storage cap for Shared Drives.

Yes, the policy applies to everyone with a TC Google account. But we’ll work with you to ensure that you can keep whatever you need – whether in Google or another platform.

50 GB

We will partner with you to ensure that you can keep the files you need – whether in Google or another platform.

You can use Google Takeout to export your data. If you don't have access to it, contact the service desk. After exporting your data remember to delete it from your Teachers College Google Account. 

If you have a large amount of data to export, we suggest exporting in groups of 20 GB at a time. 

Sorry, Google only allows ownership transfer to another user of the same organization as the owner.

After March 1, 2024, if you are over quota:

  • You cannot upload new files or images to Google Drive.
  • You cannot create files in collaborative content creation applications like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, or Forms. Until you reduce your storage usage, you cannot edit or copy affected files or submit forms.
  • You cannot back up any photos or videos to Google Photos.
  • You cannot record new meetings in Google Meet.
  • You cannot create assignments with new files, export grades to Google Sheets, or make copies of Assignments in Google Classroom.

The following services will still be available to you even if you have exceeded your storage quota:

  • You can still sign in.
  • You can still send and receive emails.
  • You can still view and download files stored in Google Drive.
  • You can still view and download photos stored in Google Photos.


There is no ability to increase your storage quota.

When you first delete an email, file, or photo, it will be moved to the "Trash." Emails, files, and photos in the trash continue to count against your storage quota until permanently deleted. The Gmail, Drive, and Photos applications each have individual trash. While in your trash, items can be recovered within 30 days. Items in the trash are automatically and permanently deleted after 30 days. You can also choose to manually and permanently delete items in your trash at any time by navigating to the "Trash" folder and clicking either "Empty Trash" to remove all items or by selecting individual items and selecting "Delete Forever."

Email, files, and photos permanently deleted from trash are irrecoverable. This applies whether they were manually deleted from the trash or automatically deleted after the 30-day window. If you manually delete emails, files, or photos from the trash, please ensure you no longer need them.

If you delete, restore, or permanently delete many files or folders simultaneously, it may take several minutes for the changes to be processed.

There is no storage quota for Google Groups and messages within its user interface. They do not count towards the University’s total pooled storage limit.

Your data will not be deleted immediately, but we strongly encourage you to save any data you want to keep before graduation, as your access to Google Drive and Google Photos will be restricted and your storage quota reduced.

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