Understanding Google Drive Storage

Before we delve into the details, it's important to understand how Google Drive manages storage. When you upload a file to Google Drive, it consumes a certain amount of storage space based on its size. However, Google Drive also provides several native file formats, such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which do not count toward your storage. This means that documents created in these formats won't take up any space in your Drive.

Why Does Deleting Files Not Free Up Space?

Why is My Google Drive Full even after Deleting
Why is My Google Drive Full even after Deleting

The most probable reason for deleting files on Google Drive does not free up space is that the deleted files are not removed thoroughly.

When you delete a file from Google Drive, it is moved to the "Trash" folder. This folder serves as a safety net, allowing users to recover mistakenly deleted files. However, the deleted files still occupy storage space within your Drive. This is because Google Drive treats the Trash folder like any other folder, counting the files inside it against your storage quota.

The Trash folder in Google Drive works similarly to the Recycle Bin on your computer. It holds deleted files for 30 days before permanently removing them. During this time, you can restore deleted files from the Trash folder if needed. However, if you exceed the storage capacity of your Google Drive, you won't be able to add new files, even if they are smaller than the total size of the files in the Trash folder.

How to Fix Deleting Files on Google Drive Does Not Free Up Space [5 Solutions]

Of course, except for the reason mentioned before, there are more reasons cause the “Google Drive storage not updating after delete” problem. This section will offer the 5 best solutions and you can check them one by one until you successfully release your Google Drive storage.

Empty Google Drive Trash Folder

When you delete files from Google Drive, they are moved to the Trash folder. You need to empty this folder to permanently delete the files and free up space. To do this, go to the "Trash"/"Bin" folder, select the files you want to remove, and click on the "Delete Forever" option.

Delete Google Drive Files in the Trash Folder
Delete Google Drive Files in the Trash Folder

Remove Shared Files/Folders

If you've shared files or folders with others, deleting them from your Drive may not immediately free up space because those files are still accessible to other collaborators. You can check if any files are shared and remove the shared files or folders to ensure they no longer occupy your storage space.

Turn on Google Drive Sync

If you have the Google Drive desktop app on your computer, deleting files from the local Google Drive folder does not automatically remove them from the cloud storage. You need to make sure you sync your local folder with the online storage. The following steps can be a reference to turn on the sync:

Open Google Drive on your PC > Click “My Computer” > Tick the option “Sync with Google Drive” > Click “Done”.

Sync Google Drive with PC
Sync Google Drive with PC

Check Google Drive Applications

Some third-party applications or services integrated with Google Drive might create copies or backups of files, which can consume additional storage space. Review the connected apps in your Google Account settings and remove any unnecessary ones that may be using your storage.

Wait for the Large File Deletion Delay

Occasionally, Google Drive may take some time to update the available storage after you delete large files. This delay is typically temporary, and the space should eventually be freed up. If you've waited for a reasonable amount of time and the space is still not released, consider reaching out to Google Drive Support for assistance.

Bonus Tip: Backup Google Drive Files to Another Cloud

Before deleting files on Google Drive, you may backup them to another cloud or another Google Drive account that has enough storage. By doing so, you don’t have to worry about the terrible consequence after accidental deletion. Since you can also access these files although they have been deleted from your frequently used Google Drive account.

To backup Google Drive files to another cloud, MultCloud is a good helper. You can use MultCloud Cloud Transfer to move files simply without manually downloading and uploading files. Also, the backup process can include the file-deleting process. That means you can choose to let MultCloud delete the files automatically after they are transferred to another cloud.

Step 1: Get a MultCloud account for free by clicking the “Sign Up for Free” button.


Step 2: Connect your Google Drive account to MultCloud. First, click “Add Cloud” and then click the Google Drive icon. You also have to log in to your Google Drive account in the pop-up window to let MultCloud access your files.

Add Google Drive
Add Google Drive

Step 3: Repeat the same operations in Step 2 to add another cloud to MultCloud.

Step 4: Tap on the “Cloud Transfer” button in the left sidebar and choose Google Drive and another cloud (Dropbox as an example) in the boxes respectively. Finally, click “Transfer Now”. Your files will be quickly moved from Google Drive to Dropbox.

Migrate Google Drive Files to Dropbox
Migrate Google Drive Files to Dropbox


  • If you have many files to transfer in a month, 5 GB of free traffic may be not enough and you can upgrade your plan to get more traffic.
  • If you want MultCloud to help you delete the transferred files, you can select “Delete all source files after transfer is complete.” in Options.
Cloud Transfer Options
Cloud Transfer Options


Deleting files on Google Drive does not free up space may occur because you don’t empty the Trash folder, remove the shared files/folders, or other reasons. After following the 5 solutions shown in the post, you can get rid of this trouble easily. You can also use MultCloud Cloud Transfer to backup files first and then delete them to clean up the storage.

Additionally, you can use MultCloud Cloud Sync to constantly move files from Google Drive to OneDrive, SharePoint Online, or another cloud. By Real Time Sync, your files will be updated in another all the time automatically.

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