Need to get rid of a big bunch of unread messages quickly? Find out below how to delete all unread emails in Gmail in one go.

First, Awake or Sweet: Pick One

When adenosine receptors are activated, sweet tastes even sweeter. While caffeine keeps you awake, it meddles with those adenosine receptors: it blocks their activation. You are awake then—to life’s missing sweetness.

Now, it if it is all those unread emails in Gmail that keep you awake, you can make the whole lot disappear quickly. Sweet, is it not?

Let’s get started!

How to Delete All Unread Emails in Gmail

To find and delete all unread emails in Gmail, no matter in what label or folder they may hide:

  1. Open Gmail’s desktop version in a browser.
  2. Click in the Search mail field at the top.
    • Keyboard shortcut: With Gmail keyboard shortcuts enabled, you can also press /.
  3. Type is:unread in:anywhere.
    • Tip: You can use the down arrow to select Gmail auto-complete entries for the two terms after typing is: and in: respectively. After highlighting the desired completion, just keep typing to add more.
  4. Press Enter.
  5. Now click the Select button (Click the Select checkbox) in the toolbar.
    • Keyboard shortcut: The corresponding Gmail keyboard shortcut here is * a.
  6. Make sure to click Select all conversation that match this search if Gmail displays it at the top.
    • Note: This means more emails than fit on one page of Gmail search results are unread. Clicking makes sure all these emails are selected, not just those you see listed on the first page.
  7. Click Delete in the toolbar.

How to Delete All Unread Emails in Gmail: FAQ

Can I delete all unread emails in Simple HTML Gmail?

No, there is no simple way to delete unread messages in bulk using simple HTML Gmail.

While you can find all unread messages using is:unread in:anywhere, there is, alas, no easy method to select all messages matching the search criteria and move them to the trash.

Can I delete all unread emails in the Gmail App for Android or iOS?

No, there is, alas, no simple way to mass-delete unread emails in the Gmail apps for Android and iOS.

While you can search for all unread messages using is:unread in:anywhere, you cannot easily select and delete all messages in one go.

(How to delete all unread emails in Gmail tested with Gmail in a desktop browser; updated August 2018; title image: Depositphotos/DepositNovic)