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Inbox full? Here’s how to find attachments eating up all your storage

According to Statista, 306.4 billion emails are sent every day with an office worker receiving, on average, 120. Take a look at your email account. What’s your typical number?

If you find your inbox overflowing with messages, don’t get flustered. Tap or click to discover Kim’s six ways to manage your inbox. You likely send and receive numerous emails throughout the day, and it’s further probable that many contain attachments such as photos and documents.

Gmail users get 15GB of free cloud storage via Google Drive, but if you send and receive a large volume of emails with attachments, you may find your storage capacity hovering around zero. Your best bet is to clean house. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.

Google storage space

The 15 GB of storage on Google Drive is an ample size for digital space; however, Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos share this allowance. Suddenly 15GB doesn’t sound that roomy. Space hogs include:

  • PDFs, images and videos in My Drive
  • Items in Trash
  • Google Photos
  • Messages and any attachments (even those in your Spam and Trash folders)

Note: Some things do not consume storage space such as Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides and Sites.

Out of space options

You have a few options if you run out of Google Drive storage space. One, you can increase the amount of storage you have by upgrading your Google Drive with a Google One subscription. Plans range from $29.99 a year for 200 GB to $299.99 per year for 30 TB of space.

All plans are shareable with family members and across all devices.

A second alternative is to save your money by deleting files including email attachments. Remember to pay attention to email attachments because some are dangerous to your system and data. Tap or click to reveal a recent scam alert about a convincing phishing email that is spreading.

Search and destroy

To locate attachments and list out every email that has one, regardless of size, open your Gmail and type has:attachment in the search bar.

If you want to narrow down the search to larger-sized attachments, use the search parameter has:attachment larger:10MB. The query will result in only those attachments greater than 10MB.

Change out the number 10 for whatever size you would like to search e.g. 20 for attachments that are 20MB in size.

Click in the box to the left of a message to see a selection of options such as Archive, Delete, Mark as unread and Snooze. These option appear to the right of your selected message. Tap the trash can icon to move the email and its attachment(s) to the Trash folder.

Once you have completed your purge, you must empty your Trash folder. Click the down arrow next to More in the menu on the left and scroll to and select Trash. You will see all the messages you marked for deletion.

To permanently delete emails, click on Empty Trash now in the upper right corner. Select OK when prompted to confirm you want to delete the message(s). FYI, Gmail will automatically delete emails left in the Trash folder for more than 30 days.

To view how much space you reclaimed after your clean up, scroll down to the bottom of your inbox. You can further go into storage settings to see how much space you have remaining between Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos.

Speaking of photos, don’t let your digital collection become a mess. Tap or click to learn how to organize your photos in three simple steps.

While this search technique finds all emails that have attachments and those of a specific size, including those in your Spam or Trash, it is important to remember even emails without attachments consume your Google storage space, so it is essential you clean your inbox regularly.

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