Frequently Asked Questions

Google Cloud Platform Free Tier

The Google Cloud Platform Free Tier is your opportunity to learn and use GCP for free. It has two parts: a 12-month, $300 credit free trial and Always Free. The 12-month, $300 free trial allows you to use any GCP product. Always Free allows you to try participating products for free up to their non-expiring usage limits, making it easy for you to test and develop with these products.

12-month, $300 free trial

How do I sign up?

If you are eligible, your free trial will start when you sign up for Google Cloud Platform. To sign up, sign in or create a Google Account. You will also need a credit card or bank account details so we can verify your identity. You will not be charged or billed during your free trial.

Who's eligible for the free trial?

The free trial is a one-time introduction to the platform for new customers. If you have never been a paying customer of Google Cloud Platform and have not previously signed up for the free trial, you are eligible.

Business accounts are not eligible for the free trial.

What's included in the free trial?

You get $300 in credit to spend over a 12-month period on all Google Cloud Platform products. During the free trial, some products have limitations. See the list of limitations.

How does the free trial work with Always Free?

You are eligible for Always Free usage amounts during the free trial period. Always Free usage does not count against your free trial credits.

For example, only the portion of your App Engine usage above the App Engine free daily usage limits is charged against your $300 credit. In addition, if your App Engine usage is below the free daily usage limits, your app will continue to run even after the free trial ends.

Can I use the $300 credit on other Google APIs?

You can use the $300 credits to call any paid Google APIs or for any Google Cloud Platform services.

What are the Terms of Service for the free trial?

The GCP free trial requires that you accept the Free Trial Terms of Service, as well as the Google Cloud Platform Terms of Service.

What limitations does the free trial have?

Compute Engine limitations

During the free trial, the following limitations apply to your Compute Engine resources:

  • Your project can have no more than 8 cores (or virtual CPUs) running at the same time. To run more than 8 vCPUs at a time, you must upgrade your account.

    For more information about the types of virtual machines available and the number of cores they use, see Machine type pricing.

  • You cannot add GPUs to your Compute Engine instances.

  • You cannot request a quota increase. For an overview of quotas, see Resource Quotas.

Cloud TPU usage

You cannot use free trial credits to access Cloud Tensor Processing Units (TPUs). Cloud TPUs are not part of the Always Free program.

Restricted actions

Some actions are prohibited during the free trial. For example, during your free trial you may not use Google Cloud Platform services to engage in mining cryptocurrency.

For additional restrictions, see the Free Trial Terms of Service agreement and the Terms of Service for Google Cloud Platform.

Is there a service level agreement (SLA) during the free trial?

Service level agreements do not apply during the free trial. Because this is a period to test and explore Google Cloud Platform, you should not run production applications on GCP during the free trial.

Do I pay anything for the free trial?

No, the trial is free and you will not be billed. When your trial ends, your account will be paused and you'll have the option to upgrade to a paid account. After signing up, you might notice a $0-1 transaction from Google, which is a pending authorization request between our billing system and the bank that issued your credit or debit card. Authorizations might be converted to local currency by your bank, and these transactions might appear as pending on your statement for up to a month. Please keep in mind they are authorization requests only, not actual charges. If you have questions, we recommend you contact your bank about the authorization status.

Why do I need to provide a credit card or bank account for the free trial?

When you sign up for the free trial, you are asked to provide your credit card information. This information is used only to verify your identity and let us know you're not a robot. Your credit card is not charged unless you upgrade to a paid account.

If you do not have a credit card, you can sign up for the free trial by providing a bank account instead of a credit card. To verify that you own the account, you'll provide the account number and routing number. Google deposits a small random amount within 2-3 days. After you've received the deposit, you'll use the deposit amount to finish the process of signing up for the free trial.

How long does the free trial last?

Your trial ends once 12 months have elapsed or you've spent the $300 in credit. The amount of credit and days remaining are displayed at the top of the Google Cloud Platform Console.

How do I get started using Google Cloud Platform?

See Getting Started with Google Cloud Platform for tutorials, quick starts, and other resources about getting started.

How easy is it to migrate to Google Cloud Platform?

Google Cloud Platform provides tools you can use to migrate files, data, and databases to GCP. For more information, see the following topics:

How does the 12-month free trial apply to me if I previously signed up for the 60-day free trial?

All free trial accounts that were active on March 8, 2017 had their trials extended by 305 days. Free trial accounts that were inactive on March 8, 2017 can take advantage of Always Free products.

End of the free trial

Can I cancel my trial?

If you want to leave the free trial, there's nothing to do. Your trial automatically expires after 12 months, and you will not be charged during the free trial period unless you upgrade to a paid account.

What happens when my free trial ends?

After your trial ends, the resources you created during the trial are stopped, but can be restored if you upgrade to a paid account within 30 days.

Within that 30-day period, you can also contact Google Billing Support to export any data you stored in Google GCP services (other than on Compute Engine). After 30 days, your data and resources are not available, even if you upgrade.


What is a billing account and how does it work with the free trial?

A billing account is a payment profile that includes a payment method, billing address, and other payment settings. When you begin the free trial, Google creates a billing account for you and credits $300 to that billing account.

Billing accounts are attached to projects, and any costs incurred from a project are billed to the payment method on the attached billing account.

It's possible to create more than one billing account. Your free trial credits are applied to the first billing account created. If you have a project assigned to a different billing account, any usage on that project will be charged to that billing account and not your free trial credit.

To check which billing account holds your free trial credit:

  1. Go to the Billing page in the Google Cloud Platform Console.
    Go to the Billing page
  2. If you have more than one billing account, select a billing account name. The billing account with free trial credits will display "Free Trial" under the credits section.

Under Project linked to this billing account, you can see what projects will be billed to the selected billing account. To move a project to your free trial billing account, see Modify a project's billing settings.

What happens if I spend all of my free trial credit?

If you spend your entire $300 credit before the end of the 12-month period, your free trial ends at that time and your account is paused. Your credit card is not charged unless you upgrade to a paid account.

Will I receive any statements or bills during the free trial?

During the free trial, you'll receive a statement of account at the beginning of each month that details how much of your $300 credit you spent in the previous month. This is not a bill.

After the free trial ends, you may receive a message that your account has been canceled. This is not the case. Contact billing support if you have questions about the status of your account.

How can I understand what costs will look like after trial?

There are several tools you can use to estimate the cost of using Google Cloud Platform.

  • Pricing calculator—After you have an idea of which GCP products you'd use in your applications, you can use the pricing calculator to estimate your monthly charges if you switch to a paid account.

  • Product Pricing—This page contains full details about the cost of using GCP products.

  • Cost-comparison calculator—If you're considering moving from Amazon Web Services to GCP, you can use this calculator to estimate your potential savings.

What is an upgraded billing account and what does it mean to upgrade my account?

An upgraded billing account is a billing account that will receive automatic charges for any usage beyond any credit on the account. Upgrading your account means converting your free trial billing account to a paid account.

The billing account created when signing up for a free trial is not a paid account. This means that your billing instrument is not charged for any usage beyond your credits. To protect your account from inadvertently accruing charges, when the free trial ends, your account is suspended. See here for instructions on how to upgrade your account.

How do I upgrade to a paid account?

You can upgrade from the free trial to a paid account through the Google Cloud Platform Console. Click the Upgrade button at the top of the page. If you do not see Upgrade, click Free trial status Free trial status icon in the upper-right of the page and Upgrade will appear. You must be a Billing Administrator on the account to make this change.

How do I add or close a billing account?

You can create or close a billing account in the Google Cloud Platform Console. If you disable billing for your account, you will not be able to launch any Google Cloud Platform resources that would normally incur a charge against your $300 credit.

See Create a new billing account and Close a billing account for instructions.

What happens to my free trial credit if I upgrade before the 12-month free trial is over?

If you upgrade to a paid account before the 12-month trial period ends, any remaining amount of your initial $300 credit remains in your account. This credit expires after 12 months, when your free trial period would have originally ended. Any charges you incur between your upgrade and the expiration of the free-trial credit are billed first against the credit.

You'll continue to receive monthly statements. By default, these are billed to the credit card or bank account you entered when you signed up for the free trial. You can, however, change the payment method on your account at any time.

How do I change the payment method for my account?

See Add a payment method and Update or remove payment methods for instructions.

Always Free

What are the requirements for using Always Free?

You are eligible for Always Free if you meet the following requirements:

  • You do not have a custom contract or rate card with Google.
  • Have an upgraded billing account
  • Account must be in good standing

If you are deemed ineligible for Always Free, you will be charged at standard rates or the rates specified in your contract.

When is usage eligible for Always Free?

  • Compute Engine: On or after March 9, 2017
  • Cloud Storage: On or after March 9, 2017
  • Cloud Pub/Sub: On or after March 9, 2017

Please also note that any usage prior to March 9, 2017 for the above listed services will be billed at the standard rates. Customers who have exceeded their Always Free monthly usage limits for any service prior to March 9, 2017 will not be eligible for Always Free usage until April 1, 2017.

Free usage limits that existed prior to March 9, 2017 will continue as before.

What happens if I exceed Always Free usage limits?

Any usage above Always Free usage limits will be automatically billed at standard rates. To help control costs, consider setting up budgets and alerts through the Google Cloud Platform Console.

In what regions is Always Free available?

Compute Engine and Cloud Storage are eligible for Always Free in us-east1, us-west1, and us-central1 regions. The usage limits are for all three regions combined. For example, for a month of Cloud Storage usage, you can use 5 GB of Regional Storage in us-central1 or 2 GB in us-central1 and 3 GB in us-west1.

Does Always Free expire?

The offer does not expire, but Google reserves the right to change the offering, including changing or eliminating usage limits, subject to 30 days advanced notice.

Can I use Always Free if I am paying for other Google Cloud Platform services?

As long as you meet the eligibility requirements and are using a resource within a region where Always Free usage amounts are available, Always Free will apply.

Does unused usage roll over into subsequent months?

Always Free's unused usage limits do not roll over to subsequent months.

Am I eligible for Always Free during the free trial period?

You are eligible for Always Free during the 12-month free trial period. Always Free usage does not count against your free trial credits.

Are there restrictions to using Always Free?

Always Free products are limited by quota. You can split your usage of free tier resources between any number of projects of your choosing.

Does Always Free apply to Premium OS Licenses or Cloud Launcher products?

Always Free does not apply to any premium OS licenses or any Cloud Launcher products which have usage fees in addition to Compute Engine costs. You may use premium licenses and Cloud Launcher products in conjunction with your Always Free resource, but any Compute Engine usage beyond Always Free and any additional Cloud Launcher and premium OS licence fees are charged at the standard rate. This includes, but is not limited to, licenses and Cloud Launcher products as specified here and here.

How much time is "1 month" of f1-micro instance usage?

For f1-micro instances, we will give you free usage equivalent to the number of total hours within the current month, enough to run one instance without interruption for the entire month. For example, March has 744 Hours (31 days x 24 hours). You therefore receive 744 instance hours of free usage for the month. April has 720 hours, giving you 720 instance hours of free f1-micro usage in April.

How does Compute Engine Always Free work with sustained use discounts?

For f1-micro instances, you will not receive sustained use discount on your Always Free usage. The amount of sustained use discount you receive may be reduced by up to one inferred instance per month.

How do I stop using Always Free?

Simply delete your resources through the Google Cloud Platform Console.


How can I get support during the free trial?

If you have questions about the free trial, you can use the Google Cloud Platform Free Trial Troubleshooter to find answers.

In addition, you have access to the following resources:

If you have extensive support needs during the free trial, you can purchase paid support for Google Cloud Platform. Bronze-level support is free with all GCP accounts. The Silver, Gold, and Platinum support packages offer increasing levels of hands-on support and response time.

You can purchase Silver level support using a portion of your $300 credit:

  1. Open the settings page for support in the Google Cloud Platform Console.
    Go to the settings page for support
  2. Select or create a new project.
  3. Next to Bronze, choose Change.
  4. Click Choose silver.
  5. Confirm the agreement by selecting the checkbox and clicking Purchase support.

Is there community support available?

There is an active community of developers using Google Cloud Platform. You can ask questions, discuss best practices, and read what others are saying on the following community sites.

  • Stack Overflow—Development questions about GCP. In addition to the general google-cloud-platform tag, there are tags for specific technologies. For a list of recommended tags, see Join a Google Cloud Platform community in the Google Cloud Platform Help.
  • Server Fault—System and network administration questions about GCP. In addition to the general gcloud tag, there are tags for specific technologies. For a list of recommended tags, see Join a Google Cloud Platform community in the Google Cloud Platform Help.
  • Google Cloud Platform Community—A Google+ community where you can read about the latest releases in Google Cloud Platform as well as ask questions.

Does Always Free come with support?

All Google Cloud Platform customers are eligible for billing support. Always Free does not come with any additional technical support.

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