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How to Delete All Of Your Emails in Gmail (Declutter Your Inbox)

May 27, 2022
Author
Inkit Team

Ever wanted to have one big red button to declutter your whole inbox and delete all of your emails in Gmail?

If you’re like most people, your Gmail account is spilling over with many unnecessary emails. 

It’s the nature of having an email account in general, especially given the frequency in which junk mail arrives. 

But that doesn’t mean you have to let your Gmail remain full.

Unfortunately, there is no one-click solution to clear your whole inbox. 

Though, if you’re looking to declutter your inbox, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’re going to cover all the different ways to delete all of your emails, based on custom filters, specifics dates, and more.

We’ve compiled a handy guide that details the steps you need to take in order to reduce your email count. Whether it’s your spam folder, sent messages, or otherwise, we have the answers you seek. So keep reading to learn how easy it is to delete large volumes of emails all at once.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Gmail Filters 101: Creating Custom Filters to Delete Emails
  • How to Delete 50 Emails in Gmail
  • How to Mass-Delete All Emails (More than 50) In Gmail
  • How to Delete All Unread Emails in Gmail
  • How to Clean Spam and Trash Folders in Gmail

Gmail Filters 101: Creating Custom Filters to Delete Emails

You probably know that you can delete messages one at a time. It’s as easy as clicking on the trash can icon after opening a message. 

But is there a way to delete all emails in Gmail? 

Not quite.

If you want to delete emails from within a specific time date or based on custom filters, here’s what you need to know.

What are Gmail filters?

Filters in Gmail allow you to redirect emails as soon as they land in your inbox. Which saves you the trouble of sorting and having to manage your emails manually.

If you receive a lot of emails and newsletters from certain domains, you can separate them in your inbox, based on tags, labels, or different categories.

There are two ways to create a filter in Gmail to manage your emails: with the search bar and through settings

We’ll cover both below.

How to create a custom filter in Gmail with the search bar

  1. Go to the Gmail search bar and type in a keyword or email address you'd like to filter out.
  2. Then click on the search options button on the right.
filter button on gmail homepage
  1. Then, you can create filters based on:
  • Who the emails are from.
  • Who you sent the emails to. In case you want to delete all of your emails sent to a specific person.
  • A specific subject line text.
  • Includes a specific keyword.
  • Does not include a specific keyword.
  • Has a specific size limit, in case you want to declutter your inbox based on emails with big attachments.
  • Or they're within a certain time frame.

Here’s an example of a custom filter you can use to track down certain emails in your inbox.

banner for creating a custom filter to look into your email

How to create a custom filter in Gmail from settings

Another way to create a custom filter in Gmail is through the settings.

Here’s how:

  1. Click on the gear icon on the top right corner of your Gmail screen.
gear icon in the tp right corner of your gmail that will open the settings page
  1. Go to the filters and blocked addresses section.
opening the filters and blocked addressed buttons
  1. Click on create a new filter or import filters.
create a new filter or import and already made one
  1. Creating a new filter will open a dropdown menu, similar to the one we covered above. Apply filters similar as above to find all of your emails that match that custom filter.
create a new custom filter

Here's a quick overview of all the actions you can perform with Gmail filters:

  • Skip the inbox.
  • Mark as read.
  • Star important messages.
  • Apply a custom label.
  • Forward it to a different email.
  • Delete it.
  • Never send it to spam.
  • Always or never mark as important.
  • Categorize as.

This will help you organize your inbox to find specific messages you want to delete.

For example, if you wanted to delete certain emails from a specific month or emails with PDF attachments.

Then, once you’ve filtered down your emails from your inbox, here’s how to mass delete all the messages.

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How to Delete 50 Emails in Gmail

Depending on what your inbox looks like (we won’t judge), you can either use custom filters as we covered above to filter them down to a more manageable size. And then delete the emails.

Or you can simply start from your inbox at delete 50 emails at a time. But don’t worry, we’ll also show you how to delete more than 50 emails in Gmail below as well.

It’s actually very straightforward and easy!

Here’s how you can delete 50 emails at a time from your inbox.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. On the main inbox page, look for a small row of icons directly above your inbox.
  3. You should see a square icon with a tiny arrow pointing down (right side of the square).
  4. Click this square (a checkmark will appear inside of it).
  5. You now have a new set of icons, but ignore those for the time being.
  6. Instead, you should see text directly below the icons that read “All 50 conversations on this page are selected.”.
check the square icon to select all the emails in the inbox
  1. When you’re ready to confirm the deletion of these 50 messages, locate the trash can icon directly above the text.
  2. Once you click on it, the deletion occurs instantaneously—you won’t get a message asking you to confirm.
  3. However, you can undo the action if you click the “Undo” message that briefly pops up at the bottom left of the screen.
move all the emails selected to Trash
  1. If you wish to review the messages you just deleted, you can always click “More” from the left-hand menu and go to “Trash”.

To delete these messages permanently, simply highlight them again in the trash folder and delete them again. 

On a side note, when you perform this same function on messages in your spam folder, it permanently deletes the messages instead of sending them to your trash folder.

How to Mass-Delete All Emails (More than 50) In Gmail

As you can see, it’s a pretty straightforward process to delete 50 messages from Gmail. 

But chances are that you have a lot more unwanted messages lurking about your inbox. 

So what if you wish to delete more than 50 messages at a time?

Here’s how to mass delete your emails in Gmail:

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. On the main inbox page, locate the small row of icons directly above your inbox.
  3. Click the square icon, and a checkmark will appear inside of it.
  4. Once again, you will see the text that reads, “All 50 conversations on this page are selected.”
  5. But instead of clicking the trash can icon, look directly to the right of the above text.
  6. It should read “Select all XXXX conversations in Primary”
when deleting the whole inbox, click on "Select all conversations in Primary"
  1. Click on that text.
  2. It will now read, “All XXX conversations in Primary are selected.
  3. And next to it will be an option that says “Clear selection”
  4. If you click on “Clear selection,” it will revert back to normal and “uncheck” your messages.
  5. But if you click on the trash can icon, every single message in your inbox will be deleted.
  6. As with the steps before, you can undo the action if you click the “Undo” message that briefly pops up at the bottom left of the screen.
  7. And if you wish to review the messages you just deleted, you can click “More” from the left-hand menu and go to “Trash”.

The same rules apply to a mass deletion as they do with a smaller deletion. You can delete these messages permanently by going to your trash folder, selecting all of the messages again, and clicking on the trash can icon.

Now that you know how to delete several messages, let’s look at how to delete specific message types rather than everything at once. This is handy for when you want to customize your inbox or other folders in Gmail.

You can also use custom filters to track down specific messages or simply delete all unread emails.

Here’s how.

How to Delete All Unread Emails in Gmail

Let’s say you want to get rid of certain messages in Gmail. 

No problem, as it all comes down to knowing how to select the appropriate filter. 

In this example, we’ll use unread messages. 

So open Gmail and follow the steps below.

  1. On the main inbox page, find the small square icon that has the tiny arrow next to it.
  2. Instead of clicking the square, click the arrow this time.
  3. A drop-down menu will appear.
  4. From here, you can choose from “All,” “None,” “Read,” “Unread,” “Starred,” “Unstarred”.
  5. We’re using unread messages for this example, so click on “Unread”.
select all the unread messages from your inbox
  1. Only the unread messages will be highlighted.
  2. Now, it’s just business as usual.
  3. Click the trash can icon to delete the selection of the unread message.

You can navigate to the trash folder to restore any of the messages you deleted in the mass deletion. 

Or, you can highlight these messages yet again and delete them. Just remember that deleting messages from within the trash folder will permanently erase them.

Keep in mind that you aren’t limited to deleting unread messages. 

By using the drop-down menu via the small down arrow, you can choose various email types to customize your Gmail to your liking. 

Whether it’s read messages, starred messages, or otherwise, you can adjust your selections to better suit your preferences.

It’s a good idea to play around with these selection options, so you know exactly the types of messages they are referring to. 

For example, starred messages are those that you specifically clicked the “Star” icon on, whereas unstarred messages are standard emails that you haven’t taken any action on yet.

How to Clean Spam and Trash Folders in Gmail

These two folders are notorious for getting cluttered with unwanted emails. 

But you can put a quick end to all of those messages by following the steps below.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. On the main inbox page, look for the menu on the left-hand side of the screen.
  3. Click “More.” This will show you more folders.
  4. Find “Spam” or “Trash” and click on the one you wish to clear out.
clean out the spam and trash inboxes
  1. You can highlight messages individually or all at once by clicking the square above your message list.
  2. But instead of seeing a trash can icon to delete them, you will only see the option “Delete forever”. Which does exactly what it sounds like.
  3. By clicking on “Delete forever,” the message(s) you selected will become permanently erased.

Please note that you won’t get the option to undo your delete when you click “Delete forever.” 

Once you click on it, the message truly is gone for good. 

Whether it’s a message from the spam folder or trash folder, you only get the option to permanently delete it.

Conclusion

Gmail is a wonderful email application that is a breeze to use once you figure out what the icons mean and do. 

It’s helpful to play around with the various icons you see to get a better understanding of how Gmail functions. 

From there, it’s easier than ever to delete as many emails as you like with just a few clicks of the mouse.

So, to recap:

  • How do I delete thousands of emails in Gmail?

To delete thousands of emails in Gmail, here’s what you can do:

  1. Click on the square icon on the Gmail inbox main page.
  2. This will select 50 emails on that page. But if you want to delete up to a thousand (if not more) emails, click on the text on the right that says "Select all #### conversations in Primary".
  3. This will select all of the emails in your inbox. This way, you can delete a thousand emails at once!
  • How do I delete all unread emails in Gmail?

To delete all unread emails in Gmail you'll want to filter your inbox accordingly. Here’s how:

  1. Click on the small arrow next to the square icon in your inbox.
  2. Click on Unread to filter for all unread emails in your Gmail inbox.
  3. Then, all the unread messages will be highlighted and you can click the trash icon to delete all of them en masse.
  • How do I delete more than 50 emails in Gmail?

Deleting more than 50 emails is simple. Here’s how:

  1. Click on the square icon on your main inbox page. A checkmark will appear inside of it.
  2. You will see text that reads "All 50 conversations on this page are selected". Next to it, it should read "Select all conversations in Primary".
  3. Click on that text and then Clear Selection to delete more than 50 emails from your inbox.

Alternatively, you can also set up custom filters to target specific messages from a certain timeframe or emails with attachments.

Hope this guide to deleting all of your emails was useful!

If you’re looking for more ways to manage or organize your inbox content, be sure to also read:

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