It’s not uncommon to see people with hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of emails in their Gmail inbox. Most of those are old or junk emails, which are too tedious to sort through. Gmail has a built-in method to mass delete emails, which is easily done using one of the best Chromebooks.
Let’s take a look at how to delete a large number of emails in one fell swoop.
How to mass delete emails in your Gmail inbox
If you know you don’t need any of your emails, delete them all and start fresh. To do so
- Open Gmail.
- Click Inbox on the left.
- Check the checkbox near the top of the page.
- A message tells you that you’ve only selected the messages on this page. Click the text that says Select all conversations in Primary.
- Click the trashcan-shaped Delete button.
All your emails are now in your Trash and out of your Inbox. Now let’s take a look at how to delete certain categories of emails.
How to delete certain categories of emails in Gmail
Sometimes, you may only want to delete certain categories of emails. To do this:
- Navigate to Gmail.
- Select the category you want to delete. For example, one of the premade Gmail categories, such as Promotions or Social, or a label you created.
- Check the box above the email list.
- Gmail notifies you that you selected the emails on the page. Click the hyperlink to Select all conversations in the category you’re in.
- Tap the Delete button.
All emails in your selected category are now deleted. Let’s look at how to delete emails with a specific characteristic.
How to delete emails of a certain characteristic in Gmail
You may have a need to delete all emails from a certain person or before a certain date. Gmail makes this easy using its robust search function.
Delete email from a sender
Let’s start by looking at how to delete emails from a single sender.
- Log in to Gmail.
- In the search bar at the top, enter the address of the sender.
- Select the checkbox at the top.
- Select the text that says Select all conversations that match this search.
- Click the Delete button.
Delete email before a specified data
You’ve now deleted all emails from the selected sender. Now, let’s see how to delete all emails before a certain date.
- In Gmail, tap the search box and enter before: YYYY/MM/DD. If the month or day has a single digit, you don’t have to add a zero (for example, 2019/2/2 instead of 2019/02/02).
- Select the checkbox at the top so that it’s checked.
- Click the Select all conversations that match this search text.
- Click the Delete button.
All emails you have before the selected date are now in the trash.
Delete read or unread emails
You may also find it useful to delete all read or unread emails if you know they’re all junk.
- On the Gmail main screen, go to the search box and type label:read or label:unread.
- When the results appear, check the checkbox near the top of the page.
- Tap Select all conversations that match this search.
- Clickthe Delete button
All unread emails are now in the trash. This method for finding and mass deleting emails is applicable to any search with Gmail’s advanced search filters. This useful feature helps keep your inbox organized.
How to delete emails in Gmail forever
Emails in Gmail that are in the trash are automatically deleted after 30 days. However, if you’d like to dispose of your emails sooner, you can delete them forever.
- Click Trash on the left side (tap More and scroll down if you don’t see it).
- Check the check box near the top of the page.
- A message tells you that you’ve only selected the messages on this page. Click the text that says Select all conversations in Trash.
- Click the Delete forever button.
Those emails are now gone forever. If you want to bring an email back from the trash instead of deleting it forever, Gmail allows you to do so.
How to recover emails in Gmail
When cleaning out your inbox, you might delete emails you didn’t mean to. Gmail includes a way to recover any emails deleted by accident.
- On the left (you may have to tap More and scroll down), select Trash.
- Check the boxes next to the emails you want to restore.
- Press the Move button (shaped like a folder with an arrow on it).
- Select the name of the folder you want to move the selected emails to.
Your emails are now moved to the folder you’ve selected and are out of the trash. If you’ve deleted an email forever, you are unable to recover it since it’s gone forever.
Ctrl, Alt, Delete
Deleting numerous emails in Gmail is easy. You can delete all emails in a certain label or category or emails found through a search with a couple of clicks. Gmail also has a number of keyboard shortcuts to make emailing a breeze.