What Happens To Overused Google Drive Space?

I switched from Dropbox to Google Drive when Google released improvements to the Drive application for Android. Over the years, I've collected a number of upgrades to my Drive storage and I am now sitting on a rather scary 300 GB of online storage space. As you can see from the above, my colors have been very much nailed onto the mast as regards the device manufacturers and products that I like! Motorola and HTC have given me extra storage for a limited amount of time, plus I have a Chromebook, which gave me 100 GB of space too. And I am only using 20 GB, but part of the reason for my low use of the space is because documents saved in Google Docs format do not take up any of this space. However, seeing as the basic amount of space is 15 GB and I'm using more than this, what will happen when my free space drops down to 20 GB? Do I lose 5 GB worth of files at random? Do I have to rush out and by another device (grin) to top my up allowance?

As it happens, the answer is straightforward: when my amount of allowable space drops below the amount of space I'm using, I won't be able to upload any more documents. And this is a very clever marketing trick from Google because having easy, readily available space has become completely transparent to me and how I use my devices. If I suddenly can't upload data into my Gmail account I'm going to reach out to pick up another device, or take up a regular plan, because it will be hard to live without the data, right? It's not as though the data plans are expensive; I can get 1 TB for $10 a month, or 1 GB for just $1.99 a month.

It's something that those buyers of the Samsung Series 550 Chromebook may be about to face, because the early Chromebook offers are about to expire. And unfortunately, my plan of buying another Chromebook to top up my balance by 100 GB is not going to work, because Google state that the offer is only available once per Google account or once per device, whichever is used first. I cannot stack additional space (but this is of course why the 100 GB was available for me as I bought my Chromebook Series 3 used). One exception is if the buyer bought the Chromebook Pixel, as that 1 TB of Drive space, available for three years, may be stacked with other deals. That would seem fair enough as the Pixel is Google's own in-house beauty product Chromebook, so it is receiving special treatment. And when it comes down to it, I have a plan forming involving buying a Chromebook Pixel. Or perhaps I'm just a Google fan?

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About the Author

David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.
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