Managing a cluttered inbox can be the bane of an email user’s existence. For many of us, there are also multiple inboxes to consider: a work address, a personal address, and that extra address we use to sign up for (and later cancel) free trials on everything from streaming services to restaurant coupons.
Even if you manage to keep your email in one account, you might still be overwhelmed by digital junk mail. If your Gmail inbox is slowing you down and affecting your productivity, read on for an easy how-to guide on deleting multiple emails in Gmail and getting your inbox under control once and for all.
Using Filters in Gmail
In many cases, Gmail users are unaware of how to quickly sort their emails. For example, if you open your inbox and go to the search bar at the top of the page, you can type in your desired search criteria.
Under the search bar, you will also see an advanced search button. You can press that to create your own specific filter. For example, you might be looking for an email from your travel agency for a cruise you booked six months ago: you can designate the recipient, dates, and more in this section.
Once you get a handle on using filters, it becomes that much easier to quickly find and define large groups of emails you are ready to delete.
Selecting All Messages for Deletion
Now that you know how to filter for specific messages, you have a workaround available to Gmail’s default view of 50 emails.
Normally you would select All messages, including the default 50 emails. However, once you have made that selection, you will see an option at the top of the messages that reads, Select all conversations that match this search.
Next, you can simply delete the entire selection with one click of the delete button (the trash can icon) just above the messages.
How to Mass Delete Specific Emails in Gmail
Maybe your inbox is full of promotional emails, and you want to learn how to delete all of them at once. Or maybe you want to delete all unread emails. This is pretty easy to do, also.
To delete all promotional emails from your inbox:
- Log into your Gmail account
- Go to the Promotions category on the left-hand side of the screen
- Click the box at the top of the email and select ALL
- Click Delete
To delete all of your unread messages:
- Log into your Gmail account
- Type in is:unread in your search bar and hit enter
- Click that top checkbox again and select ALL
- Click Delete
How to Mass Delete Gmail Emails by Date
Have emails from specific dates you want to delete at once? To delete these old emails, start by logging into your Gmail account, and from there, you can type before:YYYY/MM/DD in the search bar, replacing the letters with the actual dates for the emails you want to delete.
Once you have entered the date, hit enter and click that top checkbox again. Click ALL like you have done in the other steps and then the delete button.
How to Organize Emails by Labels
If you are constantly overwhelmed by an inbox of 58,746 emails but hesitant to delete things you think you might need in the future, use Gmail labels to organize emails into easy groups where you can find things later.
For example, you might categorize your emails by common areas, such as:
- Household bills
- School activities
To utilize labels, select the message in your inbox, then click on the icon with a right-pointing arrow at the top of the screen, which is the move to function. Once you check that icon, you will see options, including create new and you can make the label you want to use for that particular subject and move the email. This removes it from your inbox and stores it in the new folder.
Once you have created labels, you can continue moving emails to those areas by selecting the email and clicking move to icon, and all your labels will appear alphabetically. This is one of the easiest ways to keep an inbox clean while storing items you may need to reference later.
Deleting Gmail Emails by Folder:
If you no longer need the emails in a specific folder, click Settings and See All Settings. You then click the Label tab, find the folder you wish to delete and click Remove.
If you try to delete labels in the Android Gmail app, you will find you cannot do so. However, you can still edit and delete labels on your device through a browser. To delete labels, you have to access Gmail’s desktop version.
Deleting by Mistake: How Can I Get My Email Back?
If you accidentally deleted emails you intended to keep in a rush to clean up your inbox, you may feel the panic set in after quickly clicking that trash can icon. The good news is: the trash has not been emptied yet!
When you delete emails in Gmail, they are stored in the trash for 30 days. On the left-hand side of your screen, you will see a menu of folders, including one labeled trash. If you click on the trash folder, you will see that all of the recently deleted emails are stored there.
You can use the search bar to find your specific email or select groups of emails, then go back to the move to button you used earlier (the right-pointing arrow) and move them back into your inbox or specific labels you have created. Crisis averted!
If you are certain of the emails you deleted and want to throw them away, simply click empty trash now, which appears just above the emails in the trash.
And there you have it. As you can see, it is easy enough to keep a clean Gmail account. All it really requires is some time and discipline to keep everything tidy and organized. Now you know how to delete multiple Gmail emails simultaneously to speed up your experience.