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Manage Gmail inbox space with Backupify FreeSpace

Will Kelly shows us how to use Backupify FreeSpace to better manage the Gmail inboxes in your Google Apps domain.

Backupify FreeSpace is a new free online application from Backupify that can help Google Apps administrators and end users better manage their Gmail inboxes. Because, even with the generous 25GB of space given in Google Apps, email storage can consume a deceptively large amount of space.

This Gmail space clearing application provides the following:

  • Proactive monitoring for Google Apps Administrators over Gmail accounts in their Google Apps domain. Administrators can then alert their end users to take action when their inbox runs low on space.
  • Large attachment identification for Gmail users so they can delete or securely offload the attachment(s) while leaving the conversations intact.

The service only works with Gmail inboxes on a Google Apps domain. It doesn't work with regular Gmail accounts.

Getting started as an admin

Backupify FreeSpace is a wickedly simple setup. I've been checking it out since launch day and I would certainly recommend it to Google Apps Administrators and users for email inbox space management.

To monitor the Gmail inbox space in a Google Apps domain:

  • 1. Go to www.freespaceapp.com.
  • 2. Click I'm an Admin. The FreeSpace Authorize Google Apps page appears (Figure A).

Figure A

Authorize Google Apps
  • 3. Enter your Google Apps domain in the yourdomain.com field.
  • 4. Click Login with Google Apps. The Gmail Storage Overview page appears. It's a well laid out and easy to read page ideal for Google Apps Administrators who might be wearing more than one hat. Figure B shows an example of a storage overview,

Figure B

Storage Overview
  • 5. Click Scan to scan through the Gmail inboxes on your domain.
  • 6. Once the scan completes, Backupify FreeSpace presents a listing of the Top-10 Storage users and a listing of the Top 10 largest files. In the case of my own Google Apps domain email inbox, Backupify Freespace showed me a video attachment on a 4-year old email as a leading space hog along with some zip files from a client proposal from four contracts ago that I had since forgotten about.
  • 7. Once you have a complete scan of the email inboxes in your domain and can see the culprits, you can contact the users directly from Backupify FreeSpace. Click the email envelope beside the user name in the Top 10 Storage Users List or beside one of the whopping files in the Top 10 Largest Files List. A "Let's FreeSpace" message appears (Figure C).

Figure C

Let's FreeSpace message
  • 8. Click Send to send a message to the user urging them to manage their inbox space.

Getting started as a user

Backupify FreeSpace even gets users involved in space management with a separate user login. I like this for the purposes of user self-sufficiency in large enterprises and in cases where the Google Apps Administrator may have more than one job.

To get started as a user:

  • 1. Go to www.freespaceapp.com.
  • 2. Click I'm a User. Then select an account to login. In my case, FreeSpace finds my Google Apps account and regular Gmail account.
  • 3. Click on your Google Apps Account. Freespace requests permission to view and manage your email, view basic information about your account, view your email address, and perform these operations when I'm not using the application. Click Allow Access. Backupify Freespace opens up a user centric view of the large attachments in the user's email inbox similar to Figure D.

Figure D

View large attachments as a user
  • 4. From this page, you have the following options:
    • Select the attachment you want to delete in the Delete column. Click Continue. A confirmation dialog box (Figure E) appears with details on the file space you are saving. Click Save that space to delete the file and save that space.

Figure E

Free That Space!
    • Select the attachment you want to delete from your Gmail account in the Delete and Save column. Click Continue. A confirmation dialog box appears with details on the file space you are saving. Click Save that space to delete the file and save that space. Backupify Freespace saves the files and later emails you a download link. For smaller download operations, a download link appears on the page.
  • 5. When saving space, you also have the option to select all for deletion or for Save + Del by clicking Select All. Then click Continue and confirm the file(s) you are deleting from your Gmail account.

Conclusion

While obviously Backupify wants to use FreeSpace to bring in more paying customers they've also release a wickedly easy to use and common sense inbox space management tool that is useful and friendly enough for both administrators and end users. It's so common sense and elegant in fact, I really wondered why such a tool was never included with Google Apps Administrator features out of the box.

Also read:

About

Will Kelly is a technical and marketing communications writer based in the Washington, DC area. He has written about SMB technology, data center management, project management applications, mobile computing, Microsoft Office, and productivity applica...

3 comments
david.tredinnick
david.tredinnick

Incomplete and inaccurate! "wickedly easy to use and common sense" Error message "Currently this single sign-in feature is disabled for the domain"

Gisabun
Gisabun

And I thought Gmail is full featured! :-)

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

How much space is your Gmail taking up right now? Do you need to do some trimming?