Google Sites Storage Limitations - r##

Upload Server Error

If you exceed your space allocation for a Google Site, instead of getting a nice sensible error message you will see ' Upload server error; please try again later ' when trying to upload attachments.

For a 'consumer' Google Site the space allocation is 100MB.

For a Google Apps Site (address starts ) the space for Sites is controlled at the domain level - you will need to contact your Google Apps domain admin to resolve this issue.

So if you see this message, the first thing to check - if you are using a consumer Site (i.e. not a Google Apps Site) - is whether you are close to the space allocation limit of your site. Go to More>Manage Site>General and look under Site Storage. If you are close to the limit, try clearing out some files (see above) and try again. Remember that deleting an attachment 'soft' deletes it and it will continue to occupy space for 30 days or until you 'hard' delete it by going to deleted items and selecting 'permanently delete. (Which could explain why some users have found this an intermittent problem - deleted items being removed after 30 days frees up space for the user to now be able to upload more files.


The current storage space limitations for Google Sites are detailed here.

Getting more

For non-Google Apps users, the only way to increase the amount of storage allocated is to upgrade to Google Apps for which you need to have your own domain. You can purchase a domain via Google for (at time of writing) $8 / year. (see also move site to apps)

Other Options

*** Needs updating to refer to Google Photos instead of Picasa which has been deprecated

In either case it is possible to reduce the amount of storage used by a Google Site by being canny about where certain types of files are stored, especially picture files which can sometimes be large. This article discusses the use of Picasa Web albums to reduce the amount of Sites storage allocation used. Storing photographs and other pictures in a Picasa Web Album makes them easy to embed in Google sites pages and, importantly, does not eat in to the Site space limit.  Additional storage space for Picasa/Google Docs is pretty cheap - at the time of writing it is $30/yr for 25GB.

You can also store documents in Google Drive and then embed them / link to them from a Google site including video files (within limits).

Deleting Attachments

Probably the best way is to go to More Options>Manage Sites>Site Content/Attachments, locate the image(s) you want to delete and delete from there. However, this won't immediately help reclaim space since deleted items are retained for 4 weeks in case you want to recover them. To circumvent this and permanently delete them, select Site Content/Deleted items, select the items to remove and use the 'delete permanently' button.

General Advice

Another option is to clean out the files in your site. Most often, Google Sites owners upload files with no thought to file size. Over time, these eat up precious site space. 

Try the following but do one step at a time and check your site's storage afterward to see if it decreases.
  1. remove (download) or delete unused and duplicate files
  2. replace very large files with smaller sized files
  3. look at the content on your site and see if some of it can be deleted

Once you clean up your files, start using best practices to keep the problem from happening again.
  1. clean out your files on a regular basis
  2. when replacing images, use the "replace" feature that actually replaces one image with another
    1. the usual practice is to delete an image, upload another and forget to delete the old one
    2. FYI, deleting an image from a page does not delete it from Google Sites (delete from the Attachments page)
  3. give files proper names like home_page1.jpg, for example, so you can find them when you need them
  4. presize large image files to around 800 x 600 or small ones to 400 x 300, for example, before uploading
  5. empty your "deleted items" folder (trash) often
    1. Google Sites does this for you on a regular basis but if your web space is really used up, this might free up some

Google Sites has a kind -of file manager in the Attachments page. Get to know it. It is your friend and will help you keep your website space under control.
  1. gear icon, top right corner of any page
  2. manage site
  3. attachments
If you are absolutely short of time, search for the files that are the largest and deal with them first. That will free of the most space in the least amount of time.