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How to delete all of your unread emails in Gmail

It’s very easy to fall behind on your emails, especially if you take a few weeks off work. Yet most of the email in your inbox will likely be spam or not worthy of your attention. This is why being able to delete all of your unread emails in Gmail is so useful.

Rather than being forced to delete every email individually, there are a few clever shortcuts that allow you delete all of your unread emails in just a few clicks.

If clearing your inbox sounds like a good idea to you, then we’ve created a step-by-step guide below, detailing how to do so. We’ve even included screenshots for each step to make it as easy as possible to follow.

What you need

  • Gmail account

The Short Version

  • Go into your inbox in your Gmail account
  • Click the arrow next to the small box under the search bar
  • Click Unread
  • Select all Unread mail
  • Click off the box
  • Press the Delete button
  1. Step

    Go into your inbox in your Gmail account

    Log in to your own Gmail account and go into your inbox. Go into your own Gmail inbox to start the process

  2. Step

    Just below the search bar in Gmail, there is a small box that selects messages. Click on the arrow next to it to bring up a pop-up menu. Click on the small box in tghe left hand corner

  3. Step

    Click Unread

    Out of the options on the menu, click the Unread option. This will select all of the unread messages on the current page.Click on the Unread option to select all of your unread emails

  4. Step

    Get back to your inbox

    Once you have clicked the Unread option, click off the box and come back to your inbox. The selection box should be bold now since you have selected some emails to interact with. Click off of the selection box and come back into your inbox

  5. Step

    Select all unread mail

    If you want to choose all unread messages everywhere, you need to type ‘in:unread’ into the search bar. Then click the top checkbox to select all messages on that page. Then click the ‘Select all conversations that match this search’ link to select every unread message in Gmail.Select all unread messages in Gmail

  6. Step

    Press Delete and you’re done

    Once you are ready, click the delete button. It will look like a small rubbish bin and will only be visible if you have messages selected. It also sits on the same row as the selection box that you will have already interacted with. Click the delete button to make sure that you delete all your unread messages


Can I delete all of my unread emails in Gmail via phone?

Yes, if you have the Gmail app on your mobile device you should be able to delete all of your unread messages in a similar fashion.

How many unread emails can I delete at once?

This method will allow you to delete up to 50 emails at once time, but you can alter this in the settings if you’re looking to delete hundreds or even thousands of emails.

Can I select messages in just one label?

Yes, you can. Use the search ‘in:unread in:’ to find all unread messages in a specified label, and then use the advice above to remove the messages.

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