Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Remove Attachments in Gmail to Conserve or Free Up Space

My Gmail account is currently nagging me with the message:

“You are almost out of space for your Gmail account. Once you run out of space, you will not be able to send or receive any emails until you delete some items. You can view our tips on reducing your email storage or purchase additional storage.”

Yes, I realize they give us a “free” service, but in turn, we basically turn over our entire online life for them to comb through and profit from.

So I ask: why is there no option to remove attachments from e-mails?  The ONLY way to get rid of an attachment is to get rid of the ENTIRE e-mail to which it is attached.  The current workaround is to forward the e-mail to yourself and un-tick the attached file, then choose “delete this e-mail” from the drop down menu to delete only the e-mail with the attachment (not the entire thread).  The e-mail will remain in the correct thread (albeit in the wrong order), so you can keep the text but get rid of the space-hogging attachment.

However, to do this with each and every attachment that I’ve received since February of 2007 (when I switched full-time from Thunderbird to Gmail) would take me WEEKS!

One can only assume that the THOUSANDS of requests being COMPLETELY IGNORED on the Google Suggestions site asking for this feature (simply delete attachments) is a thinly veiled attempt to make money by getting people to “purchase more storage.”  Not only does Google make a little scratch, but users are literally “more invested” and thus more likely to utilize and stay with the Google suite of cloud-based software.

However, now that I am up against this “near-the-end-of-my-storage-rope” predicament, I think the effect is the opposite of what Google is gambling on (the laziness of most users, and the likelihood of people just clicking and buying more storage).  I am more apt to re-evaluate how tied into Google I am.  Would I rather have Google own and control all my e-mail and it’s content, or should I considering moving back to a desktop-based e-mail system (that would still allow me online access via my hosting portal)?  Time to do some serious thinking about my communication and storage needs.

1 comment:

I FE said...

Thanks for the post! I was having the same issues of deleting the attachments, but you really helped out. Thanks!!