Google Workspace consists of a range of online applications which can increase your productivity and assist you to collaborate with others. Google Workspace links to your UCT user account and operates separately from any personally-managed Google accounts you may already have. This service, available to all staff and students, allows you to:

  • send and receive instant messages,
  • host video conferences,
  • store your data in a secure location,
  • share access to class notes and assignments,
  • collaborate on documents,
  • create surveys and forms, and
  • create documents, spreadsheets, drawings and presentations.

Google quotas

ICTS introduced quotas for all Google Drive accounts to reduce UCT’s overall Google Workspace storage.

  • Student quotas: 500MB
  • Third party quotas: 1GB
  • Staff quotas: 5GB

This change by Google has significantly reduced free storage for universities. They now have expensive storage costing models in place, which is not feasible for the university.  We therefore encourage you to please assist us in reducing UCT’s overall Google Workplace usage, and rather use the paid for options that are already available.

Please check your current Google Drive storage capacity to ensure that it does not exceed these new limits. If it does, please delete follow our tips below.

Tips to reduce your data 
  • Remove unnecessary or historical data that is no longer needed and remember to empty the recycle bin once done.  
  • Move the content that you need to keep to a local drive or an alternative storage mechanism if you suspect you may need it in future. We recommend downloading and installing the Google Drive app to assist with moving your data to the applicable storage option. 
    • Files and folders that only you need to access or occasionally share: OneDrive for Business  
    • Collaboration with a team, work group, or project: the appropriate channels in Microsoft Teams, which is automatically uploaded to SharePoint. 
    • For research collaborations, please view what options are available on the UCT Research Data Store as well as their associated costs.  
  • Videos and photographs take up a lot of storage space. Move these files to one of the alternative storage options listed above. 
  • Google files (i.e., Sheets, Slides and Docs) take up limited space. So, rather leave those in your Google Drive for now, and remove all other file types. 
Moving your data 

We recommend moving your data in batches, so that you can track its progress. The length of time is dependent on your internet connection and size of the content that you’re copying. View our handy FAQs for more information. 

If you still have 100GB or more data in your Google Drive, and require assistance with your migration, please log a call with the IT Helpdesk

Use your UCT or myUCT email address to access Google applications

  1. Navigate to Google (
  2. Sign in using your UCT email address and UCT password.
    You’ll be redirected to UCT’s Single Sign-on page.
  3. Sign In to the UCT Single Sign-On page using your UCT username and password.
  4. Click Apps and select the application that you would like to use.

Available Applications

Not all of Google Workspace has been made available at UCT.  This table shows what is available from your UCT account compared with what you can access from your personal Google account.

Key to symbols used


Not available

Not supported




Applications UCT account Personal Account
Google Drive
  • Store your documents and media files online
  • Share files with colleagues, students, family or friends
  • Access information from any device no matter where you are in the world
  • NB: Shared drives have 100GB of storage.

Google Docs

  • Create documentation using editing and styling tools to format text
  • Share documentation with colleagues
  • Download the mobile app on your device in order to access your documentation at any time
  • Make changes that are automatically saved
  • Edit Microsoft Word documentation
  • Enable the offline editing setting and work on documents even when you don't have Internet access

Google Sheets

  • Manage spreadsheets and incorporate graphs, bar charts and pivot tables
  • Access Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and convert to Google Sheets
  • Install the Docs app on your mobile device
  • Collaborate on documentation with people situated in anywhere in the world

Google Slides

  • Create presentations using a range of themes, fonts
  • Embed videos and animation
  • Access your presentations on your computer, laptop or mobile device
  • Open Microsoft Office PowerPoint presentations and save it as Google Slides

Google Forms

  • Use the application to create
    • forms
    • questionnaires
    • event planning
    • registrations
    • polls
  • Incorporate logos or images to customise your form
  • Access results in Google Sheets

Google Groups
  • Use Google Groups as a collaboration tool for teams
    • Host online discussions
    • Set up meetings or conference calls
  • Create a team mailing list
  • Establish a web forum

Google Hangouts

Use this instant messaging functionality to communicate with students and staff at UCT. Google Hangouts is accessible on PCs, laptops as well as Apple and Android devices.

  • Send instant messages and photographs
  • Start a video conference with up to 10 people
  • Share your screen
  • Collaborate on Google Docs
  • Watch a YouTube video as a group


This productivity suite is exclusive to Google Suite for Education subscribers and is aimed at providing a paperless solution for lecturers and students. Lecturers can create folders in Google Drive for various assignments and allow students to submit their work online. Class notes and other relevant information can be shared via Google Docs and a schedule containing assignment due dates can be stored in a central location.
Classroom is accessible online via a PC, laptop or mobile device.

Google Sites

Use Google Sites to create a team or club website, or an intranet site for your department/faculty.

This applications is not covered by the enterprise agreement with Google and therefore is not supported. 


Search an array of online videos on any topic in one central location

Google Maps

Get directions or find a location with just a click of the mouse

Google Play

Download applications, books and other content for your Android device

Google News

Stay up-to-to date on the latest news from across the world


UCT's approved email and calendaring solution is Microsoft Exchange and Office 365. This application is therefore not available on Google Suite for Education.

  • Use Google's tab to organise your emails
    • Primary
    • Social
    • Promotions
  • Access your email on your mobile device
  • Use stars to keep track of important emails
  • Select a customised theme


Keep track of all events and appointments

  • Flight reservations
  • Restaurant bookings
  • Meetings

Due to UCT using the Microsoft calendaring solution this service will not be available to campus.

Google Translate

Enter text that you would like translated into a range of languages

Google Books

Search for millions of magazines and books that you can either preview or read for free

How do I use Google Apps?

Use the Synergyse Training virtual guide which is aimed at helping users get the most out of their Google Apps experience and training them to be more productive. You can either follow the steps below or watch this updated video to access the training.

  1. Open Google Chrome and log on to your Google account using your UCT profile.
    (If you haven't yet set up your UCT Google profile, click Add account and fill in your UCT email address and click Next. You'll be taken to the UCT Single Sign on page and then to the Google page.)
  2. Click the Google Apps grid and select the App you want to learn about.
  3. Click the Google Apps grid again and scroll down to More.
  4. Scroll down and select Synergyse Training for Google Apps .
  5. Select the App that you want to learn and select a lesson from the list that appears.
  6. To watch another video, either click Next or select from the available list.

When watching the above courses, remember that UCT has not made the full suite available to staff and students.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Will the information in my personal Google Drive show in the UCT-managed Google Drive?
  2. Is it mandatory to use the UCT managed Google Services or can I continue to log on with my personal email address?
    No. You can opt to use it or not.
  3. Will I have access to the UCT-managed Google services once I leave the University?
    Currently, this offering is not for life, so access will be revoked once you graduate from UCT.
  4. Is this secure?