How to Select All Messages in Gmail

Manage your Gmail inbox by selecting emails in bulk

What to Know

  • To select every email in your inbox: Select the Inbox folder, then click Select (drop-down arrow) and choose All.
  • Narrow your selection: Enter a search term, then click Select > All to select all emails that meet the criteria.
  • Once multiple emails are selected, click Delete, Move to, Archive, Labels, Report Spam, or another option to perform a bulk operation.

This article explains how to select all emails in Gmail at once, making it easier to move, archive, apply labels, or delete messages as a group.

Select All Emails in Gmail

To select every email in your Gmail inbox:

  1. On the main Gmail page, click the Inbox folder in the left pane of the page.

  2. At the top of your email messages list, select the main Select button to choose all the messages that are currently displayed. Or, select the drop-down arrow on the side of this button to choose the types of emails to be selected, such as Read, Unread, Starred, Unstarred, None, or All.

    Screenshot of Select All button in Gmail

    At this point, you have only selected the messages that are visible on the screen.

  3. To select all emails, including those that are not currently displayed, look at the top of your email list and click Select all conversations.

Narrow Your List of Emails

Narrow emails you want to select in bulk by using search, labels, or categories. For example, select a category, such as Promotions, to select emails in that category only and manage those messages without affecting emails that are not considered promotions. Likewise, click any label in the left panel to display all emails assigned to that label.

When performing a search, you can also narrow your search by defining what aspects of emails you want to be considered. At the end of the search field, select the drop-down arrow to open options for more refined searches by field (such as To, From, and Subject), and the search strings that should be included (in the Has the words field), as well as search strings that should be absent from emails in the search results (in the Doesn't have field).

To specify that email results should have attachments, select the Attachments check box. To specify that results exclude any chat conversations, select the Don't include chats check box.

To refine your search, define an email size range in bytes, kilobytes, or megabytes, and narrow the time frame of the email's date (such as within three days of a specific date).

  1. Perform a search, or select a label or a category in Gmail.

  2. Click the main Select check box that appears above the list of email messages. Or, select the drop-down arrow next to the main check box and select All from the menu to select the emails you can see on the screen. This step selects only the emails displayed on the screen.

    Screenshot of Select All menu item in Gmail
  3. At the top of the list of emails, click Select all conversations that match this search.

What You Can Do With Selected Emails

After you select emails, you can:

  • Delete: To remove the selected emails, click the Delete button, which looks like a trashcan.
  • Archive: This icon appears as a box with a small arrow in it. Archiving emails removes those messages from view in your inbox without deleting them. This procedure tidies your inbox without deleting emails you may later need. Once archived, an email will not appear in your inbox, but it can be found through a search or by viewing the All Mail folder (you may have to click More to reveal it if you have many labels and folders).
  • Report Spam: This button uses a stop sign with an exclamation point in its center. Using this feature moves emails to your Spam folder, and future emails from these senders bypass your inbox and go to your Spam folder automatically.
  • Move to: This button has a folder icon on it, and it allows you to move your selected emails into a folder or label.
  • Labels: This button has an image of a tag on it. It allows you to assign labels to selected emails. You can select multiple labels by checking the boxes next to the label names, and you can create new labels to assign to the emails by clicking Create new in the menu.

The More button (the three dots) offers several other options for your selected emails. These include:

  • Mark as read
  • Mark as unread
  • Mark as important
  • Mark as not important
  • Add to Tasks
  • Add star
  • Filter messages like these

You may also have a button labeled Not "[category]" available if you selected emails in a category such as Promotions. Clicking this button removes the selected emails from that category, and future emails of this sort aren't placed in that category when they arrive.

The Gmail app does not have functionality for easily selecting multiple emails. In the app, select each individually by tapping the icon to the left of the email.

  • How do I delete all messages in Gmail?

    To empty your Gmail inbox, enter in:inbox in the Gmail search field. Select the checkbox at the top of the Select column to select all your emails. Select the trashcan to move the emails to your Trash folder; they'll be permanently deleted after 30 days.

  • How do I find archived messages in Gmail?

    To retrieve archived messages in Gmail, select All Mail on the left side of the Gmail screen. You'll see a list of all mail. Mail in your inbox will be labeled Inbox, and trashed messages will be labeled Gmail Trash. The unlabeled mail is your archived mail. Select and move these messages to your inbox if you like.

  • How do I recover deleted messages in Gmail?

    To recover your deleted Gmail messages, select More > Trash. If you find the email you're looking for, right-click it and choose Move to inbox. Note that emails sent to the Trash folder are permanently deleted after 30 days.

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