In need of Gmail storage space cleanup tips? Here are a few to get you started

Nov 27, 2021, 7:00 AM

Q: I’m running out of space on my free Gmail account and deleted a bunch of messages, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. Help!

A: Despite Gmail’s generous 15 GB of free storage, it can fill up quickly without regular maintenance.

If you haven’t done much in the past to keep the clutter from building up, there are a number of places where you can free up valuable storage space.

To see how much space you are using, scroll to the bottom of the list of messages in your Inbox and look in the right portion of the section.

The graph and numbers will give you a quick picture of your current status and will help you see which of the following frees up the most space.


The Trash folder is designed to automatically delete items that are more than 30 days old, but if you recently went on a mass deletion binge and didn’t see much space free up, it’s probably still sitting in the Trash Folder.

At the top of the folder, there will be an option to ‘Empty Trash now’ in blue, which will free up the space being taken by the items you thought you got rid of.


Gmail uses an automatic organizing process that sorts incoming messages into categories:

  • Primary: Emails from people you know (and messages that don’t appear in other tabs)
  • Social: Messages from social networks and media-sharing sites
  • Promotions: Deals, offers, newsletters and other “call to action” emails
  • Updates: Notifications, confirmations, receipts, bills and statements
  • Forums: Messages from online groups, discussion boards and mailing lists

I’d start with the ‘Social’ category, which is essentially notifications, and items related to your social media accounts, that for most can be deleted en masse.

To do this, click on the blank square above the word ‘Primary’ which will put a checkmark in every message on the current screen.  If there are more messages than what will fit on your first screen, the option to ‘Select All XXX conversations in Social’ will appear in blue at the top.

This will select every message in the Social category, which can be deleted at once by clicking on the Trash icon at the top.

Warning! Make sure that there are no important messages in the Social category and that you double-check to make sure you are in the ‘Social’ folder.  If you’re not paying attention, you may accidentally delete messages from the wrong category.

If there are a large number of messages to be deleted, be patient as it can take some time to complete.

You can likely do the same with the Promotions and Forums categories but I’d be careful with ‘Updates’ as it’s more likely to contain items that you want to keep.

Finding Large Messages

The quickest way to selectively delete large messages is by clicking on the slider controls icon in the right side of the ‘Search mail’ box.

This is where you can filter your messages by those that have attachments, are larger than a specific size or by any of the parameters in the search option page.

No matter which approach you take, don’t forget to go to the Trash folder afterwards to ‘Empty Trash now’ in order to free up the space.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Data Doctors

(Pexels Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

What to know about the Marco Polo video chat app

The Marco Polo app is a video chat program that’s like a walkie-talkie conversation instead of a live session.
5 days ago
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are some tips on how to speed up slow starting computers

Here are some ways you can identify and solve potential issues that may be causing your computer to start up slower than normal.
12 days ago
(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)...
Data Doctors

An explanation of how new credit cards have information stolen

If you've ever wondered how people can crack a new credit card, here's a rundown and a brief explanation on what thieves could be doing.
19 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are the differences between Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge

Half of the United States uses Google Chrome as a default browser, but here are the key differences between Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
26 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Tips on how and when to use the iPhone screen recording feature

Here are some tips on when and how to use the the screen recording feature located on the dropdown bar on your iPhone.
1 month ago
In this photo illustration a spam 'Phishing' email is displayed on a laptop screen on March 21,2022...
Data Doctors

Tips and tools to detect and avoid computer phishing scams

Far and away, the method of choice for compromising users is through sophisticated phishing messages in email, via text messaging and through social media accounts.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
In need of Gmail storage space cleanup tips? Here are a few to get you started