Living in a digital age makes it almost too easy to accumulate clutter in the form of files, especially given how small these files can be. That’s true for files you keep locally on your laptop or phone but cloud storage still comes at a cost, even if it’s offered for free. To ensure you don’t run out of space just because of the trash you’ve gathered over the months, Google Drive will soon implement a policy that will automatically delete files in its Trash forever after 30 days.
This new policy shouldn’t really come as much of a shock since almost every cloud storage or Internet service out there has something similar. To some extent, Google Drive was actually the remaining lone exception to the rule, preserving deleted files in Trash indefinitely until the users manually empty the bin.
That actually creates unforeseen problems when users forget that files in the Trash still take up space, at least as far as Google Drive’s user quotas are concerned. On the one hand, it makes it easier to recover files that you suddenly realized you needed after all. On the other hand, users can get lazy and let their garbage build up over time, almost like real life.
Google’s other services like Gmail already has a 30-day retention policy and it thinks users might be confused by different and unpredictable behavior between G Suite products. So starting October 13 this year, files put in Trash will automatically be purged after 30 days, no questions asked.
This applies to any Google Drive file deleted from any device or platform, including those from Drive File Stream or in a shared drive trash. The one exception is Google Vault where admins can still set their own retention policies that override the general one set by Google.