My Google Drive is full. Rather than delete old email, I want to save it to a local hard drive. Once I have selected the messages, how do I move them (download them) to my computer?

  • Most of your storage occupied by emails is causes by the attachments. Connect some email client with IMAP to your Gmail account. Sort message by size (largest first). Probably the emails at the top are either obsolete or you stored the attachments already in your Google Drive. Handle the top 100 heaviest emails and you probably have a lot of quota left. – Christiaan Westerbeek May 11 '16 at 20:48

It depends on what you want to do with the messages once you have them stored "locally".

If you just want to file them away, possibly to restore them at some future date, I'd say use Google Takeout. Google Takeout export the messages in mbox format, which many email clients can manage.

If you want to be able to work with them, I'd say use a local email client (e.g., Thunderbird) and connect to your account via IMAP. Then you can move messages between local and "Gmail" folders, effectively deleting them from Gmail but keeping them available in your mail client to search, respond to, etc.

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