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Google Drive imposes a 5 million file cap for its users without prior warning

According to a report by Ars Technica and CNET, Google has set a new limit on the number of files a user can create and save in their Drive. The company confirmed that the change allowed users a maximum of 5 million files in Drive, regardless of whether you paid for extra storage or not. Google, however, rescinded the new changes, stating that they would seek a better solution for their users.

“We recently rolled out a system update to Drive item limits to preserve stability and optimize performance,” Google announced in a tweet.

“While this impacted only a small number of people, we are rolling back this change as we explore alternate approaches to ensure a great experience for all,” they added.

The 5 million file cap was only for the number of files a user could create on their drive and did not affect the total number of files shared. Meaning it was possible to have more than 5 million files as long as they weren’t created by the user.

Ross Richendrfer, a spokesperson for Google, initially stated that the change came as a method to “maintain strong performance and reliability” and to prevent “misuse” of the systems. According to Richendrfer, if a user reaches the limit, a notification will show up instructing them to contact Google Support to address the issue.

While 5 million files may seem like an excessive amount for a single user to upload and max out, some users have done exactly that. In a Reddit post brought to attention by Ars Technica and CNET, a user with 7 million files in Drive exists. According to that user, Google suddenly barred them from creating new files in February, even though they didn’t go over the 2TB storage limit that they paid for. Several other users that encountered the file cap around the same time frame initially thought that it was a bug in the system.

Reddit users pointed out that the file limit meant that a user could reach their file limit before they even ran out of storage space, and users could end up paying for more storage than they can use unless they opt for zip folders.

Other users also express their sentiments regarding the file cap:


Observing the user’s comments, it seemed that the company didn’t alert the users affected by the new changes and limits before they implemented them into the system, leaving certain users in a rush to redistribute or compress files once the changes came into effect. It was also apparent that Google did not update its Workspace or Google One support pages to catalog the limit, only stating that shared Workspace drives have a maximum limit of 400,000 files. While most users would never have or reach the limit of 5 million files in their Drive, a proper notification and alert would have been appropriate for those who may be affected by the changes.


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