Google Drive rolled out a hard file limit with no warning

Google Drive rolled out a hard file limit with no warning

April 19, 2023

The rollout was agreed to be implemented by Google in February as some users confirmed waking up to a message like: “Please delete 2 million files to continue using your Google Drive account”. Most Drive account holders said that they got this warning message: “The limit for the number of items, whether trashed or not, created by this account has been exceeded: initially, and around March, the message changed to “Error 403: this account has exceeded the creation limit of 5 million items. To create more items, move items to the trash and delete them forever”. They couldn't gain access to their Drive account, and some users confirmed sending a message to Google customer service reporting the problem.

Google didn't make any official statement before embarking on this leaving many users in the dark. Google charged $150 per month for 30TB of storage for a Google One subscription and promised to offer unlimited space for an enterprise plan. The 5 million file limit affects both consumer and business account holders, and the space agreed to be offered by Google is speculated to be minimal.

Google added to Ars Technica reports that the limit applies to how many items one can create in any Drive, not a total number for all files in a drive. For individual users, that's not a distinction that matters, but it could matter if you share storage with several accounts. While this was conceived as a good move by Google, it undermines the importance of its customers, who were left uninformed before taking the decision.