Thursday, January 28, 2010

Some Tips to stay within Gmail space allocation

Some Tips to stay within Gmail space allocation

 Gmail offers 7.53 GB of disk space in its free version. When you are about to reach about 90% saturation level you get a warning asking you to upgrade to paid version. Many users may desire to stay within the free version. This may be because the upgrades cost some money that has to be paid in USD which is not easy for many in India. Minimum payment involved for an additional 6 GB is USD 20. Though the amount is affordable the annual renewals is a bother.

 Let us look into ways of managing to stay within the free storage limits of Gmail.

 Picasa allows one GB space for pictures and images. Google Docs gives another GB free storage. It is prudent to use these facilities by transferring important image and document attachments to Picasa or Google Docs and delete the message in Gmail. However, in Gmail there is no way of identifying messages with large attachments easily. One has to look for image and video files by file type searching. Thereafter delete or move each attachment to some other site.

 Another method will be to create a second Gmail account. You can automatically transfer all incoming message to the new account and delete new messages in old account. Thus space usage will remain static in old account. However you may face certain problems in the case of subscriptions to Yahoo or Google groups which you need to take care. Moreover you may have signed up into a number of Google services like Alerts, Docs, history, Google sites and others. All Google services make the Gmail account as the pivotal ID. New account might disturb this set up.

 I adopted a different approach. Gmail Backup is third party free software. This allows you to download all Gmail messages from your ALL Mail folder into your local hard disc. Labels are also downloaded. Attachments are also included. The Gmail listing of messages in Conversation (threaded) format is sacrificed and each message is listed separately. In the case of rich text messages, if you have prevented images being shown always (but only on demand), you may loose images when you download. You may backup Gmail messages year by year or between any two dates. This will ensure that you work in smaller chunks – each taking much lesser time.

 Once you have all (or as much as you want to delete) messages onto hard disc you need to search them. I downloaded WS4 – a new Windows Search Engine (free) as a part of Windows – and installed it. The folder containing Gmail messages is to be included in this WS4 indexing facility. Thereafter searching large (I have some 60K messages) number of messages by sophisticated searching is possible. Results appear even as you type the query. WS4 is very fast and reliable especially for email messages. Selected ones are read or browsed using Outlook. Messages after backing up may be removed from Gmail server. When required, the backed up messages may be restored to Gmail also.

 If you know of other methods please share with others.

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