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I'm not really sure why but for some reason my google drive trash is full of files, and takes up nearly 3 GB.

I have the suspect there may be stuff I need in there, but I also really need to free up space on google drive.

Before emptying the bin, I'd like to download backup of my trash folder on google drive (without restoring the files to their original location). Is that at all possible?

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When I ran into the same situation, I moved my files/folders from Bin into another folder. Moving doesn't require more space whereas copy does. Then download those files/folders. Once I had a copy locally I moved the files back to Bin and deleted them.

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You can use the Linux command line utility drive to download all the files in your Google Drive trash, as follows:

  1. Give drive access to your Google Drive:

    drive init
    
  2. Download the files in your Google Drive trash to the current directory on your computer (source):

    drive pull -trashed
    

At this time, the program is not totally reliable. Observe error messages during the download, and if needed try a second time (where it will often succeed to download files it could not at first try due to API errors, rate limits etc.). To be really sure, create a list of files in your Google trash (drive list -recursive -trashed) and on your local computer and compare them with comm.

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