USC Alumni Google Photos Compliance Instructions

To be in compliance with the new storage standards, as of March 1, 2023, G-suite features such as Google Drive, Photos and Keep were turned off for all accounts and all Drive data was permanently deleted. Unfortunately, Google does not allow administrators to similarly delete Photos without wiping out all account data (including Gmail, etc.).

If you would like to maintain your account, you have the following options:

  1. Complete our Gmail Option Form and let us know you’d like us to delete all data on your account. Please note: This will delete ALL account data but will allow you to maintain your current account address.

  2. Delete ALL photo files from your account and remove them from your trash no later than November 30, 2023. Please see the tips and steps below for assistance.

Tips for Photo Removal:

STEP 1: If you are interested in downloading/transferring your photos, we encourage you to use Google Takeout. Here’s a helpful step-by-step article on how to use the Google Takeout tool.

For additional questions, please refer to Google’s photo removal instructions help page.

STEP 2: After you have saved/transferred the photos you would like to keep, follow these instructions to delete Photos in large batches:

  1. Hold down the Shift key.
  2. Click the circle at the top left of the last photo in the sequence (all photos should be highlighted).
  3. Hit the Delete button.
  4. Go to the Trash folder and delete all photos.

If you don’t see any photos in your account, please check the following:

Check for Archived Photos: 

  1. Check Archive Folder in Google Photos: To access the Archive folder in Google Photos, please visit

  2. If you are using a smartphone: Follow these steps:
    • Step 1: Go to your device’s Settings.
    • Step 2: Navigate to the ‘Apps’ or ‘Applications’ section and select ‘Photos.’
    • Step 3: Access the ‘Storage’ menu and choose ‘Manage Space.’
    • Step 4: Please verify any commands if prompted.
    • Step 5: Delete App Data.

Check for Unsupported Videos: 

  1. To download or delete unsupported videos from your account, visit

  2. For more information on unsupported videos, please visit

Shared Albums: You may have shared albums with others in your Google Photos accounts. These shared albums can occupy storage, even if the you don’t have any photos in your personal library. Please check if you have shared albums and delete them if they’re no longer needed.

Google Photos Trash: Make sure to check the “Trash” or “Bin” in their Google Photos and Google Drive. You may have deleted photos, and these photos might still be in the trash, occupying storage. 

Shared with Me: If other users have shared photos or albums with you, they might be stored in the “Shared with me” section, and this can consume storage space. Please check this section and remove any shared content.

Third-Party Apps: You may be using third-party apps that automatically sync photos or videos to your Google account. These can also consume storage. Please check and revoke access to any apps that are no longer needed.

App Data: Some apps save data, including media, to a user’s Google account. Check if there are apps that may be saving media content.

Deleted Photos Recovery: It’s possible that you’ve deleted photos in the past, but Google Photos has a “Recently Deleted” section that retains deleted photos for up to 60 days before permanent deletion. If you’ve deleted photos recently, they may still be in this section. Be sure to permanently delete them.

Archive Feature: Google Photos has an archive feature where users can store photos privately without them appearing in their main library. Please check if they have any photos archived.


If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact

Thanks for your assistance in helping us to maintain your alumni email account.

Fight On!