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How To Avail Gmail’s Huge Space To Back Up Files?

Updated on October 22, 2011

Gmailtook the internet world by storm as it revolutionised the web-mail like never before. Among other features, was its trump card, the 1GB storage space, which set the trend for other services. To make the most out of Gmail and its huge space, several developers have come up with extensions for Firefox web browser. Today, we will explore a couple of such add-ons that bring more Gmail power to your machine.


Ever wondered if you could use the mammoth Gmail space to backup files? If yes, then Gspace extension is for you. Forget about building free webhosting and FTP accounts to upload and download files. With this free Firefox plug-in, backing up file is a cinch.

Download this extension from GetGspace and after installation, access it from Firefox menu Tools > Gspace. Press Manage Accounts button and enter your user name and password but keep Remember Password option unchecked for security reasons. Now press Login. At the top right hand side, current progress is shown as ‘Please wait'. It will take a minute or two to log in. Meanwhile, take a look at the extension interface which is divided in four panels along with a top bar and a bottom status bar.

The first two panels are similar to standard Windows Explorer or FTP - showing local files on the left titled ‘My Computer' and uploaded files on the right titled ‘My Gspace'. The third pane is titled Transfers: it shows the upload progress; while the fourth pane displays status and informational messages, like ‘Login is in progress. Please wait...'.

Now its time to upload a few files to see how it works. Right click on ‘My Gspace' pane and select Create Directory. All the uploads will now be managed in this folder. Double click this folder and see that the address bar in the pane now shows ‘gs:/Test' (if new folder's name was Test). Note that ‘gs' is sort of a virtual drive that is used to reference files and folders managed by Gspace. From the ‘My Computer, pane on the left, right-click a file - preferably a smaller size for now and then select upload. It appears in Transfers pane below and progress bar is shown similar to a download manager tool, except that here it is to upload. Uploaded files appear instantly in My Gspace pane as expected and can be managed like any other file manager would have allowed. For example, rename, move, copy and delete.

Let us quickly browse through some of the assorted options of Gspace. The top bar can be used to switch between accounts, to logout, to open inbox in a new window or to change the default usage mode. Gspace provides four modes of usage: file transfer, drive, player and photo mode. Each works the way its name suggests. Unless otherwise required, there is no need to change the default mode.

Lastly, there is a Preference button allowing some advanced settings. Here, un-checking the default option of viewing thumbnails of images can speed up the work. Harmful extension list includes ZIP by default which one might want to remove if usual backups are taken in this popular format.

The status bar at the bottom shows status, user name, Gmail space utilised and total available in KBs.

How to setup Gmail to get most out of Gspace?

As soon as files are uploaded through Gspace, your Gmail inbox would show mails with long un-friendly subjects - something like GSPACE | | 414 | 1 | 2 | 208 | gs:/gspace_ext/ d$. Let' us not go into the details of what it deciphers to. Simply, put this subject line tells Gspace all that it needs to know to retrieve files and show it correctly inside its panels.

But obviously, you would not want such mails to pile up in the Inbox, so the way out is to make a filter. In Gmail, go to Settings to create a filter that will archive all Gspace mails automatically so that they do not clutter the Inbox. While setting up the filter, set the ‘From' and ‘To' fields to show your own email address and in ‘Subject' field, enter ‘gspace' as all Gspace upload mails contain this word in Subject. Test the filter using ‘Test Search' and ensure the uploaded files are shown. This is a good time to set apply label ‘Gspace' option using ‘Apply the label' dropdown.

Finally, set the action of moving files from the inbox and archive them by checking ‘Skip the inbox (Archive it)' field and check apply filter to the searched items as well. From now on, all the Gspace uploaded files will get auto archived and labelled - this has not impact on the way Gspace retrieves and displays files.

Better Gmail

Another useful extension is Better Gmail which provides a set of functions to save time. For example, all the email addresses appearing in web-pages by default result in Gmail compose. Then there is attachment reminder, icons, TinyURL a selected link, label colours, skin and a lot more. All in all, it is, with over 25 useful enhancements making the extension a must for any Gmail enthusiast.

Extensions merely extend the functionalities of Gmail. Nevertheless, Gmail has its own set of very powerful features which is one of the reasons why so many users have switched over. Gmail provides free SMTP and POP service, which means users can use email client software like Outlook (for Windows) and Evolution (for Ubuntu) for downloading emails directly to PC and replying offline.

Gmail also offers free forwarding (rule based as well) so you can have all your mails diverted to another address.

With one of the best spam guards around and habit of coming up with regular innovations like with-in email chatting, use of labels instead of folders, use of Ajax to speed things up, Gmail is constantly setting new benchmarks.


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    • KarynHill profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for a really useful hub.


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