Internet Productivity

Clean Up Wasted Space in Gmail Using This Awesome Trick

Nancy Messieh 26-07-2017

If you’ve been using Gmail for a while now, or have been making good use of your Google Drive, the free 15 GB storage might not seem like enough. Before deciding whether to upgrade your storage, you can do a quick search to clear your Gmail account of large and unneeded emails.


Unsurprisingly, Google’s Gmail search functions 5 Advanced Gmail Search Operators You Should Know Gmail is an ingenious webmail client with many awesome features. Being a Google service, one of its strengths obviously is Search. And this is exactly how Google revolutionized email. In Gmail you don't really have... Read More are pretty robust. You can search by date, recipient, keyword, and most importantly for this trick, by file size.

There are several operators you can use when searching for emails by size:

  • Search for specific sizes. If you want to find all emails that are 5 MB, use Size:5M.
  • Search for all emails exceeding a certain size. If you want to find all emails larger than 5 MB, use Larger:5M.
  • Search for all emails under a certain size. If you want to find all emails smaller than 5 MB, use Smaller:5M.
  • Search for all emails with attachments, exceeding a certain size. If you want to find all emails with attachments larger than 5 MB, use has attachment larger:5M.

To see this process in action, check out the video below:

Go through those emails and decide what you want to delete, what you need to backup to an external harddrive or another cloud storage account. Remember, moving those emails to the Google Drive associated with that email account will not reduce your storage usage.

Cleaning up your Google Drive files is a little more challenging. You can’t search or sort by size, but if you use the following URL…


…you can see your entire list of files automatically sorted in order of largest first.

What tips or tricks do you use to keep your Gmail and Google Drive storage manageable? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: Cairo via Flickr

Related topics: File Management, Gmail, Google Drive.

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  1. bebal
    February 21, 2018 at 11:56 am

    I label messages with temporary character with "temp". When I get close to the limit I delete all emails with this label.

  2. Tim Vels
    July 27, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Thank you for this solution! I have been wondering how to check and delete old ones with attachments... And now got it!

  3. dragonmouth
    July 26, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    I've been using GMail since Google opened it up to everybody. In all that time I have managed to accumulate .09 GB worth of emails. The trick that I use is to dispose of emails as I receive them and not to save them 'for posterity'. I've learned long time ago not to get emotionally attached to any emails I receive because, before too long, I'd have thousands of emails which I would never read again. When I receive email, I read it and determine what needs to be done with it. 99.9% of emails I receive wind up being deleted.

    • duttamlal
      July 26, 2017 at 6:16 pm

      This is not a suitable solution for most people as they would need emails for audit and reference purposes, as well as emails from friends and family. I agree that some general emails such as expired promotions, weekly cinema listing, job listings, etc can be deleted.

      • dragonmouth
        July 26, 2017 at 7:35 pm

        It is not a suitable solution for most people because they are 'hoarders'. For whatever reason, they cannot bear to part with most emails they receive. Those are the people that have a two-car garage but have to park their cars in the driveway because the garage is full documentation, magazines and correspondence going back for decades. If you look at your emails critically and objectively, there are very few that NEED to be kept. The vast majority you WANT to keep. There is a big difference.

        Let's face it. Very few of us are, or will be, historic personages. Posterity doesn't give a damn about our emails. In fact, the way things have been going lately, saved emails have come to cause many problems for public individuals.

    • gcat
      July 28, 2017 at 3:13 am

      I also got gmail around the same time and only 542MB, I do have thousands of emails in my email box, but most are tiny KB. I delete newsletters, coupons, etc. I useI keep conversations and other important info. Using the “Larger:5M” I deleted about 5 emails, but left several others.
      I don’t suggest letting gmail be your soul source of keeping your emails. I regularly backup my emails using and really any attachment that is important should be download and kept offline also.