2010-11-01

How can I free up space in my Gmail account?

We built Find Big Mail because we felt it solved the "You are almost out of space for your Gmail account." problem in the simplest possible way. But what are the other solutions? Here are some useful approaches and more information:

  1. Search: With this technique, you look for messages that are likely to be large. This article at Lifehacker, How to Free Up Space in Gmail, is excellent because it helps you find what NOT to delete, while searching for attachments that are typically large (e.g. audio and video files)
  2. Use an IMAP client: This was our preferred approach until we built this website. In a nutshell, you'll download all your mail (7.5GB and counting) to a local machine and then use your local mail client to find the largest messages and delete them. Google has a great guide to configuring imap, but this will be beyond many people who are not technical. And, sometimes the sheer bandwidth required is daunting!
  3. Switch mailboxes: Not always an option, but if you don't mind losing the ability to search all your email in one place, you can setup a forward+delete from one mailbox to another and then set the from address of the new mailbox to look like the old.
  4. Buy more space (for personal email): Of course, the obvious solution is to buy more space! At $5/yr for 20GB, that's almost 3x the current 7.5GB limit. But this is only an option for personal accounts. If you're using Google Apps for your email, the only option is to upgrade to Pro at $50/email account/year. For many small businesses, where only one person is pushing the limits, that is an expensive alternative!
  5. Use http://www.findbigmail.com to label big, very big and ultra big messages with a couple of clicks!

So there you have it! We believe that well informed people make the best choices for themselves (mostly anyway!), so if one of these options works better for you than trying us, then please go right ahead. We hope we've helped out whether you use us or not.