How to delete all emails from Gmail the smart way | Expert Reviews

While the gmail interface is generally very simple to use and understand, it makes it a nightmare to work with a large number of emails at the same time, unless you know a couple of little tricks.

here we will show you how to delete absolutely everything in gmail and also how to delete all emails from certain senders and with certain keywords. The latter methods are useful if you receive a lot of email newsletters and never delete them. The good news is that with these tricks you can quickly sort large amounts of emails in one go.

how to select all

first, it pays to know how to select everything. To do this, click the checkbox at the top of the page to select all emails on that page. look carefully (see image below) and you will see a message appear saying “all xx conversations on this page are selected”. select all xx conversations in xxx’.

click the link in that message to select all gmail messages that match your search (if you haven’t searched, this will apply to all messages in your current view).

1. delete all emails

Deleting all your emails in gmail is simple: open gmail, select the inbox tab you want to delete (main, promotions, etc) and click on the little empty box in the upper left corner, right above the compose button. this will select everything on the current page of your inbox.

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As we mentioned before, if you have more than 50 emails, you’ll also need to click ‘select all xxx conversations in primary’ (xxx will be the total number of emails, while the primary ones will be promotions or social media if I’m clearing a different inbox tab).

click the bin/trash can icon to remove them all. They will be moved to the Gmail Trash, so you can always head there to retrieve anything you don’t want to delete. be careful, gmail removes items from trash after 30 days. you can use this technique to make a more refined selection and delete specific emails.

2. remove email from a tag

if you have emails in tags, you can delete all your emails similar to step 1.

select the tag you want in the left panel and then use the checkbox next to compose to select all posts on one page. if you have more emails, click the ‘select all xxx conversations…’ link to select all. then hit the delete button to move everything to the trash.

3. delete all unread emails

To delete all unread emails, type: is:unread or lable:unread in the search box. this will find any email that is marked as unread anywhere.

again, you can select and delete all your emails by following the instructions above. you can use similar is:read to find all read emails.

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4. delete all email using a search

The trick here is knowing what to write. These are the most common commands:

  • tag:<tag name> gives you all emails from a label, like label:inbox to search only your inbox
  • a:<email address>, allows you to search all messages to a person
  • from :<email address> finds all messages from a person.

don’t forget that you can chain multiple requests, so: ‘label:inbox is:unread from:bill@microsoft.com’ will find all unread emails from bill gates in your inbox. you can also use ‘or’ between search terms. In the example above, you would find all emails in your inbox, all unread emails, all emails in your inbox, and all emails from bill gates, regardless of where they are. once you’ve narrowed down your search, you can select all the emails that are returned and delete them all at once.

gmail actually has some very powerful search options built in, beyond what I’ve shown you how to use. Google’s excellent advanced search page shows you how to use all the different operators to find what you’re looking for.

for example, has:attachment, shows you emails with attachments, which can help you clean your inbox of large messages.

You can also use the size filter to search for messages that are larger than a defined size in bytes: size:1000000 will find any email that is larger than 1mb; you’re better off using the larger or smaller options, which allow abbreviations. for example, large:10m will find any message that is larger than 10,000,000 bytes (10mb). By using these search options along with my tips, you can quickly shrink your inbox down to a more manageable size.

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