How to Delete Multiple Emails on a Computer

By Al Heurung

Keeping a clean email inbox can be a valuable time-saver. Emails have a habit of piling up, especially if you are away from the computer for a few days. Fortunately, deleting multiple emails is a quick process. All email software and services provide means for mass deletion of items.

Step 1

Use the check-box features of your Web mail client. If you use a Web-based email client such as Google Gmail or Microsoft Hotmail, your inbox will have a check box next to each email, read or unread. Click the check box next to each email you wish to delete, then click the "Delete" button.

Step 2

Use keyboard shortcuts to delete multiple emails if you use email software such as Microsoft Outlook Express or Mozilla Thunderbird. Click an email that you wish to delete, then hold down the "Ctrl" key and click additional emails you wish to select. Each email selected will be shaded. Click the "Delete" button, and all selected emails will be deleted. If you have a block of emails that you wish to delete, click the first email in the block you wish to delete, then hold the "Shift" key on the last email you wish to delete. All emails between the two will be selected for deletion.

Step 3

Clear out your Deleted Items folder in your email. Whether you use Web-based email or software-based email, when you delete an email it goes into a folder called "Deleted Items" or possibly "Trash" or "Recycle." This is a safety measure in case you delete an item by accident. Items in this folder are not yet gone, and still take up space. Click the "Clear Deleted Items" button to permanently remove the items in the folder.

Tips & Warnings

  • Double-check emails in your Deleted Items folder; once you clear it, they are gone forever.
  • Clean your Deleted Items folder regularly to keep your email responsive and clutter free.
  • Do not store email items in your Deleted Items folder. Use other folders for emails that you wish to refer back to.