Four+ great Gmail filters

Gmail getting full? Here’s 4+ great Gmail filters that can help you what to delete to free up space in your Google email account.

Four+ Great Gmail Filters

  1. Create a “Do Not Delete” filter in your account. It may sound counter-intuitive, but before you go deleting emails in mass, it’s a wise idea to have something in place so you don’t accidentally delete important emails, right? Right. Create a filter using Gmail’s advanced search using the pipe (|) as an “or” operator. For example, From: dad | mom | grandma | grandpa returns all emails from either Dad, Mom, Grandma or Grandpa. Set your filter to label those “do not delete”. Or, if you would rather enter email addresses of trusted senders, Steve McCarthy has this great tool to code email addresses for this filter.
  2. Catch image spam before it hits your inbox. With the right filter, Gmail can stop those dastardly image spam messages before they appear in your inbox. Set a filter as:
    • Has the Words: multipart/related .gif
    • Has attachment: X

    and have that filter automatically send those items to the Trash. Unless you step in, these items would be automatically deleted in 30 days.

  3. Take big bites out of your email. If you get a lot of pictures, mp3s or video files from your friends, an attachment filter can really give you some free space. Set filters such as “filename:wmv | filename:mov -label:nodelete” for video attachments, “filename:jpg | filename:gif | filename:jpeg -label:nodelete” for image attachements, or even “filename:doc | filename:pdf -label:nodelete” for document attachments.
  4. Say bye-bye to certain senders forever. Everybody needs a Gmail blacklist group filter, (also called a ‘kill filter’), both for spammers who make it through Gmail’s spam filter and for your crazy uncle who only forwards joke emails to you… five times a day. Creating a blacklist group filter takes a few minutes, but it can run unattended once it’s set up, so it’s worth the three minutes.
  5. Delete your old sent emails. Remember that email you sent me in 2004 about dolphins? Yeah, me neither, so why are you keeping it in your sent emails? While this technically isn’t a filter (since it cannot be applied to future messages), it’s a great way to cut down on your mailbox size. Search your Gmail with “before:2006/01/01 label:sent”. This will find all the emails you sent before January 1, 2006 (note the format in the search). If you don’t need these messages, then get rid of ’em, son!

Inspired by Lifehacker’s how to free up space in Gmail.