Google Drive has recently announced a limit on the number of files users can create and save in the system. As per reports by CNET and Ars Technica, Google confirmed that a maximum of 5 million files can be created in Drive, even if users pay for extra storage. However, the 5 million file cap only applies to files that users create in Drive and not the total of files shared to the Drive. This means users can have over 5 million files in the system, as long as they are not solely created by them.
According to Ross Richendrfer, a Google spokesperson, the change was implemented to ensure the “strong performance and reliability” of the system, and to help prevent any potential misuse of the company’s systems. If a user reaches the limit, they will receive a notification, and they can contact Google support to address the issue.
Although 5 million files may seem like an impractical number of files for one person to upload, some users have actually reached that limit. A Reddit post brought to light a user with 7 million files in Drive, who was suddenly barred from creating new files in February, despite not hitting the 2TB storage limit they were paying for. Several other users on Google’s issue tracker site encountered the file cap around the same time, and they initially believed it was a bug.
It should be noted that the file cap means that a person with 2TB of storage with an average file size over 400KB will reach their file limit before they even run out of storage space. This means that some users may be paying for more storage than they can use unless they compress their files into zip folders.
Despite the concerns of affected users, it appears that Google did not notify them before implementing the new limit, leaving them to relocate or compress excess files once the policy came into effect. Google has also not updated its Google One or Workspace support pages to reflect the cap, although it is stated that shared Workspace drives can contain a maximum of 400,000 files.
While most people do not have 5 million files stored in Drive, Google should have provided proper warnings to those affected. The sudden implementation of the file cap has caused inconvenience and confusion among users, who are now left to address the issue themselves.