Is Your Gmail Account Almost Full? Here’s How to Find and Delete the Email with Big Attachments

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Google provides you with 15 GB of Gmail storage, which sounds like a lot, but if you get a lot of email, or are using Gmail as a spam filter or as an archive system, at some point you can still find that your Gmail account is nearly full. So, how to reduce the amount of space being used in your Gmail account? By finding and deleting the space hog attachments! Here’s how!

gmail almost full

Finding and deleting emails – especially old emails – with big attachments is one of the most efficient and effective ways to quickly reduce the amount of storage that you are using in your Gmail account.


Gmail allows you to send – and receive – attachments up to 25 megabytes in size per attachment.

More to the point, people include attachments in email all the time – many of which are completely unnecessary, which don’t enhance your (the email recipient’s) email experience at all, and which you often don’t even bother to look at (if you even notice they are there). For example, Vcards, and ‘cute’ graphics in their signature or even full-on “stationery” graphic images.

gmail almost full graphic



The way to find all email that has an attachment attached to it in Gmail is to search, in Gmail, for:


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Is Your Gmail Account Almost Full?  Here’s How to Find and Delete the Email with Big Attachments

find gmail attachments


Now, if you don’t care about deleting all email that has attachments, deleting them all is one of the fastest ways to reduce your usage, and free up space, in Gmail.

If you do care, you can limit your search to only older email with attachments, by doing this:

has:attachment before:year/month/date

So, for example:

has:attachment before:2011/01/01

..will show you all email that has an attachment that you received before the first of the year 2011.

In addition, Gmail finally added a simple way to search for your email by size, for example:


..will show you all email in your Gmail account that is 5mb in size or larger.

Another way to go at this is to search for specific file types, as some files types, such as image files like .jpg and .gif, video files like .mov and .3gp (from cell phones), and spread sheet files (xls), are generally much larger than others (such as the .vcf files of Vcards).

The way to search for specific file types is:


So, for example:


..will find all emails in Gmail that have a JPG image as an attachment.



Again, you can also limit this type of search (and indeed any type of search in Gmail) with the date restriction.

And you can also chain these various search options together. For example:

has:attachment and size:5mb and before:2015/01/01

…will show you all of your email that has an attachment, that is at least 5 megabytes in size, and was received in 2014 or earlier (before January 1, 2015).

If you just can’t bring yourself to delete anything, you can also buy extra storage capacity from Gmail. Starting at just $1.99 per month for an extra 85GB, it’s still quite a bargain. You can also buy 1TB of Gmail storage for $9.99 per month.

You can buy extra Gmail storage space here.

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Is Your Gmail Account Almost Full?  Here’s How to Find and Delete the Email with Big Attachments

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5 Replies to “Is Your Gmail Account Almost Full? Here’s How to Find and Delete the Email with Big Attachments”

  1. Hafid: Yes. Google Drive, for example. All files there share the same storage. Fortunatelly, it’s easier to manage.

  2. I deleted all my emails and I have 94 left in the inbox.
    I deleted all the emails in social networks and promotions.
    And in:anywhere it says I have around 71.
    All the remaining 94 emails which have attachements, won’t reach 3GB, if we say each one is 25MB. Yet it says I’m 84% (12,75BG) full.
    Is there somewhere else (than emails) that took that huge storage?

  3. Just a hotmail account and make it import all your mails’ll never have to delete anything…I currently have nearly 70 000 emails that date back to 10 years ago…there is just no reason to delete…oh usage now is almost 12GB…

  4. Quickie to get more space is to delete the trash. Gmail does it for 30 days.

    Check your filters that you haven’t created a folder and are storing stuff there.

    Create two labels DNOM delete_next_ odd_month and DNEM delete_next_even_month. For those messages that have a limited lifespan but that you’ll forget about.

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