I've used up 30% of my storage already.

With the rate I am going, this might reach the limit soon. I want to free up some of the useless or duplicate stuff (mostly attachments) that I have on my Gmail account.

Searching using has:attachment arranges according to the date, but what I really need for this is a sort according to the mail size, so that I can know which ones are eating up all the space.

Is there a way to do this that I can use?

  • 4
    Is your question just how to sort by size? webapps.stackexchange.com/q/2282/416 Sep 26, 2010 at 20:21
  • Since it says that is not an option at the moment, is there any other way to free up Gmail memory quickly?
    – Lazer
    Sep 26, 2010 at 20:43
  • 1
    Try www.findbigmail.com - it groups mails into groups by size and labels them accordingly, as well as the top 20. Free for @gmail.com and paid for Google Apps domains (after a free trial).
    – mm2001
    Mar 17, 2012 at 0:28
  • The question of how to sort emails by size and the question of how to free up space are 2 different questions, since knowing how to sort by size does not let you know how to delete the attachments (free up space) without deleting the emails they are attached to.
    – seijitsu
    Feb 27, 2017 at 19:15

6 Answers 6


Simplest way is to delete messages with big, but unnecessary, attachments.

The search operator has:attachment will be helpful there. Using the filename: operator will even be more helpful, as some files of dubious worth will tend to be video or sound files and can get large, e.g. filename:wmv. Dumping those messages should go a long way to clearing up some space.

Update: There is a recently-launched service called Find Big Mail which will (by default) create three IMAP labels to help you find messages with filesizes of 500KB, 2MB, and more than 2MB (although there is some customization available). It uses OAuth to protect your password, but you do need to trust that there's not something nefarious it's doing while it scans your mail.

Update 2: Google has added some new search operators for message size. For example, searching for size:1000000 will find messages larger than 1 MB (1 million bytes) in size. larger: and smaller: are similar, but they allow for abbreviations. For example: larger:10M finds messages larger than 10 MB.

  • 1
    +1 for that other thing that does not give random people access to my mail
    – mccc
    Nov 17, 2015 at 9:35

Google also lets you purchase more storage.

  • It's cheap compared to other services. For 20 gigs, it's 5 bucks! Oct 25, 2010 at 4:05
  • @MuhammadUsman, Depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for pure storage capacity, Amazon Drive is much much cheaper.
    – Pacerier
    Nov 11, 2015 at 23:53

The best workaround this would be to download/delete your emails. Downloading them for backup and storage sounds to be the best option. A great way to do this is by using a desktop app, most notably the best would be Mail on Mac OS X and Outlook or Thunderbird on Windows.

You should go ahead and do this by date (in my opinion), you won't be needing older emails more over newer ones on gmail.

Go ahead and load up the client of your choice, and you can export emails using export/archive functionalities.

Here's e instructions to the specific app:

I would suggest using a different name on the file just to make it relevant and backed up. It might take awhile to download all your messages in apps like Thunderbird where most email accounts (esp Gmail) are IMAP.

After doing this, you will probably have all or most of your space back. Also, if you think this is too laborious, you should just go ahead and buy more storage from Google, 5 bucks a year for 20gigs.

  • Is there any way to download gmail emails? Especially from a particular date range?
    – Vikas
    Nov 2, 2022 at 19:51

An excellent tool for sorting your inbox by attachment size - featured today by Lifehacker.com:


  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes.
    – Rubén
    Feb 27, 2016 at 21:03

No, Gmail doesn't allow you to search or sort by message or attachment size.

There is at least one third-party website that says it will do this for you, http://www.searchgmailbysize.com/, but

a) it only measures the size of attachments,
b) it doesn't use https, which doesn't fill me with confidence, and
c) I wouldn't be comfortable with (or recommend) typing my gmail username and password into a third-party site anyway.

  • This answer is obsolete.
    – Rubén
    Mar 14, 2016 at 6:20

What I'd do is open a free web mail account that gives unlimited storage (like Yahoo or Hotmail). Then turn on POP3 on the Gmail account, and use POP3 to download the emails to the Yahoo/Hotmail account. Check periodically to see how many emails have been downloaded. Generally, the mails are downloaded in chronological order. So check up to which date the mails have been fetched by the secondary account.

Then go to Gmail and delete those that have been "backed up" to the secondary account. You'd be free of GBs of storage in days and you haven't lost any of your emails.

This is how I got in to using Hotmail. After the recent Hotmail upgrade, I just ditched Gmail and started just using Hotmail. :) Now I have my Gmail account forward emails to the hotmail account.

  • 1
    BTW, you are just at 30% :) I reached 95%. You still have lot of time my friend.. :)
    – scorpion
    Sep 28, 2010 at 7:24
  • And they are constantly adding to your available storage. Oct 14, 2010 at 15:37

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