easily free up storage space

I “succeeded” in using almost all of my 15GB of free Google One storage (Google says: 98%). And because I barely use Google Photos and only have documents in Google Drive, GMail is largely to blame. But that doesn’t matter, because Google makes it easy to buy new memory, or better yet, free up existing memory.

Free up GMail storage space: Google will help you

Google will send you alerts when your storage exceeds 90%. You have 15 GB free. Your storage quota includes GMail as well as Google Photos and Google Drive. Google shows you the potential storage savings on the clear storage management page. Here you can selectively remove:

  • Deleted items: previously deleted and trashed emails, spam and deleted files (usually a few MB together)
  • Large files: large attachments in GMail, large files in Google Drive, large photos and videos in Google Photos
  • Other items: for example, unsupported videos

The memory management page shows this to me very clearly: there are a few options that will save a few MB. Ok, but what would deleting large attachments from GMail do in my case: 7, 7 GB! Of course, in more than 15 years of GMail, a lot has accumulated. But half the memory is free again? I will participate !

With one click, I (and you too) can see what files it is. Google displays them clearly on the next page. At least the first 32 attachments found by Google. To find out more, I have to scroll until Google has downloaded them all. I have 765 “conversations”.

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Unfortunately, I can’t delete them all at once. This is how it is expected, but an error message still appears. The only option is real manual work: I reload the page, mark “all items”, which are now only 32, click on “remove all” and delete. I repeat the process until all attachments are removed, 24 times.

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It costs me a few minutes, but it could be worse, because after each deletion, Google shows a small graph of how many MB have just been freed up. it motivates!

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After the action, the memory status actually shows that only 6.92 GB is still occupied. Well, it was worth it!

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Delete even more memory by hand

I could stop there. With a quarter of an hour of clicking, half of my memory is empty again. That would suffice for a few years. But while I’m at it…

A lot of the emails I’ve received in my GMail inbox over the years are just notifications. For example, I receive several of our MeisterTask editorial management tools every day. Before, it was social networks like Twitter and especially Facebook (where I deleted my account). In addition, newsletters that appear several times a day. Some of them that use images add up to several hundred KB per output. I will never look in there again…

  • I enter GMail search and look for individual senders such as Facebook, Twitter or newsletters that appear daily.
  • In the advanced search, I also specify a period. From the existence of my GMail account around 01/01/2006 to today.
  • I click delete
  • GMail then deletes thousands of communications.
  • After that, I go to the Trash in the GMail sidebar and select “Empty Trash Now” from the main window:
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Well: all the actions, which together took me about 15 more minutes, brought me nearly 30 more MB. It’s not the world, but for the little time it took: at least something.

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Eventually I got down to just 6.49 GB of used memory. A liberating feeling.

Completely remove Gmail?

Doing away with GMail completely, ideally even becoming largely Google-free, is also a dream I’ve had for a long time. It’s actually not far from here: save your favorite newsletter and all “official” accounts to a new address, notify your most important friends, set up an autoresponder that notifies you of the exchange of e- mails and let it run for a few months. Complete.

I’m still afraid of that, I love GMail too much for that. But a smooth transition soon? I can well imagine.

However, I think Google does it fairly fairly. Of course, in the beginning it was “Never delete an email again”. Storage, initially pegged at 1GB, has grown and grown with it. It became 5, it became 10 GB. We are now at 15 GB, which Google gives free to each user, although this now also includes data from Google Drive, Google Meet and Google Photos.

However, you can quickly upgrade to 100GB for a small monthly or annual fee. Or free up memory with just a few clicks. The fact that Google offers this option with low thresholds gives me some hope that the business isn’t all about the money after all.

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