Safely Purge Old Gmail Messages And Free Up Your Inbox

Gmail seems to have an unlimited capacity for storing your emails. Newsletters you've subscribed to but have forgotten about, digital receipts for online purchases, emails from ex-lovers eight years ago; they're all probably still floating around in your Gmail inbox. But Gmail does have a limit: 15GB for your overall Google account, to be exact. Considering the service has been around for over a decade, you should consider cleaning out your bulging inbox. There is an easy way to do this.

Over at Gizmodo UK, David Nield talks through ways to use the search bar in Gmail to assist you in clearing out unwanted and outdated emails. If you want to take the ruthless approach and delete everything before, say, 2015, just type in "2014/12/31" and you'll see all emails that came before that year. You can then choose Select all conversations and press the Delete button to wipe out all the emails you had saved before 2015.

According to Nield:

"Not only can you free up some space in your Gmail account, but future searches should also run faster and contain results that are much more recent and relevant. The search operator older_than: works as well—just add 1y, 2m, 3d or whatever value you want to get the relevant number of years, months or days."

If you do have certain emails you want to keep from the past, you can adapt your search. You can do this by modifying the search to filter out messages that aren't useful to you anymore. This is where email labels really come in handy:

"Add label:xxx to the search to identify emails matching a particular label, for example, or category:social to bring up messages Gmail itself has highlighted as from social networks. (You don’t want to keep all those Twitter newsletters do you?) Switch social to updates and you get a list of the less-important automated emails identified by Google’s bots."

Cleaning out your old emails can serve as a form of catharsis, with the added benefit of knowing that your Gmail account won't be at risk of being maxed out. It's also a good idea for people running their own businesses with a Gmail account to keep their inboxes tidy to ensure invoices and other important documents are organised.

[Via Gizmodo UK]


    If you run a business from a Gmail account you should get Google Apps for Work. Pretty sure you get unlimited inbox with that.

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