How to Mass Delete on Gmail

By Andrew Tennyson

Learn how to use menu items and the Search tool in Gmail to remove email messages from your account in bulk.

Use a combination of the Select tool and the Trash button in Gmail to delete multiple messages simultaneously. Deleted items are sent to your Trash bin and remain there for 30 days before Gmail deletes them completely. You can recover deleted messages from the Trash at any time during this 30-day period.

Bulk-Deleting Messages

Step 1: Locate and filter the messages you want to delete. Use the Search tool to search for messages by email address or keywords.

Step 2: Select the messages you want to delete. Place check marks next to individual messages or click the Select button and choose All to select all items that match your search criteria.

Gmail (Chrome)

Step 3: Click the Trash button to move the selected messages to the Trash.

Gmail (Chrome)

Mass-Deleting Starred and Un-starred Messages

To delete starred messages only, click Starred on the left of the main Gmail screen. Alternatively, click the Select menu and choose Starred. You can also use the Select menu to choose un-starred messages.

Gmail (Chrome)

Recovering Messages From the Trash

You have 30 days to recover deleted messages from the Trash. To view the contents of the Trash, hover your mouse over the label list located under the Compose button on the left of Gmail, click More and then select Trash.

Gmail (Chrome)

Select the messages you want to recover from the Trash, click the Move To icon, which resembles a file folder, and select Inbox to move the messages back to your Inbox. You can also move recovered items to other locations. [ref 1]

Gmail (Chrome)

Tip

To permanently delete items from the Trash at any time, open the Trash, select the messages you want to delete and click Delete Forever. To remove all messages in the Trash at once, click Empty Trash Now.

Tip

To delete bulk items in the Gmail app for mobile devices, press and hold the first message to select it. You know it's selected when a check mark appears alongside it. Once the first check mark appears, tap additional items to select them as well. When you've selected all of the messages to delete, tap the Trash icon.

You must be logged in to Gmail on your computer in order to delete all messages. This functionality is not available in the Gmail app for mobile devices, as of publication.