How to share your Google One storage with your family

“This weekend my wife was like, ‘Google says I’m almost out of storage!’” recounts a colleague at The Verge. “We have 2TB with Google One, that’s not possible!” I said. What exactly was the issue? You don’t automatically start sharing your extra storage from Google One just because you’ve set up family sharing with your Google account. You must switch it on.

First, the fundamentals: Google One is essentially Google Drive’s premium edition. It adds more storage (beyond the free 15GB) to Drive, Gmail, and Photos, and allows you to share it with up to five family members. Plans start at $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year for 100GB. If that’s not enough, you can upgrade to 2TB for $9.99 per month / $99.99 per year, or to 30TB for $149.99 per month if you’ve got a lot of stuff to store.

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(If you don’t want to switch yet and still have a free Google account, head to the Google One page to use a program that may help you free up some extra storage space, though you’ll have to resist the strong urgings to buy into Google One.)

You must first create a shared family group if you wish to share your storage. Here’s how to do it:

1 To get started, go to Google’s family plan page and select “Get started.”

2 If you agree to the Google Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, go ahead and click “Create family group.”

3 If all of your family members have Google accounts, you can invite up to five of them. There will be some suggestions, but you can also write in a name (if they’re in your contacts) or an email address. If you choose, you can skip this step for the time being.

4 The person you invited will receive an email, and you will receive an email when they accept. The invitation is only valid for two weeks.

You may then set up your shared storage after you’ve created your family account:

5 On the left side of your Google One account, click the settings symbol.

6 Toggle on “Share Google One with family” from the “Manage Family Settings” drop-down menu.

Members of your family can now benefit from your storage bounty. This means that once they’ve used up their free 15GB, they’ll have access to the extra storage space provided by your account – it doesn’t mean you have access to their data unless they share them with you directly.

Go to your Google One account, click on “Storage” on the left side, and pick the down arrow next to “Family Storage” to see how much storage each family member is using.

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