How to Clean Up Gmail Storage: 2024’s Best Practices

Gmail users can enjoy 15 GB of free space. That may seem like a lot, but only until you realize this storage is shared among all Google services, including Google Drive and Google Photos. In this article, we explain how to clean up Gmail storage so that you never run out of it, and how Clean Email helps efficiently declutter and manage your inbox.

Top 3 Ways to Clean Gmail Storage

The average size of an email message that contains nothing but plain text is just 75 KB, but most emails sent these days are much larger because they contain high-resolution images and all kinds of attachments. If you’re like most people, then you probably have a lot of emails from retailers, marketers, coworkers, friends, and family members that are no longer useful and are just taking up valuable space.

To avoid running out of space, it's crucial to manage Gmail storage effectively. Let’s take a closer look at the top 3 ways for an effective Gmail storage cleanup. But before you put the provided information into practice, we recommend you open drive.google.com/settings/storage in your browser to see a detailed breakdown of how your storage is shared across all services.

If you take the time to clean not only Gmail but also Google Drive and Google Photos, then you should be able to free up a considerable amount of space. This way, you can avoid upgrading to a Google One plan, which offers 100 GB to 30 TB of extra space.

⚠️ Important: If your Gmail is full, you may not be able to receive new messages until you free up some space.

1. Use a Bulk Email Organizer

While you could go through your Gmail inbox and manually delete messages one by one (learn how to delete all emails on Gmail), it’s far more efficient to use a Gmail cleanup tool like Clean Email to clean Gmail space in one go. Clean Email can scan your entire mail account and combine messages from inbox and other folders into relevant groups, allowing you to quickly review hundreds or even thousands of messages with a few clicks.

Clean up email groups with Clean EmailClean up email groups with Clean Email

How to clear Gmail storage space using Clean Email

Start with a quick clean using the Cleaning Suggestions tool. It offers tailored suggestions for organizing your inbox, based on your most common actions in the app and those of other users. You have the option to follow these suggestions manually or set up automated rules to automatically handle similar emails in the future.

To use Cleaning Suggestions:

  1. Go to: https://app.clean.email and sign in with your mail account.
  2. Select Suggestions from the left pane.
  3. Move all email bundles containing unwanted or useless messages to the Trash.
Cleaning Suggestions feature in Clean EmailCleaning Suggestions feature in Clean Email

To dig deeper, try cleaning out old mail that has been sitting in your inbox for years. If you don't plan to return to it, consider deleting it to free up space. Especially after realizing that you frequently find Gmail storage full, regularly deleting old emails can be a practical step. Clean Email simplifies this process:

  1. Go to: https://app.clean.email and sign in with your Gmail account.
  2. Select All Mail from the left pane and click the Old Mail filter above the search box.
  3. Find old emails with Clean EmailFind old emails with Clean Email
  4. The 'Older than 6 months' filter is selected by default. Click the down arrow to choose a different time period.
  5. Select the senders you want to clean up, then click the Trash button in the blue action bar at the bottom. All selected messages will be moved to the Trash folder.
Older than 6 months feature in Clean EmailOlder than 6 months feature in Clean Email

After clearing out old mail, focus on removing large emails. Clean Email makes this easy:

  1. Use the Large Mail filter to view messages over 10 MB, or set a different size threshold.
  2. Select the Emails larger than 10 MB Smart ViewSelect the Emails larger than 10 MB Smart View
  3. Select the email groups you wish to delete.
  4. Hit the Trash button on the blue action panel.
  5. Select the Emails larger than 10 MB Smart ViewSelect the Emails larger than 10 MB Smart View
  6. Confirm your action, and you're all set!

In Clean Email’s Smart Folders, you will find your emails grouped by criteria such as date, size, sender and recipient, and various other factors. You can easily review and delete your social notifications, online shopping emails, emails you replied to, unlabeled emails, and more.

Smart Folders feature in Clean EmailSmart Folders feature in Clean Email

You can even tell this bulk email organizer to automatically delete future similar emails for you with the Auto Clean feature, so you never have to worry about cleaning up Gmail space again. Then, you can review all the running rules, which is rather satisfying, as the app does all the decluttering work on your behalf.

Auto Clean feature with Clean EmailAuto Clean feature with Clean Email

2. Clean Up Google Drive and Google Photos

As we’ve already explained, your storage is shared across several services. As such, you don’t necessarily have to clean Gmail space by deleting old emails. You can also delete files from Google Drive and Google Photos.

Go to the Google Account storage page for a detailed breakdown of how much space each of the three services occupies.

To delete photos and videos in Google Photos:

  1. Go to photos.google.com or open the Google Photos app on your Android or iOS device.
  2. Select any photo or video you want to delete.
  3. Click Delete (trash can icon) → Move to trash.
  4. Open the Trash folder.
  5. Click Empty trash to permanently delete your photos and videos.

To delete a file in Google Drive:

  1. Go to drive.google.com or open the Google Drive app on your Android or iOS device.
  2. Select any file you want to delete.
  3. Click the trash can icon in the above panel.
  4. Open the Trash folder.
  5. Click Empty trash to permanently delete your files.

When you’re done cleaning up, go to the Google Account storage page again to see how much space you’ve managed to free up. If not enough, then continue reading this article for more tips on how to clear up Gmail storage.

3. Use the Google One Storage Manager

Google is aware that many of its users are struggling with space management and not enjoying cleaning up Gmail space manually, which is why the tech giant created the Google One Storage Manager, a handy tool that lets you conveniently manage your account space across all its services.

Using the Google One Storage Manager, you can quickly review and clear deleted emails and files, spam emails, emails with large attachments, large photos and videos, videos that Google Photos can’t process or play, and more.

Use the Google One Storage Manager on desktop:

  1. Visit Google One on your computer.
  2. Click Storage on the left pane.
  3. Under Get your space back, click Free up account storage.
  4. Choose a category or service to clean up under Clean up suggested items or Clean up by service.
  5. Select the files you want to remove.
  6. You can click the Delete all button in the top-right corner to delete all files at once.
  7. After you select your files, click the Delete button in the top-right corner.
  8. Confirm that you understand that deleted files can’t be recovered.
  9. Click Permanently delete.

Use the Google One Storage Manager on your mobile device:

  1. Open the Google One app.
  2. Tap StorageClean up account storage.
  3. Select the category you want to manage
  4. Select the files you want to remove.
  5. Tap the Trash can icon in the top-right corner.
  6. Acknowledge that deleted files cannot be recovered and then click Permanently delete.

While the Google One Storage Manager is a helpful tool for managing account storage, it's worth exploring all the other solutions for more detailed Gmail space management to ensure a comprehensive clean-up that suits your specific needs.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve explained three methods to clean up Gmail storage, enabling you to reclaim valuable space. This ensures you can continue receiving emails without purchasing a Google One plan to unlock extra space. We recommend you clear Gmail storage regularly so that you always have at least 1 GB left and don’t have to hastily delete old emails, Google Drive files, or photos and videos stored in Google Photos.

Follow our guide to learn why your Gmail is not receiving emails.


How to Clean Up Gmail Storage - FAQs

Why is my Gmail out of storage?

You may find Gmail storage full because you have accumulated too many emails in your inbox or large files in Google Drive. Additionally, an extensive collection of photos and videos in Google Photos can also contribute to maxing out your Gmail storage space.

How to check Gmail storage?

To see how much space you have left, go to Google Drive, click on the gear icon in the top right corner, and select 'Storage'.

How to free up space in Gmail?

To free up Gmail space, you should first get rid of unwanted and unnecessary email messages using a bulk email organizer like Clean Email. Then, go through Google Drive and Google Photos and delete all files, photos, and videos that you don’t need.

What do I do when my Gmail storage is full?

The first thing you should do when you run out of storage is to learn how to clean up Gmail space by familiarizing yourself with the techniques described in this article. To avoid spending hours on manual cleanup, opt for a bulk email organizer rather than tidying up Gmail storage space by hand.

Do emails take up storage?

Yes, and deleting emails will free up your Gmail storage, especially if they contain large attachments or are accumulated in large numbers.

How much storage do I have in Gmail?

All users get to enjoy 15 GB of free space. Users can purchase additional storage by subscribing to one of several available Google One plans.

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