Gmail inbox full? Here’s how to delete old messages and clear up space in under a minute.


Are you getting the dreaded “inbox full” message on your Gmail account? It’s stressful to go back through all of your emails one by one and decide what’s worth saving, especially if you haven’t read them all. (I know you haven’t read them all.)

The key to clearing out your inbox? Sorting your messages by size and send date so you can easily delete old emails with big attachments. The process is simple.

Gmail inbox full? Sort emails by size and date sent

In your Gmail search bar, you’ll want to type something like “larger:5m older_than:1y” if you want to find all emails that are at least 5MB that you received more than one year ago. That’s the example Google uses in its explanation of this feature.

Alexis Kleinman/Gmail

You can obviously adjust the size and date parameters to whatever works best for you. When I performed the above search, I found hundreds of emails. Once you’ve found all the emails you want to purge, you can select and delete them.

Hit the little checkbox at the top-left side of your inbox and select “All.”

Alexis Kleinman/Gmail

This will select the emails on the first page of results, but you want to delete everything, so click “Select all conversations that match this search” at the top of the screen.

Alexis Kleinman/Gmail

Once they’re all selected, hit the trash can at the top to delete. To empty your trash, hover over the little down arrow next to your Inbox button and hit “Trash” at the bottom.

Alexis Kleinman/Gmail

Then you’ll be prompted to “Empty Trash now.” Click on that.

Alexis Kleinman/Gmail

That’s it!

By doing this, my inbox went from 9.18 GB to 5.97 GB. Now you’re free to ignore your emails in peace.

Sign up for Tech Yeah! — your biweekly digest with a helpful and hilarious tech tip for upgrading your life. Yes, there’s a hack for that.