Tips for how you can free up space on your cloud drives

Keeping your use of cloud storage within the free storage space limit is a challenge. There’s always a new file that you want available on all devices, but it’s also hard to let any file already stored there go. What if you need that file for later?

By Kristian Male

Published on June 14, 2018

Each service provides a different amount of free storage. Google Drive gives you 15gb, iCloud 5gb and Dropbox as low as 2.5gb. These amounts can easily be filled up pretty quickly, depending on what kind of files you store on these services.

That’s why we’ve grabbed together a couple of tips for how you can free up space on your cloud drive, or take full advantage of the free storage space available.

Use multiple cloud services, with multiple accounts

You can have as many accounts as you want on these cloud storage services, of course depending on how many email addresses you have access to. Each time you sign up for a new account, you get a new set of free storage space for you to use.

A smart trick to keep all these accounts in order is to organize them based on file categories. That could be to have one cloud storage account dedicated for work files and another for personal documents. A third one can be used to store family photos or something like that.

The biggest downside of this workaround is that it’s hard to access all these accounts. You`ll have to switch between different services and accounts within those services. Luckily Correlate can help you out there, as you can browse through and search for files across multiple cloud accounts.

Only back up from a select few devices

The average amount of devices each person controls is quite high. As of 2016, the number is at 3.64, and have probably worked itself upwards the last two years.

Automatically backing up files from almost 4 devices might not be the best idea. Choose which device you think is the most important one to backup files from. This could be the device you`re using the most, or the one you`re creating the most important files from. Like a work computer.

Another thought is to combine this tip with the one mentioned above. This would mean that you choose different cloud accounts for each device. For example, you could back up files from your iPhone to iCloud, and then back up files from your computer to Google Drive.

Free up space by checking out the last time you edited or viewed a file

If you haven’t viewed or edited a specific file in quite a while, it might not be necessary to keep it in the cloud. You could use other methods to back up older files, like an external hard drive or a flash drive.

Keep in mind that files you’re not using might be used by someone else on a regular basis. So double-check with anyone you’ve shared the file with and see if they’re not using it either.

Zipping a file can help you save a ton of space on your cloud drive. You lose much value of cloud storage if you choose to zip up an editable file though, so we do not recommend doing so to Google Docs or similar files you would like to edit. Photos, non-interactive PDF documents and video files should be considered as “zipable”.

A big negative on this is that zipped files can’t be opened directly. You would have to unarchive the file before you read it. That way you lose the ability to quickly access the files.

Keep in mind that there’s a ton of different ways to save space on your cloud drives. There’s also different tips out there for each individual service. This blog post by Sarah Purewal over at CNet covers how to free up space on your Google Drive in just a few simple steps.

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