Read this before you pay for extra storage space on GMail / Google Drive
If you are running out of Google free storage space and are contemplating subscribing to the paid plan, here is what I would suggest you to try before paying. It should take ~10 mins.
Visit http://one.google.com/storage to see how is your storage space being utilized currently. For me, it was 10+ GB on Gmail and ~5GB on Drive. Google also does a basic job at suggesting how to free up some space here — http://one.google.com/storage/management…. Do try it.
However, for me there was no real saving here. It is also unlikely you will have too much benefit from this either. So let’s move beyond Google One.
Since Gmail was the main culprit for me, that’s where I started focusing my time. Firstly, I cleared all the emails from Promotions tab. Brands send you emails full of images/gifs/attachments, that clog your inbox. In most cases, you would be good to get rid of all these emails.
To delete emails in your promotions, enter the following in gmail search box: “category: promotions” and enter, followed by: — Select All (top left corner) — Select All conversations matching this criteria (just below the search box) — Delete
If you are cautious, you can retain emails from last one month and repeat the same process above by typing this in search box: category: promotions after:2010/12/16 before:2021/12/16 (I have just taken an arbitrary start date in 2010).
Next, I deleted the the emails from social tab. Search: “category: social” and the same steps as above. Don’t worry, none of these social emails are useful anyway as compared to the realtime notifications you are used to follow on the respective apps.
Next, focus on the promotional, heavy emails masquerading as updates. Search: “category: updates” & glance through first 3 pages for any emails that shouldn’t be there. For each such emails: — Unsubscribe — Search with that email and delete all using the above mentioned steps.
Next, focus on large attachments. I had a lot of study materials, schedules, event-planning docs from my MBA course (~8 years back) still occupying space in the inbox. The good thing was it came to a specific google group we had operated. So, selected the group and deleted all.
For other large attachment emails that you can delete. go to your inbox and search “has:attachment larger:5M” (5 Mb). This list is likely to be just a 2–3 pages. Select the ones you can delete and delete them at once. Repeat the process with 4M, 3M, if you still need more space.
Lastly, empty your trash. Unless, all the emails will continue to remain there for another 30 days or so. For this search “in:trash” and: — Select All — Empty trash (under the search box) — Confirm (it will take a few minutes to clear the trash).
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