Google Rescinds 5 Million Item Limit on Drive

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Google Drive no longer has a 5 million item limit, a Google Workspace spokesperson said Monday evening. 

The about-face comes after people began complaining on Reddit and Google’s own support site of a previously unknown 5 million item cap on Drive. When people found out that Google deliberately implemented the change, they were particularly irked by the lack of communication from the search giant. Those with a large number of files in their Drive account were suddenly unable to upload new items or create additional folders, forcing some to consider deleting or consolidating millions of items.

The Google Drive team has since updated people on the situation via Twitter, saying that though the change affected only a small number of users, the team is now instead looking at alternate methods for optimization.

We recently rolled out a system update to Drive item limits to preserve stability and optimize performance. 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.

— Google Drive (@googledrive) April 4, 2023

The team also tweeted that in the future it would do a better job communicating changes.

If we need to make changes, we will communicate them to users in advance.

— Google Drive (@googledrive) April 4, 2023

Google declined to comment.

When Google began rolling out a Drive limit in February, it went against industry norms. Microsoft’s OneDrive, Dropbox, Amazon Photos and Box don’t have item limits. The limit also meant that regardless of whether a person paid for 2TB or 30TB of storage, given enough small files, they’d hit the item limit well before reaching their storage cap.

The competitive cloud storage market was worth $78.6 billion in 2022, according to Markets and Markets.