I decided to try a “new” email program yesterday – Thunderbird. It had to download my entire Gmail archive – and it ran into Gmail’s bandwidth limit, greatly reducing my access to my email account. New mail would come down to the computer, but anything I did to it (deleting mail, archiving it, moving it to a folder) didn’t go back to the server. I don’t understand why Google would stop me from deleting mail, but that’s the decision they made, and I have to live with it.
Fortunately, access to the mail through the Gmail webpage was unhindered, so I was able to deal with the little bit of mail that typically arrives on a Sunday.
And when we got home from the Farmers’ Market, I sat down at my laptop to clean up the mess. When I started, I had more than 28,000 emails, using 7.5 GB (three times the daily download limit).
I started by looking for emails with huge attachments – mostly photos I already had somewhere else, but there were lots of PowerPoint presentations, too.
Then I arbitrarily started looking at emails older than 1/1/2013 – when I saw one that didn’t look useful, I searched and deleted similar emails (by subject or correspondent). Goodbye, golf lessons! Farewell, ProMatch! Arrivederci, itineraries being forwarded to Tripit! Adieu, Toastmasters meeting agendas!
I still have a lot of mail that I could prune but I need to stop for the night. Google now tells me I have 14,600 emails (down by nearly 50%) and 2.52 GB (down by almost 2/3).
It was fun to visit the past, but it’s nice to say goodbye, too.