How to free up space in Gmail

Gmail (Android | iOS | Web) has become synonymous with email for many people. And it’s no wonder: the utility is part of Google’s gigantic offer of services, which only contributes to the popularization of the program on PCs, noteooks, tablets and smartphones.

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When using Gmail or other e-mail services, you may find it an impossible task to completely fill the available space in your account. Until a while ago, this might have been true, but things have changed. The platform no longer has unlimited storage, which means the same space is shared between Gmail, Google Drive and Photos.

For this reason, it is essential that you set aside time in your day, or at predetermined periods, to clean your Gmail. And that’s what we’re going to show you with the following tips.

How to free up space in Gmail

Check how much space you have

Before you go about deleting everything in Gmail without thinking about anything, how about checking how much of your Google Drive storage hasn’t been used up yet? This information can be consulted at the link drive.google.com/settings/storage, which in turn shows exactly how much space is used by Drive, Gmail and Google Photos.

In addition, there is a link that redirects to the main page of each of these services for you to manage the space manually. In the case of Gmail, all email messages and attachments are grouped together, including what is in the Spam folder and the Trash. Drive is more comprehensive and counts all files uploaded or synced to your account.

Empty the Recycle Bin and Spam in Gmail

This tip everyone should know or have done once in their life. So why give up the simple?

Turns out there’s a catch to this story if you’ve never used Gmail’s Recycle Bin. All common emails, when deleted, are sent to the Recycle Bin, but are not actually deleted. Instead, they stay there for a period of 30 days until they are automatically deleted by the Gmail system.

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While this feature makes the work of having to do this manually easier, it can be that a lot of stuff gets accumulated for several days and, consequently, compromises the available space in Gmail.

It is for this reason that the best option is to open the Trash folder and select the option “Empty the trash now”. That way, unnecessary files or emails that have already been answered won’t be forgotten in your Gmail.

The Spam box is a special case because you can permanently delete messages without having to send them to the Trash first. When opening the Spam folder, simply select all emails and then click on “Delete all spam messages now”. With that, you don’t have to worry about going to the Recycle Bin and deleting the same files again.

Delete Large Emails in Gmail

One of the elements that can take up the most space in Gmail without you noticing is the attachments sent in email messages. It can be anything from a Word or PDF file to images used in your contacts’ signature. At first, they may be items with a very small size, but little by little it is easy for them to multiply.

To prevent you from searching for every email with an attachment using just your inbox, Gmail has a function to search for messages by file type or file size. This can be done in two ways:

1. In the search field at the top of the screen, type “has:attachment larger:10M” (without the quotes). The “10” can be replaced by any number, larger or smaller, as this is the reference value. which will be used to find attachments to your messages.

Note that, when displaying the results, Gmail still shows what types of files were found, which could be images, documents or PDFs. If you want to view just a specific format, just click on the sticker below the search bar.

2. The second way is to click on the three lines icon inside the search bar to open a panel with more options. One of them is the search for items “less than” or “greater than” the size you enter. So this filtering can be useful for sending larger attachments to the Trash that might be messing up your Gmail account.

In both cases, remember that the files are sent to the Recycle Bin. Then you will still need to manually delete them or wait 30 days for Gmail to do it for you.

Delete older emails

Pulling the hook from the previous topic, this same search filtering can be used to find very old emails that may still be saved in your Gmail account.

To do this search, the way is the same: on the three-line icon inside the search bar to open a panel with more options. From there, just change the date, which can be even before the day your Gmail account was created — and that most likely no one should remember, right?

Delete promo emails, updates and other folders in Gmail

Gmail has been dividing emails into three different tabs for some time now: “Main”, which groups the most important emails that arrive in your inbox; “Social”, for emails and notifications from social networks, apps and forums; and “Promoções”, with newsletters and offers from stores that you follow on the internet.

Although it’s a very efficient division in terms of organization, it’s easy to forget how much this message can accumulate over time. Especially in the “Promotions” tab, as online retailers tend to fire off offers several times in a single day.

Again, the annoying part: all emails deleted from these tabs go to the Trash, which means that, in order to not leave them stuck in the folder for 30 days, you have to select all of them and manually delete them. It’s a process that doesn’t take more than a few seconds (or minutes, depending on the amount of emails in your account), but it will certainly help to save Gmail space.

Download a copy of emails in Gmail

A not very common alternative, but that can serve to lighten up your Gmail inbox a little bit, is to download all the files from your email account and then delete them from the original Gmail. For this, Google provides a tool called Google Takeout (click here to access it), in which you can export a copy of the content from your Google account.

Gmail is one of the options included in this feature, but basically all the services offered by Google are covered by the function.

buy more space

If you still think that the shared space between Google Drive, Gmail and Photos is not enough to keep your Gmail account with plenty of capacity, then there’s no way around it: you’ll have to go for a storage upgrade.

Drive’s free storage is 15GB. To use larger capacities, you must purchase a subscription that costs between R$6.99 (100GB), R$9.99 (200GB) and R$34.99 (1TB) — there are even more expensive plans with more capabilities, but these can only be purchased via email, in direct contact with Google. The amount is billed monthly.

If the basic limit shared between the three Google products is reached or is nearing the end, you will receive a notification to clean part of your files or buy more storage. However, if there is no more space, the services as a whole will be affected. In Gmail, for example, you will no longer be able to receive or send new emails, and messages sent to you will be bounced.

Since we’re only talking about Gmail, even if you receive an absurd amount of messages, the probability of spending all the free 15 GB is very low. However, subscribing to a monthly plan is the best solution and you are not used to deleting your emails.

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