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How and Why Gmail Free Space Counter Increase

Samyak Lalit | October 11, 2012 (Last update: September 23, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

Google launched its email service, branded as Gmail, on 1 April 2004. This new service became instantly popular for it brought a fresh approach to email and inbox. Gmail came loaded with a lot of feature (many of which were based on Ajax); among these features was the bigger free storage than any other email providers. On first anniversary of Gmail, Georges Harik, the product management director for Gmail, said that Google will “keep giving people more space forever”. And since then Gmail folks have been constantly innovating new features.

Image of Gmail storage space counter

Gmail storage space counter

The ever ticking free space counter we see on Gmail home page keeps on reminding us that Google is continuously offering more and more free space and we will never run out of email storage.

How does Gmail Storage Space Counter Increase?

Google uses a JavaScript code that increases storage capacity counter by 4 bytes every second. Then this code displays the latest amount of storage on Gmail home page. This means you get a tiny 4 bytes every second. Tiny it is –but over a period of time, this tiny per second addition becomes significant storage space. Have a look:

In one second => 4 bytes

In an hour => 4 x 60 x 60 = 14400 bytes

In a day => 14400 x 24 = 345600 bytes

In a month => 345600 x 30 = 10368000 bytes = 10368 KB   = 10.3 MB

In a year => 10.3 x 12 = 123.6 MB

So, at the current rate, you are getting 123.36 MB of free Gmail space every year. If you need more, you can always buy it from Google.

ALSO READ: How you can export Gmail contacts

Why does the Gmail Storage Counter Increase?

It is basically a smart way of advertising a product feature. Ever ticking counter is a visual reminder that your email space is increasing by every second. Psychologically it assures Gmail users that they will never run out of space and will never have to delete emails to save space (it was a common practice a decade ago). Google is encouraging users to keep everything without worries of diminishing free space.

Present Status of Gmail Storage

On 24 April 2012, Gmail’s storage space was increased from 7.5 GB to 10 GB. At the time when this article is being written the total free space available stands at 10299.206293 MB.


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