Gmail includes 15GB of free storage, shared with Google Drive and Google Photos. Here’s how to find and delete the emails that are using the most space in your Gmail account. Try this before paying for additional storage!
Google wants you to buy more space
You can see the total storage used by your Gmail account from Google One Storage page. However, this page doesn’t allow you to quickly find out how to free up that space. It redirects you to Gmail and leaves you alone.
Sure, you could start deleting emails one by one, but there’s a good chance you have tens of thousands of emails, at the very least. It will take forever. Worse still: many of these emails are tiny, and you’ll barely be able to free up space by deleting them.
Google wants you to buy more storage to store all those old emails forever. But you can get rid of those old emails and avoid that monthly bill. That’s how.
How to find and delete the largest emails
Gmail doesn’t actually show how much storage space each email thread is using. However, Gmail allows you to search for threads based on size.
To do this, search using the “size:” operator in Gmail . For example, to search for emails larger than 20MB, type the following text in the search bar and press Enter:
If you delete five of the displayed email threads, you will have freed up at least 100MB. Now you know which emails to delete to free up space as quickly as possible.
To delete an email thread, open it and click the “Delete” icon that looks like a trash can icon on the toolbar. To delete multiple threads, select them using the checkboxes and click the trash can icon to delete them all at once.
Scroll down the list in terms of size – for example, “size: 10mb” will show all email threads that are 10MB or larger in size. Make sure you empty your Gmail trash to permanently delete emails and free up space.
These emails will use a lot of space due to their file attachments. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to delete an attached file while keeping the email. If the email is important to you, you can forward it to yourself (and remove the attachment as you do), then delete the original. You can also print the email to PDF and then delete it. Or, if the attachments are important, you can download and archive them elsewhere before deleting the email.
How to quickly delete a large number of emails
There is a good chance that you have a large number of useless and outdated emails wasting space in your inbox. You probably won’t need to keep all those old newsletters forever!
To find and delete a large number of useless emails quickly, follow our tips to quickly delete almost all unwanted emails.
How to sort your Gmail messages by size
If you want even more control, we recommend using an IMAP client such as Mozilla Thunderbird. Thunderbird will show you exactly how big each email thread is in your Gmail account. You can even sort by size.
Scroll down the list by size, eliminating any email you don’t need, and you can free up a lot of space in no time.