Since the launch of Gmail 18 years ago, many of us have collected a seemingly endless amount of emails from family, friends, and business partners. Many of those fetched thousands of emails with baby pictures, wedding photos, bios, articles, texts, PDFs, JPGs, and funny gifs. Let’s not mention all the spam we get. How many times have you been told that your uncle, the unknown Nigerian prince, died leaving you a trillion dollars?
Google offers 15 GB to store all those precious emails, but 15 GB won’t last forever and unless you’re willing to pay extra money, the best thing you can do is spend some time deleting the emails and files you don’t really use and to also make sure All the cumbersome spam is gone too. Doing so will help you keep track of actual important emails and free up all the space you need for data worth keeping.
How to find out how much storage space you use in Google One
First, make sure you are logged into your Gmail account on your computer while using your favorite browser. Although you may be able to delete emails using your iPhone or Android phone app, the best Google tools are available when you are using a web browser on your PC.
Before we go ahead, you should take a peek at how much storage is left in your Google account. Many of us are probably grouped into Google One accounts, so if you must, go there and see a breakdown of how much storage Google Drive, Photos, and Gmails take up.
You can also do this by logging into your Google account, clicking your account icon in the upper right corner, selecting Manage Your Google Account, and scrolling down to find Account Storage. You can also go to Google Drive for details.
How to delete all emails in Gmail
Once you see how much email storage space is taking up, it’s time to start deleting and cleaning up your precious space. Now we don’t necessarily advocate literally deleting all of your emails, but this is the best way to remove entire categories of email that you don’t want or need. As you can see in the image above, I’m actually paying Google for extra space because I didn’t make time to clean up my email before today. So unless you want an inbox filled with “Dad, send more money!” I suggest you continue.
1. The best place to start is to scroll down the page and click “Reclaim your space.”
2. Once there, select “Free up Account Storage”.
3. Here, you can see how much storage your deleted spam emails and messages are taking up, then review and delete them.
4. Just click on each option and you will be taken to a web page that shows you all the emails in the files you chose.
5. Check it to make sure none of it matters. On the top left side choose All items, then on the top right side select Delete All and you’re done.
As a side note, you can regularly ensure that all deleted emails are emptied via the Trash icon on the left of the Gmail user screen. Simply select Trash, then Empty Trash Now and within seconds they are all gone. It’s fast and easy.
Google makes deleting your emails fairly easy and divides things into tabs to make the decision-making process faster. I save my Primary Tab last because this is where most of my personal and important emails end. So the obvious choices to start with are social and promotional.
In your Gmail account, select the Promotions tab and do a quick check to make sure you don’t really want those emails. Then, just above the primary tab, check the “Batch” checkbox and watch as all emails are magically selected. Then simply hit delete at the top, and again, you’ve just cleared some space.
You can also do this for the “social tab”, which will save a lot of space.
Once you are done deleting these emails, you have to select the Trash icon on the left again and delete everything en masse. Then you can check your storage again and see how much room you’ve created.
Quick filter tips to help you keep things clean
In your Gmail search box, you can use certain keywords as search filters to help you locate old emails, and other odds and ends you might not realize are still lying around taking up space.
If you type “before: 05/11/2009” you will see all emails sent before that date. You can switch the day by simply changing it to the time period you wish to select.
If you type “older_than:2m” in the search box, it will display all emails older than 2 months. You can also use the term “newer_than” for emails newer than 2 months old. You can also switch the number if you want to search again.
This next shortcut is my favourite. Type “contains: attachment” in the Gmail search bar, and all emails with attachments will be displayed. This is useful when looking for old documents or photos that you might want to find.
Another favorite of mine is “file name: pdf”. This helps you quickly locate all the PDF files you’ve sent. Finally, another useful method is “From: Bob” which will identify all emails that Bob has sent you (or whatever other name you put).
Between deleting and using those magic search terms, you now have everything you need to keep your Gmail clean and tidy.