In 2021, Google announced new storage limits for Google Workspace for Education that take effect in December 2022. Google's updated storage policy affects data storage limits for the entire university (and all institutions that use Google Workspace for Education). In order to stay within these new limits while supporting the needs of our academic body, we need to enact new quotas on our student Google accounts and minimize other data we store in Google.


Beginning December 18, students will have 50 GB to use with Google Drive, Google Shared Drives, Gmail, and Google Photos. All students -- including student workers, researchers, and graduate students -- will be subject to the quota. Students whose Google accounts currently exceed this new 50 GB limit will need to reduce their Google storage by December 18.

Additionally, we are disabling the Google Photos app on all accounts that do not currently use it to store photos in order to reserve more storage for academic uses. If you do use Google Photos, the photos that you keep will count against your 50 GB limit.

How can I reduce my data?

If you are over the new 50 GB limit, or getting close, download or copy important files from your Google Drive or email.

  • Check your Google storage - Verify the amount of data you have stored in your student Google account and clean up any files that you no longer need.
  • Check for large emails - Search for and delete unnecessary or large emails, then empty your trash.
  • Move some data to Microsoft OneDrive - ODU's Microsoft accounts include 5 TB of storage and file sharing capabilities. For larger amounts of data, you may want to use Google Takeout to create an archive that you can download or have sent to a different cloud service. Once your data is safe in another location, delete the files from Google.
  • Migrate some data to a personal Gmail account - Google allows you to migrate your email and Drive data from one Google account to another (from your ODU account to a personal Gmail account, for example). Most personal Google accounts only include 15 GB of total storage space, though, so be mindful of the amount of data you need to migrate and the amount of space available in the account you're migrating to. If you need more space, you can purchase additional storage from Google.
    Shared files: Any files that have been shared from your ODU Google Drive will lose their permissions. After the file is transferred to your personal account, you can re-establish sharing permissions from the new location if necessary.

What happens if I don't get my account below 50 GB?

If your Google account is not below the new storage quota of 50 GB on December 18, the following will occur until you free up additional space within these services:

  • Gmail: You will still be able to send and receive email.
  • Drive: You will not be able to sync or upload new files. You will not be able to create new files in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard. Until you reduce the amount of storage you use, neither you nor anyone else will be able to edit or copy your affected files. Syncs stop between your computer's Google Drive folder and My Drive.
  • Photos: You will not be able to add or back up existing photos or videos.


There are no plans to implement a limit on faculty and staff accounts at this time, but due to the institution-wide limit placed on ODU by Google, faculty can help by limiting their storage to the same 50 GB limit as students. Here's how:

  • Check your Google storage and delete files you no longer need.
  • Consider moving some or all of your data to Microsoft OneDrive (ODU Microsoft accounts include 5 TB of storage and file sharing capabilities).
  • Contact the ITS Help Desk at if you need a large quantity of cloud storage.


What happens when I graduate or leave ODU?

Student accounts (including email accounts) are deleted one year after your last class at ODU, whether you graduate, transfer or decide not to register for additional classes. Faculty and staff lose access to their accounts upon separation. Before you lose any of your important files, you'll need to migrate your data to a personal Google account or to another service using the steps above.

I need all the files I currently have in my Google account. Can I get extra storage?

Unfortunately, we need to reduce the amount of data we have stored in all ODU Google accounts. If you need more than the 50 GB available to you, contact We can help find a solution that meets your data storage needs, but Google might not be that solution.

Can I move data from my student account to a faculty/staff account?

Regardless of how you use Google - as student, faculty, or staff - there is an institution-wide limit on storage. Moving data to a faculty/staff account does not help us solve this problem.

Where can I get more info?

You can read more about the Google storage policy changes here:

If you feel the data in your account warrants a possible exception or have further questions regarding this policy, please reach out to the ITS Help Desk at or 757-683-3192.