Use Gmail as Storage Space with Gmail Drive

As you may already know, Gmail offers a lot of storage space for your email account.  However, who is going to use 7.5GB of storage space to store emails?. Well… I know people that would. But for 99% of us, that space would go to waste. So why not use it as storage space? Its free anyways, and you are using it to store files just as you would if you had attachments on your emails. So, its kind of the same purpose, but with a more convenient way of accessing those files. A way which will literally turn your email account into a virtual drive. In this article we will use a free third-party application called Gmail Drive which has been developed for this purpose.

Instructions

Download the Gmail Drive Shell Extension.

Extract the compressed file to a folder on your computer and click on “Setup.exe” to install.

Double-click on the newly available Gmail drive and login using your Gmail credentials. Check “Auto Login” if you want Gmail Drive to store your password and log in to Gmail automatically every time your computer is started. Click “Ok” to connect to your Gmail Drive. Now you have at your disposal 7.5GB of storage space in the web, storage you can access from anywhere, anytime. There is, however, one minor issue we need to take care of before we start using our new Gmail Drive…

 

Filtering Gmail Drive’s Messages on your Inbox

Using your Gmail a account to store files means these files will get stored as email attachments, therefore, every single time you create a folder or add a file to your Gmail Drive, you will see an email on your mailbox with “GMAILFS” on the subject. If this is your main email account, this can get pretty annoying after a while. To solve this problem we are going to filter these emails, so that every time one is created it will automatically disappear from your inbox and moves to a folder (or label) specially created to store Gmail Drive’s emails.

For this example I have created three folders inside the Gmail Drive.

As you can see in the image below I received three emails on my inbox; one for every folder I created. You cannot delete these emails, otherwise your data will be deleted! However, you filter them so they do not annoy you.

We are going to be creating a folder where these emails are going to go to automatically as soon as they are generated. In Gmail terms a folder is called a “Label“.

To create a label, on Gmail’s left hand side column, click on “more” to display additional menu items. Then click on “Create new label“. Give your new label a name; for this example I named the label “Gmail drive”. Your new label will appear on the same left hand side column.

Log in to your Gmail account and on the top left corner, click on the small gear icon. Then click on “Mail Settings“.

Once Gmail Settings page opens, click on “Filters“, then click on “Create New Filter“.

On the next page, we are going to filter all emails that have the word GMAILFS on the subject. So, under the Subject field enter the word “GMAILFS” and click on the “Next Step” button to continue.

On the following configuration page, check “Skip the inbox” to move the email as soon as it gets generated. Also check “Apply the label:” and make sure you select the label you created from the drop down menu next to it. Next, check “Also apply filter to _ conversations below” so that once the filter is created, it will move all emails already existing on your inbox to your new folder (or label). Finally, click on “Create Filter“.

Final Thoughts

Using Gmail as storage is a great way to get a virtual drive with a good amount of space fast and free. Its would-be competitors, Ubuntu One and Dropbox, only offer a mere 2GB of storage space. In the case of Dropbox you can increase that amount up to 10GB by referring people you know. But each friend you refer will give you only 250mb extra space; that means that to get to the 7.5GB Gmail offers you, you would need to convince 22 friends to join.

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