Free Up Space in Gmail by Backing Up Everything First

When GMail Overflows

My Gmail account has filled up to 97 percent of my free allotment. I am too cheap to pay for more space. Is there a way send all this to another Gmail account as backup and free up space? Help, I only have a few days to spare! A. If you’ve maxed out the seven gigabytes of space you currently get with a Gmail account, there is a way to sling your old mail into another account. But it takes a few steps. First, sign up for a new Gmail account at http://www.gmail.com and make note of the new address and password. Next, log into your original Gmail account. At the top of the mail page, click on the Settings link and on the next screen, click on the Forwarding and POP/IMAP link. In the POP Download area of the page, click on the button next to Enable POP download for all mail. In the pop-up menu right below, choose what you want to do with all the old messages. When you pick the “keep Gmail’s copy in the Inbox” selection, you can go back and delete the nonessential messages you don’t want to keep in your original account to reclaim space. (If you don’t need all the old mail in this account, another option here automatically deletes all the messages from the Gmailbox after they are downloaded elsewhere.) Click the Save Changes button when finished. Next, log into your new Gmail account and click on the Settings link. Click on the Accounts and Import link. Skip the “Import mail and contacts” area and go to the “Check mail using POP3” area, then click on the button to add a new POP3 e-mail account. In the box that pops up, fill in your original Gmail account name and password and click the Add Account button. (The server address is pop.gmail.com.) Gmail then imports all the messages from the original account. If you have several gigabytes of mail, it could take hours to fetch it all. In your original account, you can now manually delete the less important messages. Finally, return to the Setting screen and disable the POP download function so the new mail stays on your original account. Or you could pay Google $20 for 80 gigabytes of storage — if that seems easier. (Google has more information about pricing and importing mail from other accounts in its help section.)

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