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Gmail Mailbox Search Tips

ByKevin Simon

Mar 11, 2016


I had the need to clean out my Gmail mailbox and I have found a useful way of searching for large attachments. To easily delete them to keep my mailbox lean.

In the Search box type size: this can be followed by the minimum size you want to search for i.e. 5megabytes (MB) type5m so for this would be size:5m , this will then show all the email that are larger then 5mb, unfortunately I haven’t found a way of just deleting the attachments within the email and leaving the email as you have to delete the whole email and attachments. Though you can backup locally your email including just selecting certain labels see HERE for details.

You can further refine this search by time scale ie older than (older_than) a certain period or newer than (newer_than) a defined period you can search by days, months and years i.e. ** 1y (1 year)**, 7d (7 days), 6m (6 months) . i.e if you want to find email than are older than 1 year type older_than:1y

So for example if you want to find email that are over 5MB in size and then are over 1 year you would type in the search box size:5m older_than:1y.

You can even search from before or after certain dates ie before 23/02/13 type before:2013/02/24 you can change the before: to after: to search for after that date. Remember it is set out YEAR/MONTH/DATE.

If you just want to search for emails with attachments this can be done by searching for has:attachment, if you want to find emails by subject again in the search box typesubject: followed by your search criteria. If you want to find just a file that is attached to an email you can type filename: followed by the filename you want to search for. There are more advanced search tools google list them HERE

This covers Gmail but I have tried some of them using other webmail services i.e. Hotmail and some do work, I am only listing Gmail as that for me is my main webmail service. If anyone else has any tips please leave them in the comments section below.


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By Kevin Simon

I run this blog & also self employed cleaning out fish ponds, but due to spinal problems not able to do as much, now started a youtube channel showing my converted Peugeot Partner micro camper also as interest in photography so now vlog about the trips and of course Lego figures out in the wild photos.

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