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The little-known secret of unlimited Google Drive storage is going away with Workspace


Google Workspace is replacing G Suite, and anyone interested in the new features can sign up or switch over to the service right now (unless they’re managing an Education or Non-profit organization). But if you’re one of the many people relying on G Suite’s $12/month unlimited storage “hack,” you might be better off sticking to your current G Suite plan — the new tiers all come with some limitations regarding storage.

If you’re a G Suite Business subscriber (which is the case for many individuals who are just looking to get more benefits and fewer ads, even if they don’t own a business), you have access to unlimited Drive storage for only $12 a month. While Google notes that plans with four or fewer individual users are only eligible for 1TB, our testing and a look around the web make clear that Google has never enforced this limit.

This is changing with Google Workspace. There’s a hard limit of 2TB for individual Business users and 5TB per person on the new Business Plus plan. It’s still plenty for most people, but at some point, you’ll run into limitations.

You can’t sign up for these old G Suite plans anymore, which is a bummer. But if you’re already benefiting from your unlimited G Suite Drive, don’t worry. A Google spokesperson told us that “these changes will not impact current contracts. Existing G Suite licenses and related services will continue to function as they do today, until a customer transitions.” The spokesperson also explained why the company decided to scrap unlimited storage:

A relatively small number of organizations in a few specific industries actually realize the full benefit of unlimited storage. With the new editions, we’re providing more value with features that are useful to more customers, like Meet recordings in the new Business Standard edition, while maintaining pricing and plentiful storage. And with the Enterprise editions, available to customers of all sizes, more storage can be requested if needed.

In an FAQ regarding the transition, Google confirms as much: “Your current G Suite subscriptions and related services will continue to function as they do today, until you transition to one of the new editions.”

If you own a business and use G Suite for work, take a very good look at Google’s G Suite vs. Google Workspace comparison. If you decide to switch, you’ll gain a few new features, but depending on your plan, you’ll lose access to things you might have come to rely on for work, like Google Vault, custom templates for Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Sites, and the option to turn off external file and people sharing. You’ll also be limited to 300 users. There’s an Enterprise plan that alleviates some of these limitations, but Google doesn’t share pricing publicly.

Should you consider switching to a Google Workspace account for personal use, keep in mind that you can’t easily transition back to a free account — be prepared to pay Google money for your account indefinitely if you make a full switch. You might also not receive a few consumer features, like some Google Assistant functions such as reminders.

Alternate Title: Area Man Brutally Forced to Pay for Service That Was Once Free Following Years of Misuse*
*Yes, this is inaccurate, but a fun headline nonetheless.

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