Archive and clean your Gmail mailbox

Archive and clean your Gmail mailbox

Looking at each email individually, it can appear to weigh next to nothing, because it is often just a few lines of text, which can sometimes be accompanied by a link or an attachment. However, if the correspondence is active and it is the attachments rather than the links to the attached files, it may sooner or later "clog" all the free space in the mailbox. Today we will tell you how to clean it partially or totally, you decide.

Gmail cleanup

Gmail storage is only part of Google Drive, which most users use to store personal data, and therefore the amount of free space in the cloud can decrease at the same time on both sides, approaching sooner or later the 15GB maximum available on free plan. To free up disk space (ideally) you have to act holistically, but we'll only see how to clean the mailbox directly. And since Gmail has both a web version available in any browser and a mobile application, we are going to provide a solution to this problem in each of its interpretations.

Preparatory measures.

Even if you are as determined as possible to get rid of all the content in your Google mailbox, you should not rule out the possibility that sooner or later you will need to access some (or some) of the emails it contains. Therefore, before proceeding with its elimination, it would be advisable to create a backup from which it can be recovered to a third-party mail client (Mozilla Thunderbird and Apple Mail). To do this, you must perform the following actions:

Page to save Google account data

  1. Follow the link above and do one of two things:
    • Leave the boxes checked if you want to make a backup copy of absolutely all the data associated with your Google account;
    • click on the caption "Deselect".Scroll down the page a bit and just check the box next to Gmail.
  2. Once you've made your choice, scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Next"..
  3. In the next step, we will be asked to define the parameters of the file with the future backup. Here you can select the following:
    • Recovery method;
    • Export type;
    • File format;
    • File size;

    You don't have to change the default settings, but you can change the method of getting a copy of the data, for example from a link to sending it to some cloud storage (but if you are backing up all your data , obviously you shouldn't save it to Google Drive), and specify the file format and size if you have a more or less precise idea of ​​how long everything in your box can take.

  4. Once you have specified the necessary settings, click «Create file»..
  5. It will start filing.

    A notification will appear advising you that preparing the data file may take hours or even days. But if you're just backing up your email, this process will literally take a few minutes.

    Almost immediately, an email will arrive at your Gmail email address informing you of the data archiving request from Google services. You just have to read it and go back to the copy creation page.

  6. Once the file is created, you can download it. To do this, click on the corresponding button on the page that updates automatically,

    and enter the password for your Google account,

    and specify a location to save the compressed data file. Click the button "Save"..

  7. With this, the preparatory stage, which involves backing up data as important as email, can be considered complete.

Web version

Most users, especially if we are talking about representatives of the corporate segment, work with Gmail email in a browser or in a third-party email client. Let's see how to make space in the web mailbox to get rid of junk mail and also how to do a full clean, which means removing all the content.

Option 1: File

It's not hard to guess that archiving consists of compressing emails, which means sending them to an archive. You won't be able to clean your Gmail mailbox completely, but it will free up space in your Gmail mailbox, no problem.

Final report: The archiving procedure allows you to visually delete part or all of your mailbox first. That is, the emails sent to the archive will not appear in the list "Inbox". and other sections, but they can be recovered and returned to their previous location if necessary. Also, these messages are automatically restored if they are answered by another user.

Separate messages
To archive one or more emails, you must do the following:

  1. In the sidebar or top, as long as there are multiple categories (sections) in your mailbox, go to the one that (for example "Unclassified." o "Social media".), whose emails should be archived.
  2. You can then proceed using one of two algorithms, depending on the number of items you plan to interact with: one or more.
    • Right-click (PCM) on the message preview and select from the interactive menu "File". or check the box to the left of the sender's name and use the file button on the top bar.

      Tip: To archive a single email, you can also simply hover over it and click the button on the right.

    • Check the box next to the sender's name of the email you want to archive. Similarly, check the other messages on this page that you intend to archive. Click the file icon (the button "File".), which will appear in the toolbar above the message list. A similar item is also available in the context menu.

    A notification will appear briefly in the lower left area of ​​the window, indicating the positive result of the actions taken.

  3. Perform the above actions with other emails and / or in other categories.
  4. This way you can get rid of really unnecessary emails, while freeing up some space on your Gmail storage and Google Drive at the same time.

All emails
If your goal is to completely clean your mailbox, which involves turning it into what's called a zero inbox, but you're not ready to permanently delete the messages, you can archive them all. This is done in literally a few clicks.

  1. At the top or sidebar of the Gmail service, first go to the category you want to archive from. Pull down the menu of the currently empty box above the message list and select "Everybody"..
  2. Click on the title that appears. «Select all strings (number) in« Partition name »».
  3. On the top toolbar, click the button "File"..
  4. The letters of the featured section will be sent to the archive.

    Navigate the sidebar to the next section and repeat the steps in the previous three paragraphs.

  5. This will send absolutely all your Gmail content to the archive, which means that it will free up some space in it.

    Archived messages will continue to take up space on your Google Drive storage. They will not appear in the general list, but you can find them through search,

    as well as low "All mail."which is hidden by default in the additional menu "More" in the sidebar.

Option 2: Complete removal

In case you are 100% sure that you are not going to check the emails contained in your Gmail inbox in the future and are willing to get rid of them permanently, trivial sending to the archive will not be enough. Deleting some or all of the emails is the best solution, depending on what you want to achieve in the end.

Separate messages
Deleting individual emails is as easy as sending them to archive, the only difference is in the selection of a menu item or tool in the control panel.

  1. Navigate to the category of messages you want to get rid of.
  2. Depending on whether you want to delete one or more emails, do the following:
    • Click the PCM of the item you want to remove and select "Delete"..
    • Check the boxes of the emails you want to delete, then click "Delete". on the toolbar. This can also be done through the context menu.
    • In both cases, to confirm the deletion you must press "OKAY". in the popup.

  3. Repeat the same steps above for the rest of the letter sections.
  4. For 30 days, these messages will be stored in "Recycle Bin".from which they can be recovered. After this time has elapsed, they will be deleted automatically. If you want to delete them now, follow the steps in step five in the next part of this article.

All emails
Getting rid of all or each of the messages in a category at once is no more difficult than getting rid of a small part of them.

  1. Once you have opened the mail category you want, pull down the general checkbox menu and select "Everybody"..
  2. Then click on the title that appears. «Select all strings (number) under 'Partition name'».
  3. Use the button "Delete". in the toolbar or by the element of the same name in the contextual menu called by pressing the PCM in the selected range.

    In the pop-up window with the question, confirm your intentions by pressing "AGREE"..

  4. Do the same for the content of all other sections with emails from your Gmail email account.
  5. Messages deleted in this way will be placed in "Trash".where they will be stored for 30 days. If you want to get rid of them permanently now, without waiting for that period, go to the corresponding section in the sidebar (you may need to expand the "Plus".) and click the title "To clean the car"..

    To confirm the cleaning, you will have to press "AGREE"..

  6. Deleting emails with cleanliness "Baskets". - it is the only possible method to completely clean the Gmail mailbox and free up space on it and on the disk. Its disadvantage is obvious: messages cannot be retrieved.

    Read also: How to delete a Gmail account

Mobile app.

More and more users are interacting with email through mobile devices, whether they are smartphones or tablets that run on one of the two leading operating systems in this segment: Android and iOS. The apps for both platforms are designed in the same style, which is certainly a plus. Unfortunately, it has a much more serious disadvantage: it is simply impossible to select all emails at once and send them to a file or a trash can. However, we are going to see how to delete partially or, with some effort and diligence, completely the Gmail mailbox.

Option 1: File

As in most mobile applications, user interaction with Gmail is mainly linked to gestures. Knowing them allows you to instantly archive unnecessary emails.

Final report: The example below uses an Android smartphone, but as noted above, Google's mobile email client looks exactly the same on the iPhone and iPad, supports the same gestures, and allows the same actions.

  1. Launch the Gmail application. Touch the three horizontal bars in the upper left corner or slide your finger horizontally from left to right to bring up its menu and navigate to the category of emails whose content you want to archive (in whole or in part).
  2. Then do one of three chains of actions, depending on whether you want to archive just one, several, or all emails at once.
    • Pinch your finger on the spam message and slide the screen in the direction from left to right.

      Final report: If the result of doing this gesture is not to archive the email, but to ask you to postpone it, you should slide your finger in the opposite direction: from right to left. You can change these gestures in the application settings.

    • Hold your finger on the message and then release it: this action will mark the selection. Then tap the area with the avatar (the circle with the sender's profile photo or initials) to select the rest of the unnecessary emails. Press the button "File".which will appear in the top panel.
    • As in the previous case, select all the emails in the section one by one, and then send them to the archive by pressing the button responsible for this action. As you understand, the process of highlighting messages in this way can be time consuming. It is better to do it in several stages, as it will help to avoid possible mistakes.
  3. Using the application's side menu, navigate to the next category whose content you plan to archive and follow the steps outlined in the previous two steps.
  4. Obviously, sending emails to the Gmail archive on mobile devices works the same way as the web versions of the email service: "compressed" content disappears from the general list, but can be found both through search as in the "All mail.".

Option 2: Complete removal

To completely delete some or all of the messages from your mailbox, proceed as follows:

  1. After opening the section with the emails you want to delete, keep your finger on the first one. Then, if necessary, tap the avatar area to select some or all of the subsequent items in the chain.
  2. Press the trash can button that appears on the top toolbar.
  3. Do the same for posts in the other categories.

The content that you have marked in your Gmail inbox will be placed in "Recycle Bin".. As in the case of the PC, this data will be stored there for 30 days. If you want to get rid of them permanently right now, do the following

  1. Open the side menu of the mobile application and scroll through the list of items that are presented there almost to the end.
  2. Find the article "Basket". and click on it to go to the corresponding section.
  3. Click on the title. "To clean the car". and confirm your intentions by clicking again "Clear". in the popup.
  4. Archiving and deleting one or more emails in the Gmail mobile app is even easier than in the browser on your computer. However, if you want to get rid of all the contents of the mailbox, you will have to spend a lot of time separating it yourself.

Recovery of deleted emails

If you need to access one or more emails after deleting your Gmail mailbox, there are only two ways to do it:

  • The messages have been archived;
  • Messages were deleted less than 30 days ago, and the purge "Recycle Bin". has not occurred.

We already wrote about how to "retrieve" emails from the archive when we saw this method directly - just use the search box or check its menu section "All mail.".

However, if the letters are in "Trash", you can place them in your inbox or mark them as read (preselecting if there is more than one),

or move them to the desired category. Both options can be implemented through the top panel or the context menu.

As mentioned above, after clearing "Baskets". messages cannot be retrieved. Backup Gmail mailbox data (part of article "Preparatory measures".), they can only be restored in two mail clients (Mozilla Thunderbird and Apple Mail): they have to be imported into the program or manually inserted in a special folder.


Deleting email from Gmail is not difficult, and if done correctly, it will not only get rid of unnecessary emails, but it will also free up space in the storage provided by Google. But, as this procedure is irreversible (complete deletion), think carefully before carrying it out.

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