Google by default gives each user 15GB of storage, which is shared among Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. Now, it entirely depends on you how you use this storage, but when you reach the limit, you will get an error message that says “Gmail Quota Exceeded.”
What does this mean? Well, you just used up your entire 15GB leaving you unable to send or receive emails. And often this restriction comes with little to no warning and catches users off guard.
If you’re currently faced with this dilemma, here’s how you can free up storage space on your Google account. But first…
Analyze Storage Space
In order to monitor your Gmail account storage, it is important to identify the allocation of storage space as it is spread between Gmail, Google Images, and Google Drive.
To evaluate Gmail storage, go to the Storage Drive page and select “View Details.” You will be able to see the overall storage and storage used by your Gmail account.
Now, you know which service is running much of the storage. So it’s easy for you to free space from that service.
Declutter Your Gmail Storage
Almost everything in your Gmail account consumes space. Email attachments can be a major culprit, but saved email messages themselves still take up space. Email messages without attachments are merely pieces of text and do not take up too much space individually—but if you have thousands and thousands of emails, they will add up to a noticeable amount of space.
Gmail helps you to scan messages by size. For example, enter size:5m in the Gmail search box and you’ll see all 5 MB or larger emails. However, you’re also going to need a program like Thunderbird to see the size of each email thread and sort by size.
Bear in mind the emails in your trash can always take up space. After 30 days, Gmail will automatically delete emails from the trash, so you’ll want to clear your trash immediately if you need room right now.
Use Gmail to Gmail Migration Technique
If all your Gmail messages are important and you don’t want to delete any of them, you can transfer them to another account for free. To migrate emails from one Gmail account to another Gmail account, follow these steps:
- Create a new Gmail account.
- Go to the old Gmail account settings from which you want to migrate emails.
- Click on “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” from the top menu and enable POP for all mail, and select “delete Gmail’s copy” from the drop-down menu.
- Open a new Gmail account and go to the settings tab. From the top menu, pick “Accounts and Import.” In the menu, click “Import mail and contacts.”
- You will see a pop-up display on your phone. Enter the email from which you want to import your email files and press Continue.
- After that, another window will open to ask for your permission. Click the “Allow” button and then select the import options and click the “Start Import” button.
Now, wait for Google to deliver all emails to your new account. When the migration has been finished, you will be able to access all your emails in the new account. One caveat with this approach is that it can take days, or occasionally even a week to transfer all emails to your new Gmail account.
If you want to avoid the difficulties of migrating emails from your old Gmail account to a new Gmail account, then the IMAP kernel to Office 365/Exchange Server is an alternate solution. This IMAP to Office 365 migration tool will help you transfer your emails from Gmail to your current Office 365 account. It provides some excellent functionality to consumers, including:
- Migration of single/multiple mailboxes from IMAP email servers.
- Many filtering methods for migration are based on specifications.
- Provision for relocation to mailboxes, mailbox archives, and public folders.
- Compatible for all IMAP email servers.
Manage Photo Storage
Unless you have a Pixel phone, any photo and video that is backed up to Google Photos at maximum resolution will be counted against your Google storage. You will free up lots of space by transferring those files to Google’s free and unlimited “high-quality” option, which compresses photos to 16MP and 1080p for videos (a move that is unlikely to be noticeable for most people and purposes).
- Go to the Photos settings page, and select “High quality (free unlimited storage).”
- On that same page, click the “Recover Storage” button. That’ll compress your existing photos and videos and remove them from your Google storage quota.
Google Drive is commonplace for space-sucking files to build up and down your limit, but tidying it up doesn’t take long.
- Open this page, which will show you a list of all your Drive files, ordered by number, with the largest items at the top.
- Look at the heaviest perpetrators, then remove everything you no longer need.
- In the upper right corner of Drive, press the gear-shaped icon, and choose “Settings,” followed by “Manage Apps.”
- For applications that have a note about hidden data, right-click the gray “Options” box, and choose “Delete hidden app data.”
Now comes the confusing part of it. Even after removing a few files that you thought will make enough room for new files or emails, you still see that the space on your Drive has not improved, and it still shows that you have no free space. Yeah, that’s because you haven’t cleared the trash.
Google Drive, much like your computer, has a recycle bin where you store your deleted files temporarily such that you can recover them if you have deleted any files by accident.
Bin also uses your Drive Storage, but after you clear it up, you’ll actually find that you’ve generated free space in your Google Drive Storage. Go to “Bin” in the left pane and press on the tiny drop-down arrow next to “Bin” in the top pane and pick “Empty Bin.”
Log in with a “.edu” email address
If you’re unable to free up a lot of storage despite using these tricks and want to store large files, you can log in to Google Drive using an e-mail address that has a “.edu” domain and you’ll get unlimited storage for Google Drive.
Of course, you need to be a student to get an email address like this and if your school/college has given you one, make the most of it by saving as many files as you want on Google Drive.
These are the tricks that you can use before eventually deciding to purchase a Google One subscription when 15GB is no longer enough. If you’re not overly dependent on cloud storage, and you don’t share a lot of files via Google Drive, you can still manage 15GB for as long as you keep making space whenever storage fills up.