Keeping your GMail Inbox size under control

Google Gmail gives you more than 2.5 GB of Inbox space sufficient to store hundreds of thousands of email messages. But you can quickly run out of space even on GMail if your friends regularly email you PDF, video attachments, sound clips, large zipped files, or high-resolution photographs.

When you near the GMail storage limit, the quota indicator displayed at the bottom of your account (that says - You are currently using 59 MB (2%) of your 2720 MB) will change from green to red.

If you go over your storage limit, Gmail will hold your messages for a few days while you clear out some space. If you don't delete anything within that allotted time, you won't be able to receive new messages, and messages sent to your account will then be returned to sender.

Before your GMail Inbox space gets almost full, follow one of these tips:

» The query string "has:attachment" will list all messages that have an attachment. If you further refine the string to "has:attachment from:me label:sent" - it will show all messages with attachment in the Sent Mail folder that were sent by you. Deleting them can retrieve lot of important space.

» Queries like filename:pdf or filename:xls will show messages that have attachments of a specific type. Combine them with a label:sent to display all the PDF files that you have you sent in the past.

» You can set GMail to display upto 100 messages per page. This setting is useful while deleting a more number of messages in one go.

» A query of the form "before:2006/01/01 label:sent" will retrieve all message sent by your before January 1, 2006 - You might want to clear your old sent items using this technique.

» If you have subscribed to tons of mailing lists, now is a good time to get rid of them - you will probably never read them and they are anyway available on the group website. Open a list message, view the header and copy the email address mentioned in the from field. Run a query like - Choose select all and press delete.

» If GMail search operators tend to confuse you, download your GMail messages to a local mail client like Outlook or Thunderbird that supports POP3 access.

» GMail won't allow you to search or sort emails by the size of attachments. However, your offline client will definitely have this feature. Find messages with the bulkiest attachments in Outlook, then search for the same message in GMail and delete it.

» Don't use the GMail drives that promise to convert your GMail inbox into a virtual hard disk. You may have to wait a little but both Google and Microsoft are about to launch file storage services. Read more about Google GDrive and Windows Live Drive.

Any of the steps above will help you reduce the size of your GMail mailbox now and will keep it from getting too big in the future. What's your favorite tricks to keep your mailbox size down ?