How I Got A Terabyte of Space on Google Drive Without Spending A Dime

Two years worth of a terabyte of Google Drive storage at no cost is nothing to turn your nose up at – especially if you are working online and trying to move around with little baggage as I do.

So I have been a ‘girl on a mission’ since I learnt that I could get some ‘free’ storage and secure some space on Google Drive – at least for a few years – at no cost.

How I Got A Terabyte of Storage Space on Google Drive

I also realised, that if I managed to pull this off, I could then share my success so that others could do it too.

I have to warm you though, it does take some effort.

But in my opinion, it is just the sort of thing that adventurous aspiring digital nomads could accomplish without too much effort.

my storage upgrade in google drive

So here goes.

In order to qualify for the free Google Drive space you will need to earn 200 points on the Google Local Guides Program.

The easiest way to do this in my opinion is by uploading photos and/or answering questions about certain locations.

If you have a few hundred photos of different locations sitting on a USB somewhere you could have your terabyte of space in a few days after acceptance to the Local Guides program.

Why Should You Care?

Firstly, at the current rate of $9.99/ month a terabyte would cost you $237.50 over 2 years.

google drive storage plans and pricing

Well, if you value online storage space, this is the ticket. You probably already have the free 15 GB of space that comes with the basic Google Drive, but that is not gonna even cover the top of the iceberg for anyone who works online.

Then again, even if you don’t work online, it is so important to have back ups of important documents and other things you might want to discard that are hanging about the house – but that you still want a copy of. Scan em and put them on cloud storage!

And we cant forget Accessibility – yep, there’s nothing like having your stuff accessible to you anywhere you go, from any device, in any country – even if you are travelling and all your stuff gets stolen or destroyed.

Pretty handy to have some scanned copies of your passport and travel and insurance documents saved on Google Drive.

Still interested? Read on…

What Is The Local Guides Program?

You know how you are able to write reviews of places where you have been on Google Maps – and how you can read reviews others have written as well?

google local guides

Well, Google has an incentive program to encourage people to contribute information, reviews and photos, etc to beef up the information you have access to on Google Maps when you search for a place.

And you get rewarded for it.

If you haven’t heard of the Local Guides Program, you are probably like the majority of people. It started out as a program known as Google City Experts – that was a fantastic program.

Google City Experts

It was sold to the public as a way to attend free social events, sample new products and attend some of the trendiest venues in your city – in return for reviews of locations and venues in your local area.

Sydney was one of the cities where this program was active and I managed to attend a number of fantastic social events as a Google City Expert.

But, since it’s reincarnation as the Local Guides Program it is a different animal. It is more accessible to people in whatever city in the world – but in saying that it  is not as social and the free events hosted by Google are few and far between and hard to get into before available spaces are filled up.

That being said, there is a points system in place now and it is easier to earn points now than it ever was before. Follow this link to sign up to the Local Guides Program.

How To Earn Points on The Local Guides Program

The exact way that points are allocated is a little confusing as explained by Google.

My approach was to simply contribute only one thing per venue – either a photo or a review or an answer to a question etc – never more than that.

In the past the only way to earn points was to write reviews – and you can still do this: perhaps check out some of my Local Guides Reviews for an idea of the sorts of reviews that are common.

google local guides my points breakdown

There is a points system that rewards the contributions made and you can get access to certain events and benefits depending upon how many points you have.

Do any one of the following for a single venue and receive a point:

  1. Upload a photo taken at the location
  2. Answer a question about the location
  3. Edit an existing location – one of my favourite. You know how it’s like “What the ___ Google” when Google Maps gets the location of something wrong. Or maybe the contact details are messed up. fix the problem and you get a point. Love that.
  4. Add a location – new venues are cropping up all the time. Add one to Maps and Google will again thank you with a point.

There is also a badge system to help you keep up with your progress.

For more information on this and the assignment of  points check out Google’s Local Guides Points information page.

How To Claim Your Terabyte of Free Storage

Once you rack up the necessary points – believe me, if you are smart about it it doesn’t take very long, head over to your Local Guides Profile Page.

local guides profile page

Scroll down to Level 4 and you should see a button there that says ‘Redeem’ next to the benefit Free Google Drive Storage.

redeem free google drive storage

Protip: Remember, if you don’t have enough photos of places, ask friends and family to take a few snaps of places in their local area and email or txt them to you – simple. 

You will be offered the upgrade and Google will mention the Google Drive storage space associated with the Google email address you used to register with the Local Guides Program.

Interestingly, it also gives you the option to add the storage space to a different account, if you choose. I didn’t go that route though, so I don’t know the additional steps related to that process.

free google local guides google drive storage successful

Click on the button on the left as shown above and it will take you to your Google Drive account – and you should see the updated Gigabytes of storage in your Google Drive. 

It’s a good feeling.


Now get out there and get your own Google Drive storage space upgrade!


Have you gotten drive space from Google Drive without paying for it? Are there any other ways to get online storage space for free aside from the usual limited amounts offered?

Let us know in the comments below!





2 thoughts on “How I Got A Terabyte of Space on Google Drive Without Spending A Dime

  • November 26, 2016 at 1:17 am

    Thank YOU so so much. This post resolves my dilemma on cloud storage while motivating me to share more of my photos and reviews of the many vegan eats I’m able to enjoy near and far.

    • November 26, 2016 at 1:43 am

      Hi Demetrius, I am so glad my post could be of help to you!

      Best of luck working towards the points goal… if you already take lotsa snaps of vegan food (awesome!) this shud be a breeze for you! Thanks for stopping by! 😊🌱


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