Find all the Big Emails in your Gmail Account

What would you do if your Gmail Inbox is reaching its storage limit and you urgently need to free up some space else all your incoming email messages will be returned to the sender?

You’ll either have to buy some extra storage space from Google or another solution is that you find all the emails in your Inbox that have really big attachments and put them into the trash.

Find all the Large Email Attachments in Gmail

Gmail doesn’t offer a way to search and sort email messages by size but you can use a tool like Microsoft Outlook or IMAP Size to sort your mails by the size criteria on the desktop. They connect to your Gmail account via IMAP and therefore when you delete an emails with big attachments locally, the same happens in your online inbox as well.

Alternatively, you can use Google Apps Script to sort your Gmail emails by size. If you however find the above workarounds a little complicated, there’s an even simpler method - Gmail Size Search.

It will quickly find all the large email messages in your Gmail account that are taking up the maximum space. These messages are categorized with special labels like “Big Mail” or “Really Big Mail” to help you decide which of them should be removed to recover more space.

To get started, you simply connect your Gmail account with Find Big Mail using Google’s OAuth. It then scans all your messages for their sizes and send you an email notification once the scan is over (I got mine in about 8 minutes). You can then log into your Gmail account and act on messages marked as “Big Mails” to instantly reclaim space.

Big Gmail Messages Gmail Messages Labeled by Size

Since the mails are categorized in labels, you can use the usual Gmail search filters to find all the less-important email. For instance a query like label:big-mail has:attachment PDF will find the emails that have big PDF attachments and so on.

Related: Keeping your Gmail Inbox size under control

Internally, Big Mail connects to your Gmail account via IMAP and retrieves only the sizes and not the full content of the email messages. And since it uses a temporary token, it won’t have access to your Gmail account forever. That said, I think a lot of us will feel more comfortable using it if we know the team who is running the show.

Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal

Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.

Amit has developed several popular Google add-ons including Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory


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Digital Inspiration has won several awards since it's launch in 2004.

Google Developer Expert

Google Developer Expert

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