Google Drive Trash: Deleting, Recovering and Everything in Between

Google Drive is the modern-day hard drive to store documents, spreadsheets and memories. However, just like old-school hard drives, Google Drive operates with finite space and running out of room can be a real hassle.

Google offers 15 GB of free space with every Google Drive account. At face value, it seems like a pretty good deal, especially when you compare it with other storage solutions like Dropbox and Box. However, this 15 GB of free space not only includes your Google Drive but also your Gmail account (messages and attachments) and Google Photos.

If you haven’t upgraded your Google Drive storage yet, sooner or later you’ll find yourself butting heads against the 15 GB limit. Fortunately, you can delete files from Google Drive. Those files go into a special folder called Google Drive Trash.

However, the question is, does Google Drive Trash help free up space?

A full Google Drive trash can.

Google Drive Trash

Trash is to Google Drive what Recycle Bin is to a PC. Essentially, you can delete files temporarily and restore them in case you need them again.

The purpose of Trash is to:

Remove shared files from your Drive: If you don’t own the file, it will remove it only for you.

Remove original files from your Drive: If you’re the owner, the file will be removed for you and the user(s) you shared the files with.

Move Items From Google Drive to Trash

Delete files and folders from Google Drive for PC, Android and iPhone/iPad.

PC 

Step 1 – Sign in to your Google Drive account

Step 2 – Select the item(s) you want to delete

Step 3 – Click on the trash can icon at the top

Android 

Step 1 – Open the Google Drive app on your Android device

Step 2 – Tap Files at the bottom

Step 3 – Select the item(s) you want to remove

Step 4 – Click on the trash can icon at the top

Step 5 – Select Move To Trash in the confirmation pop-up

iPhone/iPad 

Step 1 – Launch the Google Drive app on your iPhone or iPad

Step 2 – Tap Files at the bottom

Step 3 – Select the item(s) you want to remove

Step 4 – Click the three horizontal dots at the top and press Remove

Step 5 – Select Move To Trash in the confirmation pop-up

Empty Google Drive Trash

However, if you’re under the impression that transferring unwanted files and folders to Trash will reduce your storage burden, you’re wrong. Google Drive Trash does take a bite out of your 15 GB storage limit. The only way to free up space is to empty the Trash folder by permanently deleting the items in it. You can manually delete items or you can wait for 30 days, after which the items in Trash are automatically deleted.

Permanently Delete Items From Trash

Manually delete items from Google Drive Trash for PC, Android and iPhone/iPad to free up your Google Drive space.

PC

Step 1 – In the Trash folder, select the item(s) you want to delete and then right-click on them

Step 2 – Click Delete Forever on the screen and the confirmation pop-up

Android

Step 1 – In the Trash folder, select the item(s) you want to remove

Step 2 – Tap the three vertical dots at the top

Step 3 – Click Delete Forever on the screen and the confirmation pop-up

iPhone/iPad

Step 1 – In the Trash folder, tap the three horizontal dots next to the item you want to remove

Step 2 – Click Delete Forever on the screen and the confirmation pop-up

Watch how to empty Google Drive Trash for Android & iPhone/iPad:

Troubleshooting Google Drive Trash

Often, when trying to permanently delete items, Google Drive Trash might stop working. It generally happens when you try to remove a large number of items at one go.

Here are three tips to troubleshoot Trash:

Delete items one at a time 

Sometimes, items may be corrupt, which creates issues when selecting and deleting a large number of files when emptying Google Trash. Try deleting them one item at a time instead. This might be time consuming but there’s a good chance you will empty your Trash successfully.

Clear the cache 

Before emptying Trash, clear your browser cache since it puts an additional load on the browser. The same goes for the Google Drive app. Launch the sidebar, go to Settings and click on Clear Cache.

Give preference to mobile devices

Using Drive on a mobile phone seems to be pretty easy compared to the PC version. Interestingly, many users have suggested that using mobile apps to empty the trash has a higher success rate than the web version.

Google Drive Trash Recovery

Accidental deletion is generally followed by regret and consequence. Fortunately, Google Drive Trash lets you recover data, although to a limited capacity. You have 30 days to recover data from Trash, following which Google will automatically delete the data.

PC 

Step 1 – In the Trash folder, select the item(s) you want to restore

Step 2 – At the top of the screen click Restore

Android

Step 1 – In the Trash folder, select the item(s) you want to restore

Step 2 – Tap the three vertical dots at the top and click Restore

iPhone/iPad

Step 1 – In the Trash folder, click the three horizontal dots next to the item you want to restore

Step 2 – Select Restore

Watch how to recover deleted items in Google Drive:

Recover Permanently Deleted Data With Spanning

The question is, how do you recover data from Trash post the 30-day mark?

Google Drive items spend 30 days in Trash after you delete them and another 25 days in post-Trash, during which they are still recoverable. G Suite administrators can easily restore permanently deleted data up to that point. However, post that, it isn’t possible.

But that’s where Spanning comes in.

Spanning G Suite Backup is an enterprise-class, automated backup and recovery solution for Gmail, Drive (including Team Drives), Calendars, Contacts and Sites. With daily, automated backup and unlimited on-demand backup at your disposal, you have the power to restore data from any previous date from the time Spanning was put in place.

Well, what are you waiting for? Free up your Google Drive space with Spanning and breathe a sigh of relief.

Learn More

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Spanning authored by Dave Wallen. Read the original post at: https://spanning.com/blog/google-drive-trash-deleting-recovering-everything-between/