Over the years, I've written a number of long emails to folks in GMail, and in some of them I think there were some interesting ideas I'd like to go back and look at and possibly do something with.

What I'd like to do is view all of my "sent mails" in GMail which are reasonably lengthy- at least 500 words (not including quoting of previous emails in the chain) This would at least help me separate out the interesting in-depth mails from the far more numerous shorter ones.

Is there any way I can do this with the mail stored in my GMail account?

  • 1
    Exactly same need here :) There is such a qualitative difference between short and long conversations...
    – Jakub P.
    Oct 6, 2012 at 22:02

3 Answers 3


You can search for a message by size (as in file size). For instance, guessing an average word length of 4 characters, we can search for messages of 2000+ bytes (500+ words):

in:sent larger:2K

Unfortunately, this includes text and attachments. You can exclude attachments with -has:attachment:

in:sent larger:2K -has:attachment

Then you can adjust my 2K guess to get longer message (20K), or shorter (900).

source: Gmail Help: Advanced search


This can be done with Google Apps Script.

  • I'm concerned this likely will be the only way that'll work. I was hoping to not have to write it myself. Well, maybe I will one of these days...
    – Ascendant
    Jun 7, 2012 at 7:45

Sorry to say so, but there is absolutely no way you can do this through the Google UI.

Even in Thunderbirds, Yahoo, Hotmail and many POP services, no such option is available.

You can search based on some keywords, from address, two address, whether the e-mail has attachment or not.

Best Chance

Get all your emails to outlook, there you can sort your emails by size, the files containing attachments and your long emails will have the largest size.

  • Even when you can search for size, in outlook for example, it is based on the size of the entire email, not the number of words in the text. Any attachments will mask the size of the text. I see no easy way to do this based on the number of words in the text of a reply. Jun 4, 2012 at 10:39
  • And even discounting attachments, it would still prioritize mails where long prior threads are quoted. It's looking like the only way to do this will be to write a custom script...
    – Ascendant
    Jun 7, 2012 at 7:48

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