One of our organisation's Google Apps email inbox is 96% full on its 25GB cap. It seems Google doesn't let you buy any more: http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1047457.

I am wondering what the best way forward is from here? It's a news organisation, so that inbox is the catchall, monitored by multiple reporters/editor, and gets a large amount of news sent to it daily which full res images etc.

Those monitoring the account are not very tech savvy, so the primary focus is the ease in which an old email/story/picture can be retrieved. (i.e I guess I could bang it on a hard drive but that wouldn't work very well for retrieval.)

I guess some options would be to:

Create a new account and dump old mail there (or leave mail where it it and alias a new account).

Dump all mail and forward any new mail to another (archiving?) service.

etc etc. The problem with these is that they require the user to log in to multiple services to solve their immediate issue (and at that point I usually get a ph call instead).

  • Perhaps consider upgrading to Google Apps for Business? Then you will be able to purchase the additional storage. I cant see any other solution that wont result in multiple logins
    – OrangeBox
    May 8, 2013 at 4:11
  • It is a Business Account.
    – jaybong
    May 9, 2013 at 23:11

4 Answers 4


Well you could as you say create a new account to put the data in, the other option is Google Vault. I assume they are not a new customer, in which case wait until this service is available for existing customer pre August 2012.

With Vault, users can delete email from their inbox when it starts getting full, Google vault retains all email and does not have a limit on size. So Google Vault could have 50GB or more and by deleting email in your email account you do not delete it in Vault.

  • Do you happen to have a link to the Google support page that describes this? Or wherever else you found about it e.g. a blog post where it was written up would be great too. Nov 20, 2012 at 0:01

The GMail docs specifically mention that you should avoid having a catch-all account. I assume that you have a Google Apps for Business account, so your best alternative is going to be breaking up your submissions into separate target accounts (citydesk@, photos@, whatever).

You can also use a Google Group to capture the email submissions. This makes shared access and archiving a lot easier. With a Apps for Business account, you can set up private Google Groups and control access as required.


A workaround from google (last dot point under 'solutions') is to use mail delegation to allow one email account to access two inboxes:

The next workaround involves setting up mail delegation to create a new account for the user but with the ability to switch to view messages in an archive account. To do this:

  1. Rename the primary account username (ex: [email protected]).
  2. Delete the primary nickname that automatically gets added to the primary account after renaming.
  3. Create a new account with primary username (ex: [email protected])
  4. Either configure mail delegation or enable multiple sign-in:
    • Use mail delegation to grant access to the old account for the new one. This means you will be generally working in the new account but can switch back into the old one to look at old mail.
    • As an alternative to using mail delegation, you can enable multiple sign-in instead. When configuring multiple sign-in, log into the new account first and then the old one. This will ensure the new account will be the primary account for the user.

Not the most elegant solution I know...


Update 2014 - Answering my own question as Google seemed to have finally solved this.

Option 1

Google recently launched Google Apps Unlimited which solves the problem I was having. For 4 or less users you get 1TB/user across gmail/drive etc.

I'm not sure what the exact limits are for orgs with more then 4 users, but I expect for our purposes they would be sufficient (assuming they split 4TB amongst all users in an account that would give our 15 users around 260GB each).

The problem is it's expensive - an additional $50 a year would mean to solve the issue we are having with one catchall account we would need to basically double our Google Apps cost.


Option 2

Alternatively Google now also lets you purchase additional storage under what they call "Google Drive Storage".

They say:

Items that count toward your [Google Drive] storage limit

Gmail: All the messages and attachments in your mail, including those in your Spam and Trash folders.

Drive: Files you’ve stored in Drive, like PDFs, images, and videos. Anything you’ve made with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides won’t count toward your storage limit.

Google+ Photos: Only photos over 2048x2048 pixels and videos longer than 15 minutes count toward your storage limit.

You can purchase additional drive storage and assign it to a particular user: https://support.google.com/a/answer/177064

Pricing: https://support.google.com/a/answer/1726914

50GB (per user) is an additional $US7.50 a month which sounds a lot better for my use-case then paying at extra $50/user/year for our 15 or so users.

Hope that helps somebody.

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