How to Delete Every Email at Once in Gmail

Gmail’s generous free storage space is a double-edged sword. The ease of having free gigabytes of data makes cleaning up our email the last of our priorities, leaving us with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of emails to go through.

and while seeing 6484 emails can be intimidating, clearing everything up to start fresh is surprisingly easy.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to delete all emails at once (also known as bulk deletion) with just a few clicks.

so let’s get started.

how to delete all emails from your gmail mailbox

To delete all emails from your gmail mailbox, all you need is a laptop, your gmail account, and a few minutes of your time.

This is how it’s done:

Step #1 – Choose the email category you want to delete

once you open your gmail mailbox, you will see that all your emails are segmented into three categories:

  • primary
  • social
  • promotions

the easiest way to delete emails in gmail is to approach them by category, i.e. delete emails from one category after another.

To summarize, we’ll show you how to remove the main category from your email, after which you can apply the same steps for the other two categories.

select the tab (in our case, the main one) you want to delete with a click.

Step #2: Click the checkbox to select all emails

In the top left of the screen, just below the search mail search bar, you’ll see a small checkbox. mark it.

Doing this will select all emails on the page that add up to 50 emails. if you have more than 50 main emails, you won’t get everything. we’ll deal with the remaining core emails in our next step.

each selected email will turn a darker shade. this also means that each and every one of these emails will be deleted.

Step #3 – Select the remaining emails that are not displayed on the previous page

after checking the checkbox, you will find that everything on the page, leaving the inbox ads, has been selected.

you will see a little text at the top of the screen that says: “all 50 conversations on this page are selected. select all x conversations in primary.”

This is your shortcut to delete all emails in your promotions inbox.

hover over the second sentence and press it. everything in the category will now be highlighted and ready to be deleted.

Step #4: Confirm bulk action and press delete

select the trash can icon located below the search bar. it is shaped like a garbage can.

A popup will appear on your screen asking you to confirm if you want to delete x number of emails.

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click accept.

step #5: wait for confirmation of the bulk action

If you have thousands of emails, this can take a bit of time. Since we only had 955 conversations, it only took a few seconds.

Once the process is complete, you will see a small confirmation popup at the bottom left of the screen. looks like this:

if you hit the refresh button, you’ll find that everything is really gone and your main mailbox is empty of emails.

step #6: empty your trash and repeat the process for other categories

Your home folder is now empty, but that doesn’t mean the deleted emails are gone from your gmail.

You see, once you hit the delete button, all emails are stored in your junk folder for about 30 days. only once this period of time ends, google will remove it.

If you want to speed up the process, you can go to the Trash and empty it manually. Once you’re done, repeat the same process for your social and promotion categories.

in the end, you will have a new and clean gmail, ready to use.

how to delete all emails on mobile

Our mobile phones are devices that are always connected to us. so it makes sense to discuss how you can delete your emails directly from your mobile phone.

Next, we will go through the steps to empty your gmail account for both android and ios.

how to delete all emails on ios

this is how you can delete all your email correspondence from your ipad or iphone:

Step #1: Open the gmail app on your iPhone or iPad.

Step #2: Select the folder where the emails you want to delete are located.

Step #3: From your email list, tap the round thumbnail that represents the user’s profile picture. this should convert the thumbnail to checkboxes.

Step #4: Select the email you want to delete from your mailbox, and then tap trash bin (indicated by the trash can icon) on the top of your device screen. screen.

step 5: repeat the process until you delete all your emails.

As you may have noticed, this is not the best way to delete your emails. even more so if you want to delete all correspondence in your mailbox. using a desktop computer to clean your gmail is definitely the most convenient option.

how to delete all emails in android

Now, let’s focus on cleaning your gmail for android devices. just follow the steps below for a clean mailbox:

step #1: open your gmail account.

Step #2: Open the folder that contains the emails you want to delete.

Step #3: Tap the icon to the left of the email you want to delete. you can also long press the message to select it.

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Step #4: Tap the other icons next to the other email you want to remove from your gmail mailbox.

image source: lifewire

Step #5: Tap the delete icon at the top of the screen.

all selected messages will now be deleted and stored in your trash folder.

again, this is a very time consuming way to clean your mailbox, just like ios. it’s much better to use a desktop or laptop.

how to delete your old emails

You can have emails from more than three years ago (or more!) thanks to the storage capacity of gmail.

Fortunately, you can delete them all at once without having to manually scroll down in gmail just to locate them. this is how you can remove your old email from your gmail:

Step #1 – Find old emails by date

In the search bar, type the date in yyyy/dd/mm format. this will automatically filter emails before a certain date.

image source: boxysuite

For example, if you type before: 01/01/2014, you will see a list of all emails you received before January 1, 2014.

Similarly, you can also search for emails based on their age.

If you type old_than:1y, you’ll see a list of all emails that are older than a year. in the same way, you can use m for months or d for days.

Step #2: Select the checkbox to delete the emails

after you have selected the time period to delete your emails, click the checkbox.

Image Source: BoxySuite

Follow this by clicking select all conversations matching this search, and finally press the delete button.

voila! all your old emails will end up in the trash.

how to delete emails automatically

To make things even more convenient, you can set up a filter to automatically remove old emails from your mailbox. this is how this is done:

Step #1: Log in to your gmail account and click the settings icon. It’s the small gear-shaped icon in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Step #2: In the dropdown menu, click view all settings.

Step #3: Click on the filters and blocked addresses tab on the top menu bar. from there, select the option to create a new filter.

step #4: type the following in the field has the words:


for x, you must type the time period you prefer to delete old messages. you can also use d for days, w for weeks, m for months, and y for years.

step 5: click create filter.

Step 6: You will see a pop-up asking you to confirm if you want to create the filter. select ok.

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Step #7: Tick the box right beside the option labeled Delete it and the box beside Also apply filter to.

step 8: select create filter.

all your emails older than the date you specified will be automatically deleted.

for future deletion:

Step #1: Go to the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab and click edit next to the filter you created to delete old messages.

step #2: click continuein the section that appears with your search criteria. the screen should resemble the section that appeared when you originally configured the filter.

Step #3: Check the box next to the also apply filter to option.

step #4: select update filter.

this will re-delete all your messages before the time period you specified.

3 reasons to delete tons of emails

You may be wondering why you should go to the trouble of deleting all your emails when you already have gigabytes of extra storage space courtesy of google.

Well, there are solid reasons why you should keep your mailbox in tip-top condition.

most emails lose their value over time

The sole purpose of sending emails is to pass information. now when you have emails from six years ago, the message is probably worthless right now.

Imagine you have emails from an employee who left your company three years ago. Just think about it: what’s the point of saving an ex-employee’s emails?

That said, it makes sense to have emails that contain important information. but if your emails are redundant, it is better to click on the trash.

human and computer search speed

You can neatly organize all your emails into different folders belonging to a specific client or project. but nobody can deny that it is much easier to visually scan a list of 40 emails instead of 400.

In fact, even if you use gmail’s filtering option to reduce the number of results, it doesn’t outweigh the convenience of seeing a shorter list. And not just humans, but even our computers take longer to filter a dataset that contains more records.

In other words, having less is more in terms of performing a search.

local system performance

In addition to search speed, the more email your local email program has in memory, the less it has for the rest of your operating system. As a result, your email program will take longer to start and sync with the server.

even your backups will take longer and eventually grow to unacceptable sizes. Even though hard drive space prices are getting cheaper, it’s much better to have it more manageable.

in short, delete your old emails!

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