Google Drive 5 Million File Limit is a Safeguard, Confirms Company

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Some Google Drive users reported facing an issue on their accounts where any creation action carried out shows an error of “Upload Failed” around the middle of February 2023.

Reddit user u/ra13 reported facing the issue on their Google Drive account, which has a usage of 1.62TB of the 2TB available storage, and an empty bin.

There were reports of Google support representatives informing people of a 5 million item limit on Google Drive, regardless of the account size, and that the sudden change is a bug. However, this issue has been confirmed as a new safeguard by Google.

According to u/ra13, the sudden new change in Google’s Drive file limit has left their account unusable unless they delete 2 million files. If an average file size is less than 400Kb, a user will hit this new file limit before exhausting their 2TB of storage. The limit does not impact the vast majority of Google Drive users’ ability to use their storage, and the number of impacted users is vanishingly small.

Image credit: u/ra13

A Google spokesperson confirmed to Ars Technica that the file limit isn’t a bug, calling the 5 million file cap “a safeguard to prevent misuse of our system in a way that might impact the stability and safety of the system.”

The company clarified that the limit applies to “how many items one user can create in any Drive,” not a total cap for all files in a drive. Google added that, “This limit does not impact the vast majority of our users’ ability to use their Google storage.”

Who here uploads more than 5 million files to their Google Drive? I can see if there were photos and other files involved, but this seems like a small use case of the online storage. At least we now know how many files we can upload to Google Drive, right? I can’t imagine how much work is involved to delete 2 million files though, that seems like a huge amount of painstaking work.