• SilenceIsGolden

    As I said, I don’t have GoogleMail. That said, I’m pretty sure it has some of the basic features other online mail has: sorting by date; filter for read mail; mass highlighting to delete a bunch of mails at once, …

    Here’s a guess: try changing the settings that you can see as many mails as possible at a time, then sort by date, see if there’s a checkbox somewhere to mark all emails in that view, click delete. You will likely have to repeat this several times.

    Or: while you’re POPing into Thunderbird, choose to delete the mail you’ve received.

    The Bat! is an offline mail software I bought {mumble-mumble} yeeeeears ago at a student discount. I stopped updating once they introduced support for composing HTML mail (superfluous bandwidth waste, in my mind), so it might give you a hint, how old it is. It’s still around (www.ritlabs.com/en/products/thebat/), if you’d like to check it out.

    If all of that above sounded like a complicated mess to you, I would suggest you find an intro to email management somewhere. (I’m not being mean, I just can’t help you that much here, not knowing what you might or might not know.)

    Good luck!! :-)

  • davidroper


    It’s wonderful for Thunderbird to be able to allow me to save as TEXT my old emails.

    But I need for GMAIL to get me the tool to DELETE the old emails after I have them safely on a DVD or CD or SSD somewhere for future use.

    What is this THE BAT you speak of ? Tell me, O Ghuru of email :-)

  • SilenceIsGolden

    I believe you meant the second paragraph and the link for [@davidroper], I don’t have mail at Google, but I was offering to help in general as I’ve never stopped POPing my mail and still use The Bat! :-)

  • Enrique

    [@SilenceIsGolden] You’re welcome :)

    It doesn’t seem like there’s a service that does this exact same thing to every single kind of account, and I think that finding something like that might be difficult because of the differences in how the different internet services are built.

    But besides Google and their numerous services, I believe Facebook and Twitter easily allow you to export all your data. As for email, Ashraf made a pretty handy post that should help you out there:


    If anyone knows of a tested service like SilenceIsGolden is describing, feel free to chime in! :)

  • davidroper


    Thanks. Funny you should tell me this, as I just 3 days ago, installed TB and noticed it grabbed my Gmails automatically. I had used TB years ago in DOS land, but was just goofing around and installed TB for kicks to remember it.

    Thanks again as I will be making a couple of CD today containing my TEXT files. Now, if GMAIL would just allow me to delete many years worth of old emails. As in “Delete 01/01/1990 to 12/31/2011” for instance.

  • SilenceIsGolden

    Thanks [@enrique] for this. I’m not a Google fan and become more and more wary of their invasiveness into people’s lives. However, this is still a laudable attempt on their part — even though it might just be grounded in their own attempts to rid their servers of stuff that’s no longer needed by anybody.

    I was wondering if you — or somebody else — might have come across a service similar to this, but more generic, where you could just add all kinds of accounts you have online (e.g. a blog site at WordPress.com, numerous other email services, etc) that could be terminated by somebody (like a surviving family member) in a secure fashion (like here, by setting a dormant period and offering check-back mobile phone notifications).

    I’ve searched for something like that, but so far in vain.

  • SilenceIsGolden

    [@davidroper] I’m not sure I understand you correctly …

    Are you saying you would like to download your own emails from Gmail right now? Or would you like to leave instructions on how somebody could do this after you’ve died?

    Either way, it’s not difficult to set up an email software like Thunderbird (free, from the Firefox people) to download your messages from Gmail. You can sort all email (online or offline) by date and then either print them (as PDF or on paper) or save them in .txt format.

    Is that what you meant?

  • davidroper

    i wish they would allow someway to delete emails of a certain time period. I don’t need nand don’t want all the space they give me. I would like for the deleted files to be downloaded to my HD so I can burn it on a DVD in TXT format, good old searchable TXT in ASCII.

    Would not that serve this death cancel idea as well? Then the family could hold a copy of old emails of their loved one?