Mass deleting emails in Gmail

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I am horrible about deleting emails, and I suspect I’m not the only email hoarder around. Today when my inbox reached 11,000-plus, I decided to tackle it.

Once upon a time I deleted all of the emails in my inbox, but I couldn’t figure it out again and the tutorials I found online were too complicated. I didn’t want to create new filters with special parameters and dates, I just wanted to delete emails.

I first began deleting them 50 at a time, using the select all unread feature, but that was taking forever.

Mass deleting is almost an elusive feature of Gmail, but this tutorial will help you zero out your inbox in 60 seconds or less.

Mass deleting emails in Gmail

1. In the upper right hand side of the screen, you’ll see a dropdown menu (in Priority Inbox view; to change to this view go to Settings>Inbox>Inbox type>Priority Inbox). Click that and select ‘Show more messages.’ I usually have 50 items showing in my inbox, but this will allow you to view/select more.

Mass deleting emails in Gmail

2. Across the screen on the left side, click on the dropdown menu that allows you to chose a select option; you want to choose ‘All’.

Mass deleting emails in Gmail

3. When you do that, you’ll get a message at the top of your inbox that says ‘All 100 conversations on this page are selected. Select all XX conversations in Unread.’ Click that link, which will select every unread conversation you have (and not just the last 50 or 100).

Mass deleting emails in Gmail

4. When you click the link and select all of your unread conversations, the box’s background changes to yellow.

Mass deleting emails in Gmail

5. Once everything’s been selected, you’ll want to either archive or delete all of these emails. Archiving – which is done by clicking the folder icon near the last dropdown menu you used – will allow you to go back and search your emails later in case you accidentally deleted something you need. Deleting – which is done by clicking the trash can icon – deletes your emails permanently. Whatever action you choose will affect everything selected, which is what you want to do.

Mass deleting emails in Gmail

And then? You’re done!

How easy was that? A lot easier than cleaning out the Tupperware cabinet, I assure you.

 

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