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How To Order Gmail By Size

Posted by Jamie on May 9, 2019

Is your Gmail inbox getting out of hand? Want to manage it and optimize it a little? This tutorial will walk you through how to order Gmail by size. It will also show you some other neat tricks for managing busy inboxes.

Gmail is one of the most accomplished free email services out there. For home users, the integration with Google Drive makes it simple to manage attachments and share media. For businesses, that and the inclusion of Google Docs, Sheets and Slides adds a credible Microsoft Office alternative. I use it a lot for business and personal use and while some things are not quite as good as Office.

If you own or manage a domain name,  G Suite offers excellent email hosting, enabling you to use the Gmail interface to send and receive email using your domain name. All of the instructions in this article apply to the free gmail.com email service and G Suite email hosting.

How to use Gmail’s size search feature

Size is one of the many parameters you can use to order your emails but it is one of the more effective. If you’re the sharing type and have lots of attachments, this can come in handy. Equally, if you need to make space, this works well there too.

  1. Open Gmail primary tab (the default inbox)
  2. Locate Search mail (the search field at the very top of Gmail)
  3. Type size:5MB in Search mail then hit Enter

This will return a list of emails greater than 5MB in size. You can use search operators to make more precise size queries, including smaller_than  and larger_than, even combining operators to find a range. For example, enter the following into the search email box to find emails between 2MB and 10MB in size.

larger_than:2MB smaller_than:10MB

How to order Google Drive by size

Your Gmail attachments use your Google Drive space allocation so you may find it easier to manage your Google Drive directly. The Storage view can be ordered by size in ascending or descending order.

  1. Open your Google Drive
  2. Select the numbers under Storage in the left panel.
  3. Select Storage Used in the top right of the next screen to sort by file size in ascending or descending order.

You can now manage your storage as you see fit, sorted from the largest to the smallest files or from the smallest to the largest files.

Delete old emails in Gmail

If ordering Gmail by size isn’t working for you, how about ordering them by date? This can be very useful in sorting out older emails and deleting those. We can use a search filter for that rather than size.

  1. Open Gmail at the default Primary tab view.
  2. Type older:2018/05/09 in the Search email field
  3. Hit Enter.

The older operator will filter all emails older than May 5, 2018. You can then delete them as required. I tend to delete anything older than a year to keep things tidy. If the email is important, I add a label to keep it safe. The rest is disposable.

How to Filter Similar Messages In Gmail

If you want to filter messages similar to an email because you receive a lot of email similar emails and want to handle them all the same way, then you can just open one example email from the set of similar emails to use as the basis for your filter. You can filter based on a number of criteria and set rules for when similar emails arrive.  An example would be if you get a lot of emails from the same address and you want Gmail to automatically handle emails from this address in the same way.

  1. Open an email FROM the sender you want to filter
  2. Click on the three dots in upper-right of the email which will open a pull-down menu
  3. From the pull-down menu, select Filter Messages Like This
  4. A dialogue box will appear
  5. Click on Create Filter
  6. Select the checkbox specifying the filter criteria
    filter gmail emails
  7.  Click Create Filter

This filtering is very effective but double check what emails were selected to make sure the filter is working as expected.

Get a second chance with Undo Send

If you have ever sent an email only to regret it later or realize you didn’t include the attachment, you need to enable Undo Send. It’s like a pause button that stores the email for a set period of time. Then if you calm down, remember you didn’t include something or want to stop the email being sent, you can. As long as it is within the time limit.

  1. Open Gmail and select Settings from the cog icon in the top right
  2.  Select the General tab
  3. Check the box next to Undo Send
  4. Set the time limit: 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds
  5. Click Save Changes at the bottom

I would suggest setting it to 30 seconds and leaving it there.

Use Gmail labels

Labels are one of the coolest things about Gmail. They enable you to assign folders to specific emails to highlight them in a busy inbox. They work a bit like Folders in Outlook but work better.

  1. Open Gmail and select Settings from the cog icon in the top right.
  2. Select the Labels tab.
  3. Click Create new label at the bottom of the page

You should see your new labels appear in the left pane of the Gmail screen. If they aren’t immediately obvious, click More to show all of the labels all.

Use Stars

Stars in Gmail are like the ‘! Important’ marker in Outlook but they can be so much more. For a start, there are lots of stars you can use in Gmail and used correctly they can make sorting emails very simple. You can assign different star colors to different things, making Inbox navigation a breeze.

  1. Open Gmail and select Settings from the cog icon in the top right.
  2. Stay in the General tab
  3. Scroll down to Stars
  4. Click Save changes at the bottom.

Now you can click a gray star in your inbox to give it a color. Click it multiple times to work your way through the options. When you need to filter for those emails, type ‘has:orange-star’ in the search box.

Schedule emails for sending later

Email scheduling is a useful hack for any number of reasons. For example, say you want it to seem like you’re at work while you’re really at the beach. You can get your work done early and schedule your emails to be sent at regular intervals throughout the day to make it look like you’re working. It won’t help with replies though…

  1. Install Boomerang for Gmail.
  2. Write your email as normal.
  3. Select Send Later at the bottom instead of Send.
  4. Select a time or delay and hit Send.

You can set a delay or specify a specific time and date with this neat app. I use it all the time!

If you want to learn more Gmail tips and tricks, a good next article to read would be How to automatically empty the trash in Gmail or How to automatically label emails in Gmail.

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