Google Workspace Service Changes

Google Workspace Service Changes August 8

In 2021, Google announced that it would no longer provide free and unlimited storage and will begin charging the University of Minnesota for data storage in January 2025. 

In response, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) has been consulting with University of Minnesota leaders, peer institutions, and industry experts on a common-sense approach to managing the University’s data storage resulting in the Sustainable Storage initiative. In support of this initiative, OIT's Google team intends to implement some changes to UMN Google Workspace accounts starting on August 8

These changes, while important to the University's overall approach to sustainable storage, will have minimal impact on faculty, staff, and students. 

Aug. 8 Change Summary

  • Google Workspace accounts created on or after August 8 will have storage allocations according to one's role or the account's function. For details, see New Google Workspace Accounts: Storage Allocation
  • The Google Photos app will not be available to Google Workspace accounts created on or after August 8 and will be disabled for existing accounts that have no files stored in the Photos app
    • Existing accounts that have files stored in the Photos App will continue to have access
  • To reduce storage costs associated with abandoned shared drives, a new shared drive request form has been developed. The form is available to try August 8 - September 13. On September 14 the form will become required. For details, see Google Workspace: Shared Drive Request Form

What You Can Do Now: Focus on Files 

In addition to changes in services, UMN faculty, staff, and student must also adapt the way we all manage our data. Visit the Focus on Files in Google Workspace page for helpful tips and tools to:

  • Reduce the time you spend trying to locate your files
  • Avoid going over the data storage limit
  • Minimize wasteful spending on data storage that provides no value
  • Follow data storage guidelines
  • Use the right tools to store your data


If you have questions regarding changes to Google Workspace, please contact the UMN Google team.