Google Drive had a file limit and then removed it. Why? Maybe this

The past few days have seen the implementation, and the revocation of, a 5 million file storage limit on Google Drive. While not a lot of people have 5 million files they need access to on Google Drive, it was discovered fairly quickly so obviously some people did.

TL;DR – speculation on zero byte files with 32K filenames.

There was no reason I can find given for the arbitrary file limit, but I would guess that people started playing with creating zero byte files with extremely long names that were being used to store data without charging against the users storage quota.

People have been working on making YouTube a backup service since there seems to be no upper limit of how much video you can store there. so why not use incredibly long filenames that don’t count against storage quota on Google Drive as a backup method?

From what I can locate it appears the maximum filename length on Google Drive is 32767 characters, so you can store about 32 kilobytes of data just in the filename of a zero byte file.

I’m not sure this is the reason for that limit, but I’d guess it was. I’d be interested to know if the 32767 character limit allows for Unicode as that could bring the total filename data used to quite a bit more. Yes, exactly quite a bit more…can you tell I’m recovering from being pretty sick and not trying to locate how many Unicode characters there are?

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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