How to Empty Spam and Trash Fast in Gmail

Don't wait 30 days for Google to take out the trash

What to Know

  • To empty Trash, go to More > Trash > Empty Trash now > OK.
  • To empty Spam, go to Spam > Delete all spam messages now > OK.
  • To empty Trash or Spam on iOS, tap Menu > Trash > Empty Trash Now or Menu > Spam > Empty Spam Now.

This article explains how to empty the Trash and Spam folders quickly in Gmail. Additional information covers how to delete an email permanently. Instructions apply to current web browsers and the iOS Gmail app.

How to Empty Trash in Gmail

Here's how to empty your Gmail Trash folder:

  1. Select the Trash label. You'll find it under More, in the left sidebar of the Gmail screen.

    Gmail screen with expanded labels

    With Gmail keyboard shortcuts enabled, press GL on the keyboard to create a label search and type trash, then press Enter to see all messages labeled Trash.

  2. Select Empty Trash now at the top of the Trash messages.

    Empty Trash Now in Gmail
  3. Select OK under Confirm deleting messages.

    Confirm message deletion in Gmail
  4. No messages should remain with the Trash label.

How to Empty Spam in Gmail

To delete all messages in the Spam label in Gmail:

  1. Select the Spam label in the left panel.

    Gmail inbox with Spam folder highlighted.
  2. Select Delete all spam messages now.

    Selecting to delete all spam in Gmail.
  3. Select OK under Confirm deleting messages.

    Confirmation of deleting all spam in Gmail.

Empty Trash and Spam in Gmail on iOS (iPhone, iPad)

If you access Gmail on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, you can delete all junk and spam email quickly in the Gmail app for iOS:

  1. Tap the Menu icon in the upper-left corner to view the list of labels.

    Gmail inbox on iOS Gmail app.
  2. Tap Trash or Spam.

    Viewing Folder labels on iOS Gmail app.
  3. Tap Empty Trash Now or Empty Spam Now.

    Viewing the Trash folder on iOS Gmail app.
  4. Tap OK in the deletion confirmation screen that opens.

    Confirming the deletion of trash on iOS Gmail app.

Empty Gmail Trash and Spam in iOS Mail

If you access Gmail using the iOS Mail app using IMAP:

  1. Open the Mail app.

  2. Tap < to see the list of Gmail labels.

    Gmail inbox in iOS Mail app.
  3. Tap Trash or Junk to open a list of the emails labeled as such.

    Viewing Gmail folders in iOS Mail app.
  4. Tap Edit at the top of the screen.

    The Trash folder in Gmail in iOS Mail app.
  5. Tap the circle to the left of each email you want to delete.

    Selecting an email to delete in Gmail in iOS Mail app.
  6. Tap Delete.

    Deleting email in Gmail in iOS Mail app.

Permanently Delete an Email in Gmail

You need not throw out all the trash to get rid of one unwanted email. To permanently delete a single message from Gmail:

  1. Make sure the message is in the Gmail Trash folder.

    Gmail Trash Folder.
  2. Check any email you want permanently deleted, or open an individual message.

    Selecting emails to delete in Gmail.
  3. Select Delete forever in the toolbar.

    Selecting Delete Forever in Gmail Trash Folder.
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