Google is tightening the rules for what counts against the 15 free GBs of storage assigned to everyone with a Google account.

The change takes place in June of this year. Prior to June 1, 2021, the following items count against your storage space on Google Drive:

  • Original quality photos and videos backed up to Google Photos
  • Gmail messages and attachments, including your Spam and Trash folders
  • Most files in Google Drive, including PDFs, images, and videos

After June 1, the rules change and these additional items count against your storage space:

  • High quality and Express quality photos and videos backed up to Google Photos after June 1, 2021.
  • Files created or edited in collaborative content creation apps like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard. 

Only the files you create or edit after June 1 will count against your storage space.

If you go over your storage space limit, you’ll have some problems:

  • You can’t upload new files or images to Google Drive. 
  • You can’t back up any photos and videos to Google Photos. 
  • Your ability to send and receive email in Gmail can also be impacted. 
  • You can’t create new files in collaborative content creation apps like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard. And until you reduce your storage usage, neither you nor anyone else can edit or copy your affected files.
  • You can still sign into and access your Google Account.

If you don’t use Google products frequently, they may choose to just delete your files. According to the company, “If you do not use Gmail, Google Drive (including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms or Jamboard) or Google Photos for 2 years, your content within the inactive product(s) may be deleted (after reasonable advance notice).”

Google suggests upgrading to their paid storage. Plans start at $1.99 per month for 100 GB.

You could also choose to download or delete files. To do a quick check of how much storage you’re using, open Gmail and look at the very bottom of your inbox.