True Images Wiki

A collection of information Steve finds useful

User Tools

Site Tools


This page was last changed 2021.05.23 13:49

Gmail Annoyances

Searching your gmail

Maybe your account is getting too close to filling and you want to search and delete messages smartly.
Note that if you delete them, they're not removed from your gmail space until you empty the trash. So the sequence of actions could be:

  1. Search for large emails, those from certain addresses, etc, and delete all of them.
  2. Empty trash.
gmail search
alphabetfind all mail with the word “alphabet” in it. Also finds those with “alphabets”.
from:georgefind all mail from this person
ORFrom:george OR from:martha
“exact phrase”
in:anywhereAnywhere in gmail
Msgs sent after midnight 4/16/2004 and before the start of 4/18/2004
newer_than:2d means, Messages sent within the last 2 days
d (day), m (month), y (year)
size:10MAll messages of at least 10MB in size
+unicornFinds words matching unicorn exactly – not different forms like “unicorns” or misspelled “unicron”


in:adverts older_than:10dall mail in the “adverts” folder older than 10 days size:5Mall mail from that address 5MB or larger in size
in:sent before:2020/09/15 after:2020/09/13 all mail that you sent in that time period, midnight on 9/13 to maybe a message on 9/16

Offload messages from Gmail

Suggestions from a thread on/about 20may2021. The wiki's author, Steve, is trying things out. Here's his status;

  • 23may2021 I am trying out Horcrux right now and will update this with my findings.
  • I'll be trying Thunderbird next.


Depending on the size of the mailbox, you may be able to accomplish this all with just drag-n-drop, but there are some powerful apps for Mac OS that support this kind of task, for example:

URLProgramCost, notes $25, Full: $50 Pro: $100. The differences are confusing. Archiver X$45, local archive. Like a regular backup; automatic archiving, with search capability.
Pro version lets you access archives from multiple locations or a network drive (cloud). $150$25, 30-day free trial. Automatic backup, restore and undelete capability. Access locally. Migrate to new email server. Uses IMAP (used by Gmail, Outlook, more). Multiple email account capability.$50 single user; $80 2 users.
“Organize files, archive e-mails, save web pages and notes, search everything” email application. “Thunderbird can be set up to work seamlessly with Google's Gmail. Messages will be synchronized between your local version of Thunderbird and web-based Gmail.”

FWIW, there are a lot of reasons one might want to do a bulk download/archive of an email account, the most basic being the security of having a local backup copy. Others may just want to escape Google. And for people with super large email accounts (> 2 million saved emails), it becomes increasingly important to shunt older email into secondary storage just to keep an email client from collapsing under the load.

–Glenn P. Parker


I successfully downloaded 15GB of gmail (everything through the end of 2020) with these instructions:
It went smoothly, and I can download more as I go along, and it should stay all in order.

I also successfully tried out the mail client claws-mail, with which I can read and search my now-downloaded mbox files.
As far as I know you can also send mail using claws-mail, though that's not how I'm planning to use it.

I created an account with a different mail provider.
Once I get myself all the way off of gmail, I can send and receive mail on that account and stay under the tiny quota by routinely (weekly?) downloading received mail into mbox files on my own computer, reading/searching these archives with claws-mail.

–J Tang

Google Takeout

I use for all Google data downloads, including email. It's pretty straightforward and helps conserve my inbox space.

–Ethan Kiczek


I use Thunderbird on my Mac but it’s available for Linux and Windows. It may not be the most user-friendly? But I’ve been able to keep and save emails and move them from one account to another (dragging and dropping) without issue.
I should add that Thunderbird is free and it downloads my emails to my computer. So, for example, I have an old work email that I sometimes want to look at for reference and I can without any issue.

–Adam Schwartz

page stats

page stats

This page has been visited 2 times today, 2 times yesterday, and 508 total times since 12/16/2020. Thank you for your interest!

gmail_annoyances.txt · Last modified: 2021.05.23 13:49 by Steve Isenberg