How To View Folder Size for Google Drive Folders

Posted by Robert Hayes on April 11, 2019

Google Drive is an awesome place to store your files, with extremely generous free plans and truly colossal storage available with the paid plans. Although there are other players in the cloud storage marketplace, including OneDrive (Microsoft), Dropbox, Box, and Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive is, at least of this writing (April 2019) head and shoulders above the rest for the amount of storage provided. Google Drives gives 15 GB of file storage free, with 100 GB and 1 TB plans costing $2/month and $10/month, respectively. There are even larger storage plans available for people with genuinely immense storage needs.

However, there may come a time when you need to free up space in your Google Drive account. Maybe you have a lot of personal video to store, or are archiving the Library of Congress for a project. Regardless, when you need to get that storage organized and slimmed down, you’ll find that Google Drive is a bit feature-light in the area of file management. Specifically, it’s not possible within the Google Drive web interface to find out how big each folder is. You can look at file sizes, but the total size of the files in each folder is a mystery.

However, it is possible to get that information. In this article, I will show you a few different ways to find out how big each folder is.

It’s surprising that Google hasn’t added folder size details to its cloud storage. Any file manager software would include that information. Presumably there is some performance hit associated with compiling the information and presenting it to users. In any event, I am going to show you two ways to find out the size of your folder.

Quick Fix: Are You Just Looking For Big Files?

If you’re just looking for the biggest files so you can clear them out, there’s a quick workaround that will let you skip the rest of this article.

  1. Go to Google Drive.
  2. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner.
  3. Click “Settings.”
  4. Click “View items taking up storage.”

Google Drive will display a list of every file in your Google Drive, automatically sorted by file size. It will not, however, show you the size of any folders! But you can get rid of that 235 MB video of you trying to catch popcorn in your mouth.

Method 1: Download the Folder

The brute-force approach is simple: download the Google Drive folder to your local hard drive. There, you can view storage size details for the downloaded folder in File Explorer, then delete the whole folder when it is no longer needed.

To download a Google Drive folder, follow these steps:

  1.  Click “My Drive” on the left of the Google Drive page to expand a list of folders.
  2. Right-click a folder and press “Download” to save a copy to your hard drive.

When you select that option, a “Preparing download” bar will open at the bottom right corner in Google Drive. This tells you that it is zipping the file. It will let you know when it is ready to download, and the folder’s ZIP file will save to your browser’s default download folder.

Open the downloaded Google Drive folder in File Explorer. Since it saves as a compressed ZIP file, you should extract it first by opening the ZIP and pressing “Extract all.” Select a destination path for the extracted folder, and press the “Extract” button.

Right-click the extracted folder in File Explorer and select “Properties” to open the Properties window. The General tab includes folder size details. If you’re finished, you can right-click the folder and select “Delete.”

Method 2: Add the Backup and Sync app

Backup and Sync is an app that syncs Google Drive cloud storage with your hard disk. It displays all of your Google Drive files and folders within a Google Drive File Explorer folder. Since it shows the cloud storage folders in File Explorer, you can view Google Drive folder sizes in Windows’ native file manager by installing Backup and Sync on your computer.

To add Backup and Sync to Windows, click the “Download” button here. That will save the software’s installer to your hard drive. Open the software’s installer to add Backup and Sync to Windows. The installer will walk you through three steps to get you set up.

  1. Sign in to your Google Account. Make sure this is the Google Account that is associated with your Google Drive account.
  2. The next window will ask you which folders from your PC you want to back up to Google Drive. You can select a few folders to back up by clicking “Choose Folder,” but you do not have to. To skip this step, de-select all folders and press “Next.”
  3. The third step is the one we are looking for. The “Sync My Drive to this computer” option is selected by default. The default place for your Google Drive folder to be backed up to locally is your user directory; you can choose an alternative one by clicking “Path.”
  4. Select “Sync only these folders…” to display a list of all the folder in your Google Drive. The folder size will be displayed next to each folder. While this is not an easy way to check folder size every time, it is a great one-off solution that does not require you to install anything on your computer. If you have the information you need, quit the wizard. Otherwise, press “Start” to begin syncing Google Drive with your hard drive.

File Explorer will now include a Google Drive folder, which you can open by clicking Quick access > Google Drive. File Explorer’s Size column does not include any folder storage size details in the main display, but you can check a folder’s size by hovering the cursor over a folder to open its tooltip.

We’ve got more tips on how to get the most out of Google Drive!

Want more room on your Google Drive? Check out this tutorial on how to free up Google Drive space.

Want to save your photos online? Learn how to automatically back up your photos to Google Drive!

Do a lot of torrenting? We’ll show you how to download your torrent files to Google Drive.

File management isn’t Drive’s strong suite, but we can show you how to duplicate or copy a folder.

Need some privacy? We’ve got a tutorial on hiding files in Google Drive.

Personally, I think Google Drive is the bee’s knees – but learn about the other alternatives in this head-to-head comparison between Drive, OneDrive, and DropBox.

Not all of Drive’s features are obvious – we’ve got an introduction to some of Google Drive’s hidden features.

11 thoughts on “How To View Folder Size for Google Drive Folders”

antiGoogle says:
And when I downloaded a 5GB file I split it into 5 files of 1GB. I did NOT realize and only accepted the download of one of them. The others thought they were repeated downloads. Then, I deleted the file from the cloud and emptied the trash. Now I lost the files definitely.

Thanks Google.

Chris says:
Even as a paying customer on the £7.99 a month for 2TB storage i am unable to do this and check folder sizes!
I was only using about 400GB until recently, when i requested a copy of my Google Account data, and it would be delivered to my Google Drive.
This made a folder caled Takeout which is filled with up to 4GB zip files, but they aren’t all the same size, you don’t see how many there are until you scroll all the way to the bottom of a page which refreshes as you reach the bottom, and there is too much data for me to try using the Windows desktop Back and Sync software to get a local copy of it as i only have a 1TB SSD.
It’s truly remarkable that such a simple thing is not available!
kai says:
same issue
Makenna says:

The only way to check if someone else has gotten all the contents of a 27 GB folder is for me to download the entire 27 GB folder?

On my internet that would take at least a day…

Werner Barnard says:
Haha a day.. on mine a week, guess Windows does not take 3rd world countries into consideration, they think the whole world has their 100mbps speeds
Werner Barnard says:
Google..not Windows
Travis Scott says:
How the hell does a company like google not implement the ability to see the size of folders? I think my brain is going to explode.
Luthien says:
They want you to buy Google One. It’s easier to make you do that if you can’t figure out which folders you need to delete.
Frankie says:
Pretty sure Google doesn’t want you to know how big your folder is such that when you ran out of space you will need to upgrade your storage plan. I am already subscribing to a 15Gb plan.

Took me so long to shrink my Google Storage without the file size.

John says:
Really disappointing from Google. I purchased a storage package before realizing i could not view the storage size of folders and back ups.
Sonoman says:
Sucks big time! Just purchased yesterday… I’ll revoke it at the end of the month and maybe move to Mega that has lots and lots of cool features… Including the utter complex “Folder Size”….. ggggggrrrrrr google!
Mark S says:
This has got to be the biggest oversight in Google Drive.
1. I don’t need GD to count files in a folder with 4 items. I’m concerned with the dozens and hundreds of files in folders. So I have to wait for GD to process 750 files before it can tell me I have 750 files in a folder??? Asinine.
2. The most common need for counting files is to verify whether the cloud has all the files that are synced to or from my hard drive. So counting the files on the hard drive is pointless.

How difficult is it to display the number of items in a folder or the number of items selected???? This is just stupid, lazy development that is out of touch with the actual users – a trend Google doesn’t have the market on (I’m accusing you, too, Microsoft).

Randolph Price says:
Once again Google falls short of UI requirements for maximum efficiency. And the minute you count on the functionality of the google app, it will be discontinued leaving you to scramble for another alternate program.
DimanNe says:
Now you can go to Settings (gear icon) ->General -> Storage -> View items taking up storage
Rostyslav Gudz says:
but no folders size though
Kolin says:
When I try to use this I get this message:
Sign in with Google temporarily disabled for this app
This app has not been verified yet by Google in order to use Google Sign In.

Is there any way to get past this?


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