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Google Workspace storage policy FAQ

In May 2021, Google announced changes to Google Workspace’s storage quotas for education institutions. On this page, review important information about how the university will implement new storage quotas for TMU Google Workspace accounts and action that may be required by you in the coming months. 

On this page

New Google Workspace storage limits
Determining your storage usage
Strategies for reducing your storage usage
Additional storage options

New Google Workspace storage limits

In 2021, Google announced that they will end the current availability of unlimited storage for educational institutions using Google Workspace. In response, TMU has worked with Google to analyse our current storage usage and to develop strategies and limits that both reduce the university’s storage usage, while also allowing most people to continue to study and work with minimal disruptions.

Storage limits on Google Workspace accounts will be implemented based on an individual’s account type or role at the university. To determine your new combined Gmail and Google Drive storage limit, consult the table below.

Account type Storage limit
Faculty 1 TB
Staff 1 TB
Students 1 TB
Academic assistants 1 TB
Retirees 1 TB
Generic, guest and contractor accounts 250 GB
Alumni 30 GB
Departmental accounts (folder ownership accounts) 1 TB
Google shared drives* 1 TB

*With the implementation of storage quotas, we’re changing who can create Google shared drives at TMU. Learn more by visiting the Google shared drive page on our website.

One terabyte (1 TB) is 1,000 gigabytes (1,000 GB), which roughly provides enough storage for:

  • 250,000 photos taken with a 12MP camera;
  • 250 movies or 500 hours of HD video; or 
  • 6.5 million document pages, commonly stored as Office files, PDFs, and presentations. It’s also equal to 1,300 physical filing cabinets of paper!

Following Google’s announcement, TMU worked with Google to analyze our current storage usage and develop quotas that both reduce the university’s storage use, while also limiting the impact on those currently learning, teaching or working at the university. 

When the university was provided unlimited storage by Google, we were pleased to extend this option to alumni. However, following the announcement of new storage costs from Google and the fact that our alumni population grows annually, we are no longer able to offer unlimited storage to alumni. The new 30 GB storage continues to allow us to provide alumni unlimited Gmail usage for life, while also prioritizing storage for those learning, teaching or working at TMU.

With the new storage limit, alumni still receive double the amount of storage available to free consumer Google Workspace accounts (15 GB) outside of TMU.

Generic, guest or contractor accounts will be limited to 250 GB as of October 9, 2023. Current storage usage by generic, guest and contractor accounts average between 3 - 30 GB, with less than 0.6% of these counts currently exceeding the new 250 GB storage limit. Sponsors of impacted accounts will be contacted directly by CCS to discuss strategies for reducing their storage usage.

Following the implementation of the new storage quotas, individuals over their storage limit will be unable to:

  • Upload new files or images to Google Drive;
  • Create new files in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard;
  • Edit or copy files in Google Drive or submit Google Forms; and
  • Record new meetings in Google Meet.

Individuals over their storage limit will still be able to sign into their Google Workspace account to view and download files and send and receive emails in Gmail. At this time, CCS will not delete any files from Google Drive in the event an individual is over their storage limit.



Account type Quota implementation date
Google shared drives May 23, 2023
Students, staff, academic assistants, retirees, generic/guest/contractor accounts, departmental accounts October 9, 2023 (Fall Study Week)
Instructors* February 19, 2024 (Winter Study Week)

*Instructors who also have student or staff roles will have their new storage quota come into effect on February 19, 2024.

Determining your storage usage

To determine your current storage usage, visit Google Drive’s drive storage page (external link) . Alternatively, you can: 

  1. Open Google Drive in your browser and select Settings
  2. Your storage usage will automatically be displayed broken down by Google Drive and Gmail

To view all your files sorted by size, visit Google Drive’s quota page (external link) .

The following count towards your current Google Workspace storage usage:

  • Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard files;
  • Emails and attachments in Gmail; and
  • Files saved to Google Drive that are not in a Google format, including PDFs, Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), images and videos.

Google Docs, Sheets, Drawings, Forms or Jamboard files created after June 1, 2021 count towards your Google Workspace storage usage. Files created before June 1, 2021 do not count towards your storage unless they have been modified on or after that date. Files in Google shared drives do not count towards your personal storage quota.

Strategies for reducing your storage usage

If your personal TMU Google account is near or in excess of your new storage limit, we recommend that you:

Note: Some files shared with you may contain private or confidential information. Downloading or transferring files with sensitive or confidential information may contravene university policies and guidelines, including the Information Protection Policy and Information Classification Standard and Handling Guidelines.

Additional storage options

CCS is currently exploring additional paid storage options with Google that departments at TMU may consider if they require additional Google Workspace storage. Information about paid storage options will be communicated in the coming months.


If you have any questions about the changes to Google Workspace storage, please contact the Computing and Communications Services (CCS) Help Desk via the IT Help portal, or 416-979-5000, ext. 556840 (students and alumni) or ext. 556806 (employees and retirees).