Google gives a generous 15 GB storage space as part of free plan of Google Drive. This storage is shared between Google photos, Gmail and Google Drive as part of Google account on your android smartphone. This space is large enough to begin with but can fill up fast. After your account storage reaches the limit Google unceremoniously stop all backup activity, many times without warning. You need to periodically clean up your drive and make changes to smartphone settings.
Check how much total space is occupied
Open Google Photos in your PC and see the left panel for the storage section. If it is not visible, click on the three horizontal lines on the top left, the Menu.
Click on storage to open Google One interface. This is the page that offers you paid upgrades for your Google Drive account. As you can see, the storage is being shown as 13 GB used out of 15 GB. This is depicted in the form of a pie chart.
Click on any of the options to check the details of that storage. Like in above case, we are sure that Google Drive is the culprit, so we click on Google Drive to take us to that page. Click on list view.
While in list view, take the mouse cursor back to the storage panel on the left and click on the numbers. This will sort the files as per their size.
Start deleting the large size files one by one. Once you have finished, you can clear the Trash or Bin.
Points to keep in mind on the android smartphone
- WhatsApp media downloads and backup fills up space fast especially if you are part of several WhatsApp groups.
- Giving permission to certain smartphone apps to use Google Drive as data backup is another reason for filling up space.
- Most computer software which offer backup of data have Google Drive as storage option.
Here are the settings which you have to keep a watch on.
Updraftplus is a popular WordPress plugin which backs up entire website. Backup frequency can be set as frequent as once a week. Google Drive is the default storage option. Depending on backup size, drive space can fill up fast. Keep deleting the older backups. If backups are going to take large enough space, open another Google account or buy more drive space.
If you are running short on storage, these are the WhatsApp settings which you should have. This enables manual downloading of media.
Google Photos has settings to allow individual folder to sync. Camera folder is sync by default. Any other folder can be set to sync and you can control uploading of data of that folder to the cloud. If you are doing lot of smartphone photography especially videos in 4K, your google drive space is going to fill up pretty fast.
Lastly do not forget to empty trash or bin of each of the app, Google Photos, Drive and Gmail.