I use GMail almost every day during 4 years (and I love it) and on the moment I have a tons of emails and about 1.5 Gb of email storage size.
I’m sure that a most of that is eaten by couple of big attachments. The issue is that GMail web interface doesn’t have the ability to sort by email-size and that’s why you can’t find the biggest ones emails to delete them first. As well you may need to use some specific filtering to your emails which are not available in GMail web interface.
- Download your GMail emails with IMAP to your favorite email-client
- Open “[GMail]/All Mail” folder and wait for messages are downloaded.
- Sort by email size or apply whatever filter you need
- Delete emails you don’t won’t to keep in GMail
Important Note since downloading of all your emails could take a while and you even can be blocked by GMail – split your downloads into few days. So download during 1-2 hours each day.
Email should be deleted form the “All Mail” folder since deletion it from your “Gmail Labels” will just remove that label form that email but not delete it. GMail have special topic “Deleting IMAP messages”.
If you delete a message from your inbox or one of your custom folders in your IMAP client, it will still appear in [Gmail]/All Mail.
It is interesting for me which application behaves better with handling thousands of emails – Outlook or Thunderbird. My experience is that Outlook 2007 becomes crazy now – it try to synchronize with GMail and I’m experiencing problems with it. CPU loading is high (30-70%), network is loaded (it’s understandable) and click on email to view it and on navigation buttons just stuck the Outlook.
BTW, what I like from Outlook – it has special “Search Folders” folder with “Large Mail” folder in which I can group my emails with “Enormous >5MB” , “Huge 1-5 MB” etc. It’s perfectly suits my needs 🙂