How to Empty Spam and Trash Fast in Gmail

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

A man vacuuming his rug.

  Sofie Delauw/Getty Images

Even if you never empty your Trash and Spam folders, Gmail does it for you after 30 days automatically.

A lot of unwanted mail and spam can accumulate in 30 days, and these messages count toward your Gmail storage quota. They also can pose possible privacy concerns. If you don't want to wait, you can permanently delete all messages with the labels Spam and Trash quickly. Here's how:

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

    Gmail screen with expanded labels
  2. With Gmail keyboard shortcuts enabled, you can also reach it by pressing GL on the keyboard to create a label search and typing trash in the search field. Select Enter, and all messages labeled Trash appear.

    Type G+L to bring up a label search in Gmail
  3. Click Empty Trash now at the top of the Trash messages.

    Empty Trash Now in Gmail
  4. Click OK under Confirm deleting messages.

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

To delete all messages in the Spam label in Gmail:

  1. Select the Spam label in the left panel.

  2. Click Delete all spam messages now.

  3. Click OK under Confirm deleting messages.

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. Open the Gmail app.

  2. Use the menu icon in the left corner to view the list of labels.

  3. Tap the Trash or Spam label.

  4. Tap Empty Trash Now or Empty Spam Now.

  5. Click OK in the deletion confirmation screen that opens.

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

  1. Open the Mail app.

  2. Go to the list of Gmail labels.

  3. Tap on the Trash or Junk label to open a list of the emails labeled as such.

  4. Tap Edit at the top of the screen.

  5. Tap the circle to the left of each email you want to delete.

  6. Tap the circle to the left of each email you want to delete.

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.

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

  3. Click Delete forever in the toolbar.