How to Search Gmail by Size

How to Search Gmail by Size: Find Large Emails and Attachments

Wonder what’s taking up all the space in your Gmail account? Looking to sort Gmail emails by size? Find out here how to search Gmail by size, find large attachments, and work around Gmail’s inability to sort by size.

First, the (Two) Greatest of the (Two) Great Lakes

Between the two greatest of Africa’s Great Lakes, two are the greatest.

Lake Victoria appears biggest on a map—and with a surface area of 26 600 square miles (68 800 m²) is the largest by far.

Lake Tanganyika is narrow but long and deep—and with 4 500 cubic miles (18 900 m³) is the most voluminous. (In terms of volume, Lake Victoria comes in only third after Lake Malawi).

Now, let’s find the largest among the largest emails and attached files in Gmail; there will hardly be a precise order, though.

How to Search Gmail by Size: Find Large Attachments

Time needed: 5 minutes.

To find emails that contain large (or lots of) attachments using Gmail in a desktop browser:

  1. Click in the Search mail field.

    Gmail keyboard shortcut: You can also press / to focus the Gmail search field.
    Desktop and mobile: Searching for large attachments works in desktop Gmail, in the Gmail apps for iPhone and Android and Gmail in a mobile browser.

  2. Type has:attachment larger:45MB to find the emails with the largest emails with included attachments.

    Gmail shortcut: You can go to… to open the search above quickly.

  3. Press Enter.

  4. Find the big emails in search results.

  5. Vary the size in the larger: search operator.

    Which to pick: Use has:attachment larger:20MB for all big attached files, for instance.
    Largest attachment size: The attachment size limit for received emails in Gmail is 25 MB.
    Sort by size: You can narrow results and add an upper limit to somewhat sort files by size; see below.
    Find large attachments with Gmail search operators

  6. Act on the search results.

    Example: Delete all the huge emails in Gmail in bulk.

Looking for PDF, Word, or ZIP files? How to Search Attachments (by File Type) in Gmail

Find Large Gmail Emails without Attachments

To find big emails that do not have any files attached:

  • Search for -has:attachment larger:500KB in Gmail.
    Other sizes: Do replace 500KB with different message sizes, of course, using MB for megabytes and KB for kilobytes.
    (Emails that do not contain attachments rarely exceed 500 KB.)
    Gmail shortcut: You can also open the Gmail search link to run the search.

How to Search Gmail by Size: FAQ

Can I sort Gmail by size?

No, you cannot sort emails in Gmail on the web by their size.

Yes, you can search by size bracket in Gmail itself or use an IMAP email program to sort by size.

Find Gmail Email Sorted by Size Brackets

To search for emails sorted by size brackets in Gmail:

  1. Search first for larger:45MB in Gmail to find the biggest emails with and without attachments. (See above.)
  2. Search next for larger:750KB smaller:1001KB.
  3. Then search for larger:700KB smaller:751KB.
  4. Continue with brackets reducing sizes (larger:650KB smaller:701KB, larger:600KB smaller:651KB, etc.).

Sort Gmail Emails by Size in an IMAP Email Program

To sort emails in Gmail by size, use an email program:

  1. Set up Gmail using IMAP in a desktop email program.
  2. Make sure Show in IMAP is enabled for the All Mail folder.
  3. Now ensure there is no folder size limit.
  4. Open the [Gmail]/All Mail folder in the email program to see all emails in your Gmail account.
  5. Sort the folder’s messages by size.

Can I search for large attachments in basic HTML Gmail?


The searches for large emails and attachments work in Basic HTML Gmail just as well.

(How to search Gmail by size tested in a desktop browser; updated September 2022)

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