Mar 152018

This article has little to do with optimism, tenacity, or seeing the bright side of anything. It is simply a good tech hint, if you are one of the billion people on this planet that uses gmail as your ‘free’ email account.

I found out that sooner or later, as promotional email continues to grow exponentially, you will bump up against gmail’s 15 GB limit, after which time Google would like you to start paying for more storage. In my case, that moment was a few weeks ago. I have since discovered that google makes it darn hard to keep your email online and permanently available, unless you pay up. I already pay both Apple and Microsoft for several terabytes in the cloud, and ponying up yet another $99 a year just gave me a headache.

Here’s a great way around the issue, enabling you to stay ‘free’ (remember, you are ‘paying’ by giving Google all it needs to scrape your data and send you ads) while keeping every email received online into the foreseeable future, if price plans don’t change.

  1. Set up a second account on gmail — for example, if your main account is john.smith@gmail…, create another one to store your email into perpetuity — for example john.smith.2018@gmail…
  2. Forward all your email from your main account to your secondary account — gmail will only forward new email, not email previously received.
  3. Now, some number of years into the future, you will hit the 15GB limit… at that time, you will have all your years of history in the secondary john.smith.2018 account.  You can then simply delete several years of data from your main account, freeing up lots of space.
  4. At that time, create a third account… something like john.smith.2022@gmail and change the forwarding on the main john.smith account to now forward all mail to it.
  5. The result is that you will have all your email, online in the google cloud, for free, for decades to some.
  6. As a final step, I downloaded a gmail chrome extension called Gmelius, to auto-bcc my secondary account when I send outbound messages. This is a bit scary because now Google and Gmelius “sees” your email, but such is life in the cloud-based world.

Hope this hint helps. It is best to do this now, and not wait until you hit the wall like I did. Unable to find a way to “POP” over the mail to another online account (I’m sure there must be a way but it was not available from one gmail account to another), I decided to pull my archives off to a desktop client which worked, but is not cloud based. Cloud is better. I probably should have tried harder, but after fooling around with it for several hours, Thunderbird on my Mac seemed like the quickest path to moving forward.


I.M. OptimismMan