How to Deal with Running Out of iCloud, Google, and Dropbox Space

Likewise, I normally use web-mail interfaces for my personal mailboxes. When I need/want to run an app, I use Mozilla Thunderbird. It also has a “local folders” equivalent to Apple’s “on my Mac” folder. I use it for the few items I want to keep local an not on any server.

I’m sure Thunderbird has its own set of bugs - no major app is ever bug-free, but they will be different from Apple Mail bugs, for whatever that may be worth.

Hi Adam,

Thanks for the response.

Regarding Mimestream: I am already using Mimestream on other Macs, including the Mac-Mini I am upgrading (to macOS Big Sur). I do like Mimestream, however, I don’t know of any way at this time, using Mimestream, of moving messages to the “On My Mac” storage area.


Mimestream doesn’t have the equivalent of an On My Mac area—it only deals with mail online at Gmail. But I had thought it could export to MBOX format by dragging messages out to the Finder. That doesn’t seem to be working, but perhaps it’s just still coming in the beta. I’ll check with the developer.

As @Shamino suggests, Thunderbird or some other IMAP-focused mail client will undoubtedly let you bring messages local.

Thanks Adam, for looking into this possibility on Mimestream. I look forward to what you discover when communicating with the developer.

Yes, I agree, perhaps some other mail-client could place e-mail to local storage, as well.

Hi Adam,

I have been thinking about Mimestream, and my current approach to it:

I do generally like it.

I believe the mission of Mimestream is to get a good handle on the gmail-server space. As a result, I don’t think the developer wants to mess with local storage (at least at this point in time). He probably has enough on his plate for now, simply focusing on the gmail-server space. I really can not blame him.

I can look into “more traditional” IMAP mail-clients which deal with local storage, in the meantime.

Thanks again for your feedback and assistance.

Not strictly an Apple question, but I hope it’s OK. I got an alert that my Google accounts were getting full. I’ve been weeding my Google Photos account to keep that well within the limits of the free version, but now I find that all the emails I’ve been deleting in Apple’s Mail app are being kept in the Gmail account.

I don’t suppose there’s any way to tell Mail to force Gmail to simultaneously delete a message I delete in the former to also cause it to be deleted in the latter. If there is, I’d love to know about it.

I’ve got about 15,000 stored emails in Gmail, and I’d like to delete all of them except a few; but when I’ve gone looking for a “select all” feature all I can find is directions on how to select and delete one “page” at a time—which would take forever.

Some tips speak of being able to increase the number of emails on a page, but I can’t find anything that does that.

Is Google deliberately making it hard to weed out emails so you’ll be forced to upgrade your service to a paid account?

Can any of you help?

Paul Brians

@paulbrians I’ve moved your question here, since this article answers it. :slight_smile:

That’s one avenue that makes sense for them. They also scan your emails to better target the ads that they serve on their branded properties and media networks.

In the web interface of gmail, you can look at “all mail” from the sidebar and select the square box control (the left most icon beneath the search bar. That does select one page, but it also shows just beneath the icon bar a message that says the full page (of 25 in my case) conversations are selected, and has a clickable link that allows you to select all conversations (6008 in my case.)

Though the hard part is going to be deselecting the ones that you want to keep, as the selection goes away if you do another search or sidebar selection. I suppose you could delete everything and then search trash afterward. Or use the selection feature I noted above in the in box view rather than all mail, so that mail that you’ve archived is not deleted. Or you can just do a search on the search bar for


(Don’t miss the beginning minus sign; that search is for all mail not in the in box.)

To get all the mail you’ve archived from the inbox. A better one may be

“-is:inbox -is:sent”

So you don’t delete any mail in your sent mail. Then you can use that selection trick with the search results.

You could also search for “older:2016/09/10” for messages more than 5 years old, say. (Or “-is:sent and older:2016/09/10” to keep everything you’ve sent plus anything newer than 5 years old.)

Hopefully this helps a little.

Google stopped scanning Gmail for ad targeting in 2017.

Alright, let’s not devolve into the age-old (and unrelated to this topic) discussion of what Google may or may not do with email.

And @paulbrians, as I noted, Gmail does not make it particularly hard to weed out old email; you just have to know how, as explained in my article and by @ddmiller. Deleting large quantities of email is not a common task, and it should not be super easy to do because of the risk of someone doing it inadvertently.

So anyone know how to upgrade your iCloud beyond the 2Tb Family plan? I’ve seen assertions that you can upgrade to 4Tb by a family member adding a 2Tb individual plan and adding it to the Apple One Family Premier Plan allocation. Whenever I try this, however, it looks like I’m killing the Family allocation and substituting with my new plan.

Can’t see a step by step walkthrough on the Apple site either.

It looks to be quite simple from Preferences->AppleID->Manage Storage->Buy More Storage windows. Tap the 2TB button and on a mobile system, tap Buy at the top. On a Mac, tap Next in the lower right corner. That should bring you to an authorization page.

Note: Sine I had no desire to increase my storage, I stopped at this point.;

The button to buy the 2TB plan even has a note that your storage would then be 4TB. (I assume that would read differently if I were not already on a 2TB Apple One family plan.)

Like Alan, I went no further.

As part of Family Sharing, if I try this on a non-organiser’s (parent/guardian) account, I get a message:

Stop Using Family Storage
You are currently using a 2 TB iCloud family storage
plan. When you change your storage plan, you will
stop using the family storage plan.

With buttons:

Stop Using Family Storage

I am the organizer of my family group, which probably explains the difference.

Thanks Mark (and all…) I must check again but my recollection contained no such assurances. Perhaps it’s a combination of factors on my end.