When you buy a Chromebook, you’re eligible for a free 100GB upgrade on Google Drive for two years. It has now been almost two years since the first devices with this offer went on sale in Australia, so some people are going to start losing that space shortly. Here’s what you need to know.
It’s easy to lose track of just when you activated your free storage, so head to the Drive Storage section of your Google account settings to check. Hover the cursor over the pie chart that shows how much space is available and how much has been used. The pop up that appears shows how your space is used and where it all came from — it’s possible you gained more storage from other offers as well. You will be able to see when a storage offer expires, and this is the date you need to keep in mind.
When the expiration date rolls around, your storage limit falls back to where it was before. Your files will not be deleted — so don’t panic too much — but you won’t be able to upload any more files until you drop back below the 15GB level.
Ultimately, if you need more space, you’re left with two main options.
Buy More Space: It is, of course, possible to pay Google so you retain the storage space you’ve become used to. At the Drive Storage page, click one of the buttons to sign up for a 100GB or 1TB package, priced at $US1.99 and $US9.99 per month respectively.
Go down this route and there’s not need to worry about expiration dates. As long as you keep paying the monthly fee, the storage space is yours.
Take Your Data Elsewhere: You may prefer to save your money, and there are lots of Google Drive alternatives to choose from. In terms of space, it is hard to beat the unlimited storage option from Mega. But if Kim Dotcom’s cloud storage doesn’t appeal, the likes of Dropbox, Box and OneDrive all have varying amounts of free space that you can distribute your files between. You could even create your own cloud storage with a NAS drive.
Remember, though: if you’re moving files away from Google Drive, make sure you have a local copy before you delete them from the cloud. Check your Google Drive account now to see how long you have left.