Running out of space in Google Drive, even though you KNOW you haven't used that much storage?
That was the problem I experienced a year ago. I would Remove unwanted files to the Trash, clear out my Trash, and STILL my Google Drive said I was using waaaaaay more space than I should have.
Fortunately, I Googled a solution – and Google gave me one: Orphaned Files
What is an Orphaned File
Most of the time, a file becomes Orphaned because it was delete by a person who shares the folder/file with you.
In my situation, I upload 500MB+ size files to folders that belong to a client. This happens 3 times a week. (You do the math).
My client will go through and delete the old files a few weeks later. However, nobody can remove a file belonging to you.
That is how a file becomes orphaned: Your client/friend/family member may have deleted the file – or even the folder – from their account, but they can't delete the file from yours.
The file no longer has a home, but it still lives on in the ether.
How to free up space in your Google Drive
Run this process to free up space from Orphaned Files:
1) Sign into your Google account
2) Click the “Search Now” button on this page https://support.google.com/a/answer/6008339
3) “Right-click” any files you no longer need (confirm with anyone you might be sharing folders with)
4) Click on the Trash option on the left margin
5) Click the drop-down arrow next to the word Trash, then Empty Trash
This time around I reduced my ever-growing 70GB storage down to 11GB!
Set a reminder in your Google Calendar to run this process every few months.