How to Mark Email Read in Gmail

Quickly clear out your queue without reading every message

What to Know

  • Sign in to Gmail in a browser, select the emails you want marked, then select Mark As Read in the toolbar.
  • Enable a shortcut: Go to Settings > See all settings > General. Select Keyboard shortcuts on. Use SHIFT+I to mark emails read.
  • Mark all mail read in a label: Open the label and select More (the three dots) > Mark all as read.

When you want to mark messages in Gmail as read without opening unread messages, Gmail has several controls that help you get to that zero notification point. Use these controls to select one or more messages as read or to open an entire label. In addition, Gmail has keyboard shortcuts that make everything faster and more efficient.

Mark Email Read in Gmail

To mark an email or emails read in Gmail:

  1. Open a web browser, and sign in to Gmail.

  2. Select the check box next to the messages that you want to mark as read. Or, check a range of messages. If you want certain messages, search for the desired attributes and mark as read within the search results.

    You can also check all messages in the current label or search results for marking.

    A Gmail inbox with a single email selected
  3. Go to the toolbar and select Mark as read.

    A Gmail inbox with the 'Mark as read' icon highlighted
  4. Every message that you selected is marked as read.

The Hotkey Shortcut

There's a quick way to mark messages as read using a hotkey. It takes a minute or two to set up, but it can be a time-saver in the future.

  1. Go to your Gmail inbox.

  2. Select Settings.

    The Settings gear in Gmail
  3. Choose See All Settings.

    The "See All Settings" button in Gmail
  4. Go to the General tab.

    The General tab in Gmail settings
  5. In the Keyboard shortcuts section, select Keyboard shortcuts on. Then, select Save Changes.

    Gmail general settings with the 'Keyboard shortcuts on/off' highlighted
  6. Go to your inbox, then select the messages that you want to mark as read.

    A Gmail inbox with a single email selected
  7. Hold Shift and press i to mark the messages as read. The hotkey to mark messages as read is Shift+I.

Mark All Mail Read in a Label or View in Gmail

To mark as read all messages in a Gmail label or view:

  1. Open the label that you want to work in, and make sure that no messages are checked.

    If hotkeys are enabled, press *n to deselect all mail.

  2. Go to the toolbar and select More (the icon is three stacked dots).

    With hotkeys, you can also press . (dot) to open the More menu.

    A Gmail inbox with the More icon highlighted
  3. Select Mark all as read.

    To use the keyboard, press Down followed by Enter.

    A Gmail inbox with the 'Mark all as read' option highlighted
  4. All messages in the label are marked as read.

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