How To View Folder Size for Google Drive Folders
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.
- Go to Google Drive.
- Click the gear icon in the upper right corner.
- Click “Settings.”
- 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:
- Click “My Drive” on the left of the Google Drive page to expand a list of folders.
- 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.
- Sign in to your Google Account. Make sure this is the Google Account that is associated with your Google Drive account.
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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.
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