Ah! My Inbox Is Running Out of Space!

Q: I like to save e-mails, just in case I ever want to reference an old message, but I'm worried about running out of space. What's the best way for me to either conserve or add space?

GmailLogo.jpgA: Well, if you're not using Gmail you probably don't have to worry about conserving space. The other popular e-mail providers -- Yahoo, Hotmail and AOL -- all offer unlimited storage for users. However, there are about 200 million Gmail users out there. And while Gmail allocates a whopping 7520 MB (and counting!) to each user, one day that finite space might run out.

One conservation method, which is perhaps easier said than done, would be to change your habits: Think twice about archiving messages. Instead of archiving any e-mail that might have some future significance, delete some.

If liberal archiving habits don't appeal to you, you can acquire another 7520 MB of space for free. Since Google doesn't restrict how many accounts one person can open, just sign up for another Gmail address, and -- voila -- more space. You can use this alternate account as an archive haven, sending those messages you want for later its way.

Of course, you could also pay for more space. Google offers storage payment plans starting at $5 per year for 20GB -- the equivalent of an additional 2.7 Gmail accounts -- or, for the real pack rats, 16TB (that's about 2231 Gmail accounts as of this writing) for $4096 per year.

Tools mentioned in this entry:

More questions? View the complete Toolkit archive.

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Rebecca Greenfield is a former staff writer at The Wire.

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