It seems Google has quietly added a file limit to its Drive cloud file sharing/storage service without warning users. As a result, many people using the app have had their accounts locked. According to a report by Ars Technica, Google has rolled out a file limit of 5 million files per account, regardless of the storage size.
Google Drive is a leading cloud storage service that provides users with up to 15 GB of free storage and various plans for more space. However, it seems that while you may have the space – especially if you pay for more storage – there is a set number of files you can store.
Even users who pay for Google One – which offers up to 2TB – are affected by the file limit.
The file limit is not documented anywhere on Google's support pages, and users are not notified when they approach or exceed it. Instead, users receive an error message saying “You can't create or upload new files because you have too many files” when they try to use Drive. Moreover, their accounts are locked out of other Google services that rely on Drive, such as Gmail and Photos.
The only way to fix this issue is to delete some files from Drive until the number goes below 5 million. However, this can be a tedious and time-consuming process, especially for users who have organized their files into multiple folders and shared drives. Some users have reported that they had to delete hundreds of thousands of files to regain access to their accounts.
Google Staying Quiet on Its File Limit
Google has not explained why it has implemented this file limit or why it has not communicated it to users. Some speculate that it is a measure to prevent abuse of the service or to reduce server load.
Google Drive has a file-sharing limit of 400,000 files, but that's easy to work around by just unsharing files— meaning users don't have to delete anything. This limit is also thoroughly documented in Google's support articles.
Google Drive offers various file types that users can create and store online, such as documents, spreadsheets, presentations, sites, and more. The maximum file sizes for these types vary from 1.02 million characters for documents to 5 TB for all other files. Although, these limits are based on storage use, not item count.
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