Frequently Asked Questions

Alumni Email Service

Alumni Email Service FAQ

What is included with Berkeley’s Alumni Email Service?

Berkeley currently allows alumni to renew the active Google account they had as a former student, employee, or participant in a prior Alumni Email Service.  These accounts will be limited in July 2024 to only allow 5 GB of total storage (including all Gmail, Drive & Photos). More information about the limitations to the Google accounts provided to alumni can be found at Alumni Email Changes.

Is my Google account guaranteed for life?

No. Campus is committed to maintaining ways for alumni to stay engaged with Berkeley. We will continue to evaluate whether this service is an effective way of achieving that goal. The Alumni Email Service is provided as a privilege and is subject to additional changes.

Will the Alumni Email Service cost money and can I buy more storage?

No. Email services for alumni are currently funded by UC Berkeley as a privilege and limited benefit to alumni. There are no charges to alumni for using the alumni email service. All UC Berkeley Google accounts provided to alumni will be limited to 5 GB of total storage.

Alumni can not purchase additional storage or use storage purchased directly from Google with their UC Berkeley Google accounts.

Who is eligible to renew their Google account as an Alumni?

  1. Alumni who have an active email account and an active CalNet ID and passphrase; and/or

  2. Recent graduates (whose grace period ended after September 2023) who are alumni or attendees of full-time UC Berkeley undergraduate or graduate degree programs with more than 12 completed course hours.

What address do I use to login when I renew?

  1. Enter the email address provided in the To: field of this message to login to Google
  2. Enter your CalNet ID and Passphrase when presented with the CalNet Authentication Service page.
    1. The part before the @ symbol in the To: field of this message is your CalNet ID
    2. You can Reset Passphrase(link is external) if you can no longer remember it.
  3. Check the Email(link is external) section of your Google profile to see all of your alternate email addresses.

I keep seeing "html not found" or "404" when I go to the link provided.

This is a common error when you're already signed into a personal gmail account. Instead of logging out of your personal account, you can open an Incognito Window on Google Chrome or Private Window in Safari/Microsoft Edge/FireFox to access the form:

You should then be asked to login with a Google account in which you'll use your account (not or any other alias). Then you should be prompted to authenticate with CalNet ID and passphrase to proceed to where you can submit your alumni email renewal form.

Why is my Google account more limited than a free consumer Google account?

  1. Control costs: Berkeley needs to manage the additional costs associated with the new storage pricing model offered to Google Workspace Education customers.

  2. Manage risks and threats: Berkeley needs to manage the security and reputational risks and threats posed by unattended and possibly compromised alumni email accounts.

Can Alumni who don’t have an active Google account still get one?

No. Only alumni with existing, active Google accounts are eligible to renew their service.

Can Alumni who don’t have an active CalNet ID and passphrase renew an Google account?

No. Only alumni with an active CalNet ID and passphrase can renew an Google account.

What can I use my Google account for and what should I avoid?

Many alumni value continued access to their email address as a way to identify themselves as Berkeley graduates. Communicating between alumni and using it for job searches are two common ways alumni use their accounts.

Things to avoid:
  1. Sending unsolicited email (SPAM) - even in relatively small numbers, sending SPAM can get your account blocked by Google.  If your account is blocked, your account will be reviewed for abuse and can be subject to restrictions or revocation.

  2. Using as a login to other services - Signing up for and using your address for other consumer services should be avoided.  These include, but are not limited to, personal banking/financial accounts and personal subscriptions like Amazon or Netflix.

Please refer to the Alumni Email Service Level Agreement for the exhaustive list of alumni responsibilities including adherence to policies and prohibited conduct

Will I be required to use 2-Step verification to login to my Google account?

Yes.  If you already have CalNet 2-Step verification using DUO, you will be required to continue using it.  Alumni who don’t yet have CalNet 2-Step will be contacted in late summer 2024 or early Fall 2024 with instructions on how to set up CalNet 2-Step.

I no longer need my Google account. What steps should I take?

Please review Leaving UC Berkeley to take the necessary steps to ensure you have retained any personal information you require and that you have properly transferred any data to others as appropriate.  If you take no action, your account will be disabled and eventually deleted.

I've deleted lots of email but I can't get my storage usage to come down!

If you have deleted thousands of email and it seems like your Google Storage usage is not coming down, this could be due to a few things:

  • First, confirm that email is where the majority of your storage usage is being used. As you are logged into your Berkeley Google account, click to check how much storage is being used by your email vs. your Google Drive files. 
  • When you delete thousands of emails at one time, Google will warn you that it may not delete them all at once and that it will be done in stages and may take longer. Sometimes we see this process fail and folks have to delete these emails more than once. Look for this message pop-up as you are deleting:

Popup message from Google letting you know it will take longer to delete all email

  • You also need to empty your Trash. It may take several attempts to permanently delete the data in your Trash. Note that deleting a large number of data may cause an error. It is recommended to permanently delete your data in smaller batches if you have a significant number of them in your Trash. To permanently delete individual data from Trash, click trash from the sidebar and click the link Empty Trash Now:

Empty Trash Now link

  • Once emptied, storage usage should decrease in about 24 hours. However, if you have deleted a significant amount of data, it may take two or more days for Google to accurately report your new storage usage.

I’ve deleted everything in my account and it still shows high usage, and I’ve waited several days for my usage stats to update, but it hasn’t. What can I do?

Rarely, a connected app stores data in a “hidden” location within your Google Drive. You can check for these apps by visiting . If you see anything that looks like it might be holding data you can use the dropdown “OPTIONS” menu on the right to “Delete hidden app data”. Make sure you don’t need the data before choosing this option. After doing so, you should see your storage decrease within a few hours.

I’ve moved all my content or deleted it from my UC Berkeley account, but my usage still shows the older, higher number. What’s wrong?

Sometimes it can take up to 72 hours for Google to update your storage usage statistics. If it still hasn’t updated in a couple of days, please let us know and we will investigate.

I’m trying to use Takeout/Transfer and it says it’s not available for my account/institution

Google can get confused when you’re logged into two accounts in the same browser profile. Try initiating the transfer using this URL instead - which allows you to select your Berkeley account.

I’m trying to use Google Takeout Transfer and it’s taking a really long time, failing, or not moving all of my content.

Unfortunately, if you are moving more than a small amount of data, it has a higher chance of failure. Since Google doesn't directly support Takeout Transfer, we recommend using VaultMe instead. It is guaranteed to work and has a dedicated support team. You can learn more about VaultMe here -  

How can I move my content to my personal Google Drive myself?

If you want to try moving your content yourself, we recommend using Google Drive for Desktop. This video explains the process. Keep in mind that you will still need to download all native Google files (docs, sheets, slides, etc) manually via Google Drive in the browser so that they are converted to usable Microsoft Office documents. Native Google Drive files cannot be downloaded via Drive for Desktop.

I’m trying to change ownership from my UC Berkeley alumni account to my personal Gmail account, but it says I don’t have permission to transfer ownership outside of the organization. How can I transfer ownership of my files to my personal account?

This is a limitation imposed by Google, so we cannot change this setting. Instead, you need to use Google Takeout, Google Takeout Transfer, or to transfer your content to your personal account. You can also manually download your content and then upload it to your personal account.

Current Students and Recent Graduates FAQs

Current Students and Recent Graduates FAQ

What do I need to do to keep my Google account when I graduate?

Current students must wait until they complete their studies or graduate before renewing their Google account as an alum.  They will be notified as their account enters it's grace period.

All new graduates  must complete the following steps before the end of their grace period to avoid any disruptions:

  1. Renew your alumni email account.

  2. Reduce your use of Google Storage to below 5GB.

Existing alumni and graduates whose grace period ended before April 15, 2024 should follow instructions provided at Alumni Email Changes

What will happen if I don’t renew my Google account as an Alumni?

Alumni with email services before September, 2023 who were asked to renew by April 15, 2024

Alumni can still renew after April 15, but they will not be able to create or add new files and will lose the ability to send or receive email outside of until they renew.  Email sent to alumni who have not renewed will be returned or "bounced" back to the sender with a warning message.

New Alumni who are still in their grace period as a former student

New alumni have until the the end of their grace period to renew their Google accounts.  Failure to renew as a new alumni prior to the end of your grace period will result in your account being disabled and scheduled for deletion.

Existing Employees who also happen to be alumni

While an employee, you can not renew email services as an alum because Google accounts of existing employees are subject to different policies and have different features and quotas than Alumni.  Existing employees who are alumni will be able to renew email services as an alum during the grace period provided them when they separate from the university. 

What will happen if I don’t reduce my Google account storage before the end of my grace period?

The Google accounts for eligible alumni who do not reduce their Google account storage to below 5 GB before the end of their grace period will lose the following capabilities: 

  • Gmail: You will be unable to send or receive messages outside of UC Berkeley. Messages sent to you from outside of UC Berkeley are returned to the sender.

  • Google Drive: You will be unable to sync or upload new files. You will be unable to create new files in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard. Until you reduce the amount of storage you use, neither you nor anyone else can edit or copy your affected files. Syncs stop between your computer's Google Drive folder and My Drive.

  • Google Photos: You will be unable to back up any photos or videos.


General FAQs

How much does VaultMe cost, and how do I get my discount?

If you visit and begin a migration, you will be able to go all the way through the migration settings and see the total cost, including your UC Berkeley-provided discount, before providing your payment details or completing starting your transfer. This is the most accurate way to get an estimate of your cost. Generally we estimate the cost around $33 per 100 GB.

Google Project

Google Project FAQs

What do I do when a file I use has a To Be Deleted warning label?

  • If there are several files, or you need to keep the URL or sharing settings, you should move them all into a Shared Drive

  • If you only need to keep a small number of files and the URLs and sharing don’t matter, You can make a copy of the file then save the copy (e.g. on your MyDrive, a Shared Drive or your computer)

  • No content will be deleted prior to September 2024

  • More information

Can a student create a Shared Drive?

No. However, if the student is working on a group project with a Lab or other research group, the faculty member can create the Shared Drive and the team members, including the student, can use it.

What do I need to do now to prepare for the new storage limits?

The vast majority of the community will not need to take any action at all! However, If you would like to prepare for lower storage limits that will be implemented later in the project, you can review your existing content in Google Drive, Google Photos, and bMail and delete anything you are comfortable with deleting, especially backups of backups, archives, and extremely out of date records/emails. Make sure you are staying within compliance requirements for records retention.

This is just a recommendation; you are responsible for determining what content you are willing to delete. For more information please check out our information on what you can do right now.

When are the new storage limits going to be enforced?

All remaining individual accounts will have a 150 GB limit applied Autumn 2024. 

SPAs will need to be within their new limits by Autumn 2024.

Shared Drives will need to be within their new limits by Autumn 2024, or have an Expanded Shared Drive or Pass Through Pay Option agreement in place.

Alumni accounts will have a 5 GB limit applied on July 24, 2024

How will the storage limits work with SPAs and shared drives?

SPAs will need to reduce content in their My Drive space to be below 150 GB by Autumn 2024. Shared Drives that do not have a special arrangement in place will also need to be within 150 GB by Autumn 2024.

What happens if I go over my individual storage limit?

If your individual account is over the limit Autumn 2024, you will not be able to edit existing documents or upload new items in Google Drive. Email will work normally. No content will be deleted. Once you remove content so that you are below your limit your account will go back to operating normally. You can find more information about the various storage limit banners and notifications in the Knowledge Base

Will you be communicating directly with departments? Can you present this project to my department?

If your department has members whose accounts hold more than 1 TB of data, we have probably already contacted your department. If you’d like us to present the details of the project to your department, just email us at We'd be happy to present the project or provide a workshop for your department to develop a content management strategy.

How do the storage limits impact email?

If you are over quota, some services such as creating a new Google Doc may cease to function, however Gmail will continue to send and receive email normally.

In Gmail, when you attach something to an email, if that item is below 25 MB it stays in Gmail and applies to the Gmail portion of your overall usage. Larger attachments are saved in Google Drive and apply to the Drive portion of your overall usage. In both cases, the usage contributes to your overall quota.

Who do I talk to if I think my circumstances are unique?

We are happy to consult with you. Please attend one of our open office hours or email us at google-storage-project@berkeley.eduto arrange a personal consultation.

If Berkeley IT can see how much storage I’m using, do they have access to my content and data?

On a day to day basis, we apply the model of privileged access, meaning we access the minimum of what is necessary in order to perform the requested or required task. We only access an account’s data without permission in very specific and rare cases such as legal holds. In those cases, we never look at the contents, but pull the requested information without further perusal.

Are Google Drive or other Google core services going away?

The Google services you access at Berkeley will remain available to you, and your account will continue to work as it does now, as long as your account remains under your quota. You will still have access to all the same Google services you use now.

Will you delete my data if I’m over the storage limit?

We always make absolutely every effort to communicate when content is at risk of deletion. Sometimes content can be automatically deleted as part of the account lifecycle, where we deactivate and then delete accounts that were used by people no longer affiliated with the university. If an account holder repeatedly ignores our attempt to contact them in order to assist with lowering usage and no engagement or reduction has occurred, we may consider deleting content in that account. It is our goal to never have to delete content on your behalf!

What kinds of accounts will be affected by the changes to the Google service?

The Google quotas and service changes will apply to all Google account holders at UC Berkeley, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and retirees; however, only a very small number of people are storing content over the new storage limits and will need to take action. Most people are not impacted by these changes.

What services do the storage limits apply to?

The quota applies to Google Drive, bMail, and Google Photos.

How do I check my Google account storage usage?

  • To see the breakdown of usage in your Google account, go to

  • To see all the files in your Google MyDrive sorted by usage, go to

  • To find how much you are storing in your Shared Drive go to Expand the “Shared drives” item in the left sidebar. Select the Shared Drive you’re interested in, and then Choose Info (small i in a circle) in the upper right hand corner. The Details information panel will open and you can scroll down to see the storage amount. Read More.
  • To see the usage in a SPA, log into Google or Box as that SPA, and then follow the links above.

  • Be sure you are logged into your Berkeley Google account, and not a personal Google account. To be sure, you can use a private or incognito browsing window.

How do I know if I will be affected by the new storage limits?

All accounts will be given a storage limit. To find out how much storage you are currently using, go to this URL and log in with your CalNet ID: . As we continue to develop the quotas, if you are directly impacted we will email you.

What will be the impact of the quotas on the campus community?

Only two percent of the campus population will see any impact based on the implementation of these new quotas. For almost all accounts, you can continue to work normally with Google services. We are actively engaging with account holders with 5 TB or more of content to assess and advise how to proceed. Future quota implementations should also only impact a very small percentage of the campus population and those impacted will be directly contacted via email.

What are the storage limits for Berkeley Google accounts?

Storage limits will be applied in multiple phases.

  • July 5, 2023
    • All newly created individual accounts will have a 50 GB limit applied
    • All individual accounts with 35 GB of content or less will have a 50 GB limit applied.
    • All individual accounts with 36 - 150 GB of content will have a 150 GB extended limit applied.
    • All individual accounts with more than 150 GB of content will maintain their current limit until Autumn 2024.
  • Autumn, 2024 -  all remaining individual accounts will have a 150 GB limit applied.
  • Autumn, 2024
  • July 24, 2024

Storage Changes

Why are these services changing?

There is a larger industry trend towards eliminating “unlimited” offerings for cloud-based services. This has its roots in the fact that, unlike 5-10 years ago, storage costs are no longer rapidly decreasing. In fact, they have leveled off or increased in recent years.

How is Berkeley responding?

These changes from Google overlap with the similar changes Box announced last year, so we are taking a bigger picture look at the overall file storage and collaboration strategy for the entire campus. Our primary goal is to find the most cost effective solutions for storing and preserving the important data that is the lifeblood of the University, while maintaining the abilities of individuals and teams to continue to work productively in service of the University’s teaching, research, and public service mission.

How will we make decisions about these services?

Google and Box are both part of the campus’ Productivity Suite offering; any changes will be a part of our ongoing discussions with the campus about the governance and funding of Productivity Suite.

Why is the Berkeley Google service changing?

Google is eliminating the free and unlimited storage offering that they have provided to the K-12 and higher education community along with their rebranding from Google G Suite for Education to Google Workspace Education. We currently store 11.2 PB of data in our entire Google Workspace enterprise environment, and we will need to reduce our storage to below 2.6 PB or the university will be charged significant fees. We will have until November of 2024 to adjust our services accordingly.

How do I see my current storage usage in Google and Box?


To see the breakdown of usage in your Google account, go to

To see all the files in your Google MyDrive sorted by usage, go to


To see the usage in your Box account, go to, then scroll down to "Account Details" and look for "Storage Used"

Usage by SPAs

To see the usage in a SPA, log into Google or Box as that SPA, and then follow the links above.

What do I need to do now?


  1. Clean up: Delete any files, folders or email that you are confident you no longer need from Google and Box. 

  2. Empty your Box and Google Trash: Deleted files in Google and Box are moved to the trash in Google and Box

  3.  Just like on your computer, you need to empty trash in order for the files to be fully deleted. If you don’t need the files in your Google or Box Trash, please empty it.