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I'd like to free up some storage space and delete attachments from most/all the messages in my Gmail. I've long since downloaded and used any attachments I need or care to keep. How can I delete attachments from Gmail, but keep the messages?

I've read this and this, but the first is a little old, and the second is too manual. (I have thousands of messages archived. Forwarding each one to myself would take forever.) I'm looking for a less manual/tedious solution.

How can I purge old attachments that do nothing now but take up space, and still keep the original, valuable messages?

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I don't know exactly how to delete attachments and keep the messages, BUT you can use this service findbigmail.com that looks for big size attachments in your gmail account and you can delete the bigger ones. Hope this helps –  elunicotomas Nov 4 '13 at 0:53
    
Maybe techawakening.org/… or steffondavis.com/… but I haven't tried it as it seems tedious and potentially buggy (if you give it a try, you might prefer to experiment with it on a test account first). –  Franck Dernoncourt Nov 4 '13 at 1:17
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@elunicotomas Thanks; if I need to find large attachments, I just do a search for size:nMB and has:attachment. –  Matt Nov 4 '13 at 4:11
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possible duplicate of How can I strip attachments in old GMail email? –  Alex Nov 4 '13 at 8:27
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This might be helpful: lifehacker.com/5984571/… –  Al E. Nov 4 '13 at 13:54

3 Answers 3

I think that you just have to delete the message. If you need the message then you could copy the text and keep it in Google Drive. Or send yourself a email with the text, and delete the original.

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Try this Google Docs script, it worked for me. It does not require installing anything.

How does it work (description from the blogpost):

  1. You specify the size of the emails to be found in Megabyte.
  2. All emails with that or above that size are retrieved and shown.
  3. On select of delete all, those emails are processed.
  4. All attachments in the message are backed up in your Google Drive under the folder name Gmail_Attachments. So they will remain safe there you can refer them whenever needed.
  5. Copy of email body is created and it is sent as a new email to your account from your own ID. So is the time stamp and sender details of original message lost? No. They are fetched and appended to the new email copy. Details like date, from, to, cc are retained.
  6. Finally original email along with the attachments are trashed.

P.S. If you have already run out of space, #4 will not work (Drive will not allow uploading new files), but the attachments still will be accessible from your Gmail trash, so you can safely download them manually and only then empty the trash.

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IMAPSize is the perfect tool to do that.

And how you can use it : http://www.labnol.org/software/delete-large-email-attachments-in-gmail/9564/

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