Google Drive quietly introduced a file creation limit for all users

Google has quietly introduced a limit on the number of files that you can create and save in Drive, as reported earlier by Ars Technica and CNET. The company confirmed to The Verge that you can create a maximum of 5 million files in Drive even if you pay for extra storage.

To be clear, the 5 million file cap only applies to the number of files that you have create in Drive — not the total of files shared to yourDrive. This means you can have over 5 million files in the system as long as they’re not solely created by you.

Google spokesperson Ross Richendrfer says the change comes as a way to “maintain strong performance and reliability” and that it should help prevent “misuse” of the company’s systems. If you reach the limit, Richendrfer says you’ll receive a notification and that you can contact Google support to address the issue.

Google didn’t alert those affected by the newly implemented limit before it took place

While 5 million may seem like an absurd number of files for one person to upload, some users have actually reached that limit. In a Reddit post spotted by Ars Technica and CNET, a user with 7 million files in Drive says that Google suddenly barred them from creating new files in February despite not hitting the 2TB storage limit they pay for. Meanwhile, several other users on Google’s issue tracker site say they’ve encountered the file cap around the same time and were initially under the impression that it was a bug.

As pointed out in the Reddit post, the file cap means that someone with 2TB of storage with an average file size over 400KB will reach their file limit before they even run out of storage space. In other words, some users may be paying for more storage than they can actually use unless they opt to compress their files into zip folders.

Judging by users’ comments, it seems that Google didn’t alert those affected by the newly implemented limit before it took place, leaving them scrambling to relocate or compress excess files once the policy came into effect. It also doesn’t look like Google updated its Google One or Workspace support pages to note the cap, either, although it does state that shared Workspace drives can contain a maximum of 400,000 files. While the majority of people likely don’t have 5 million files stored in Drive, Google could’ve at least given those who do a proper warning.

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