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Deleting older messages frees up storage space and makes future searches faster too.
In the case of Gmail, there's no automatic way to wipe old emails, so you'll need to remind yourself to do it regularly. The search term you need to put in the box at the top of the web interface is "older_than:" followed by your time period. Use "older_than:1y" to find emails older than a year, for instance, or "older_than:6m" to find emails older than 6 months.
With the search results on screen, you can select all the matching messages (use the check box to the top left) and erase them.
Twitter is the social network that you're probably most interested in when it comes to expunging older messages, and it's also the one that offers the most tools for the job.
If you want to keep a copy of your messages on your computer before you wipe them from the web, you can download your archive by opening Twitter Settings on the web and choosing Your account and Download an archive of your data.
Deleting older files you have stored in the cloud is less about protecting you from the prying eyes of others and more about keeping yourself organized (and limiting the amount of money you spend on cloud storage every month).
In the case of Dropbox on the web, you can quickly view and remove the oldest ones by sorting them by their modified date (use the tick boxes on the left to select files, then click the three dots and Delete to wipe them).
For Google Drive on the web, look for the Last modified column heading. Use Ctrl+Click to select multiple files then the trash can icon to delete them
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