We love using Gmail for many reasons, but one of the best things about it is the storage capacity for large email attachments. The flip side of that is this: If your Gmail account contains hundreds or thousands of emails, locating a ginormous attachment can be annoying.

Unfortunately, Google does not give you a fast and easy way to find large email attachments in Gmail. It’s not impossible to find these files, but you have to do a bit of work.

Search Gmail for Emails Containing An Attachment

Gmail has a search function you can use to look through individual folders or your entire inbox, and this search function lets you pick out emails with attachments. Before we get into Gmail’s functionality, though, a quick note on Teamstand.

While advanced search can be helpful to locate email attachments, Teamstand works better because it displays organized lists of all your attachments in Gmail. If you are looking for a large attachment, Teamstand lets you quickly find it based on the company or the person that sent it, and it also displays your most recent attachments, making it easy to find the most up-to-date versions of files.

That said, let’s get back to Gmail. If you haven’t really experimented with the advanced search in Gmail, we don’t blame you. Most people haven’t. While Teamstand offers an easy way to find large attachments, Gmail’s advanced search kind of… well… stinks. Also, Google doesn’t give you a lot of info on how to use it to find email attachments. You either need to read blog posts about it — like this one — or you need to do a lot of trial-and-error.

If you do want to use Google’s way for finding email attachments:

  • Click on the “sliders” icon located at the end of Gmail’s search bar
  • Check the “Has attachment” box to let Gmail know you’re only interested in emails with attachments
  • To find a large email attachment, you should have a sense of its size, or at least the minimum bound of the potential range of sizes. If you do, select “greater than” on the Size search criteria and enter the minimum size of the attachment(s) you’re hoping to find
  • Click Search

If you use folders or labels, you can put that in the “Search” box. If you just keep all of your emails in the Inbox, just leave this option as “All Mail.” You can also use Gmail to search inside a set period of time, but this functionality can be finicky. It’s a lot easier to do with Teamstand.

Sort Email By Size In Gmail

If you’re looking to create a sorted list of emails based on size, sender, or any other criteria, you’re out of luck. Gmail doesn’t have a default sort function that arranges emails in a certain order based on a selected value. However, you can use various search operators to get a shorter list of emails.

If you haven’t learned a lot about Gmail search operators, you’re not alone! But as the name implies, the “Size” operator is the one to know for finding large email attachments. When entered into the “Search mail” bar, it can select certain emails that exceed the file size you input in terms of bytes, KB, or MB. For example, entering “Size:4MB” will show all emails that are 4 MB in size or greater, including attachments. That can help you narrow things down a little.

After you get search results listing all of your largest emails, there's still work to do. Gmail displays search results in reverse chronological order. There is no way to list results based on size. If you’re like the typical person and have hundreds of emails in your inbox, you might have to manually check dozens of emails to see which one has the large attachment you're trying to find.

Creating different folders for different types of files can also help a bit. For example, you could create one folder for emails ranging in size from 1 MB to 10MB and another folder for emails ranging in size from 10 MB to 100 MB. Or, you could create folders for different types of files: one folder for PDF, one folder for videos, and one folder for PowerPoint files. But using a folder system only eliminates one step from the process, and it still gives results you gotta comb through if you get a bunch of emails.

We have an easier way, though.

Teamstand is Simpler, More Intuitive, and More Elegant

Sick of dealing with the lack of search and sort capabilities in Gmail? Don't want to go through the hassle of maintaining and building these folders from scratch? Teamstand is a Chrome extension that automatically organizes digital assets in Gmail, reducing the amount of time you spend searching for large attachments and specific kinds of files. Our app presents organized lists of important files in a collapsible panel within Gmail, bringing critical assets to where you’re already working.

Teamstand also has an advanced search function that goes way beyond what’s in Gmail. For example, if you sent a PDF file to someone but can't remember the file name or the person, Teamstand’s lets you look for a PDF sent in a specific date range.

Like the best productivity apps out there, Teamstand is intuitive yet powerful. Once you start using it, you’ll be amazed at the time you save and the frustration you avoid. Contact us today to get free access to Teamstand’s automated digital filing finding cabinet.

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