What are GitHub Storage Limits? Tips and Tools

The Tech Trend
4 min readJun 1, 2023

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This guide gives a simple overview of GitHub storage limits and outlines how to effectively manage them.

GitHub provides a good amount of space for your Git repositories.

GitHub storage limits the size of files and repositories to make them easier to manage and maintain, while still ensuring that the platform runs smoothly.

GitHub’s limited storage can make it difficult to work with large files and data.

There are a few tips and tricks that can help you to overcome GitHub’s limits on storage. Start with the recommended tools and best practices below.

Three Ways to work around GitHub storage limits

Use the following best practices to manage large files and avoid GitHub storage limitations.

1. Create smaller files

Create smaller files by dividing your large ones into smaller ones on GitHub. This will help you to not exceed the storage limit.

This may not be the best solution for every situation. that can reduce the size of your files stored in GitHub.

If you are using Python, for example, you can import data from your computing platform separately and save it in a data structure.

Break down the data into smaller structures. Export the smaller files separately. Delete the large file which takes up the majority of your GitHub space.

This can be a laborious solution, so only use it when absolutely necessary.

When creating smaller files, you are forced to separate and break data down into groups. This can cause issues and clutter your GitHub repositories.

2. Use Git Large File Storage

Git Large File Storage is the best way to preserve the integrity of your project and commit history.

Git LFS handles large files by only storing their references, not the files themselves.

This works around Git’s architecture by creating a pointer that is used as a file reference on another server (LFS).

GitHub will manage the pointer files within your repository.

Plus, GitHub will use the pointer as a guide to the large file you have created when you clone down the repository.

Git LFS is a tool that intercepts files you push and commits in GitHub and then migrates them over to the LFS.

Once you install Git LFS on your local device, You can install LFS and track CSV files in your repository using three lines of code.

Git LFS allows you to view and look at the files being tracked via a command line.

Use git lfs migrate after committing the file into your repository to add it to LFS and remove it from the Git history.

This process will save you storage space since the files are not stored within GitHub.

LFS does have a maximum that you can exceed only by paying the required fees.

Use common sense and discernment to decide if using Git LFS is right for you (and paying potentially more).

3. Don’t push your files to GitHub

You can also work around GitHub storage limitations by adding the filename to your repository’s .gitignore instead of sending the file directly to GitHub.

You can then provide the URL of the data source as part of your README file.

This is not the best option when you have gathered your data and created it yourself, but can be an excellent solution for data already available on the internet.

Create a .gitignore in the parent directory of your repository and add all the directories that you don’t want Git to ignore.

You can use the wildcard symbol * to avoid manually adding files and directories each time you create a large file.

Git will ignore them automatically so that they don’t upload to GitHub. This saves storage space and prevents common error messages.

Top Tools to Handle GitHub storage limits

These tools will help you better manage your GitHub files, and to deal with the storage limitations of the platform.

1. Backrightup

Backing up your GitHub repositories is one way to save space.

You can store your backups in another location, freeing space.

Regular backups will also help you avoid losing data in the event of malicious software attacks or accidental deletions.

You want to reduce your workload by simplifying your GitHub backup procedure. This will keep your workflows flowing smoothly.

Backrightup is a great solution for Azure DevOps. It’s a platform and service that automates backups of Gitlab Bitbucket and GitHub.

Our backup service automates GitHub backups and restores them. This makes recovering your repository data and repository quick and easy.

You won’t have to worry about maintaining backup scripts, as our solution provides you with full backup storage at your chosen locations.

2. Git LFS

Git LFS allows you to track files that exceed GitHub’s storage limit.

Git LFS creates pointer files that refer to the actual files stored on the LFS server.

Git LFS allows you to store files of up to:

  • Free 2 GB of GitHub
  • 2 GB of GitHub Pro
  • 4 GB of storage for GitHub Team
  • 5 GB of GitHub Enterprise Cloud

Git LFS silently refuses any new files added to the repository when you go over the 5GB limit.

Originally Published on The Tech Trend

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