How to Select All Emails in Apple Mail on a Mac

Select All in Apple Mail on a Mac

Want to empty a folder fast, move messages in bulk or mark as read? The first step is usually to gather all emails. Find out here how to select all messages in Apple Mail on a Mac.

First, Do and Do Not Gather All Data

Are you prone to gather ever and ever more data to make each decision perfect? Do so, oh, so many others not understand the importance of well-researched analysis?

Maybe you can convince yourself to first gather the data necessary to know how much perfection a decision warrants. If the call is easily reversible, then a quick pick just lets you—gather more data! Otherwise, you have all the data you need to convince others to—gather more data!

Now, with that out of the way, let’s turn to gathering all… emails:

How to Select All Emails in Apple Mail on a Mac

Select All Mail in a Folder

Time needed: 1 minute

To select all emails in a folder in Mail for macOS on a Mac:

  1. Open the folder in Mail for Mac.

    Not only folders: You can select all messages not only in folders but also in search results, of course.

  2. Select Edit | Select All from the menu.

    Mac keyboard shortcut: For faster action, press Command A.
    Selection does not matter: Selecting all emails in a folder works when one message is open in the preview pane, when more messages are selected, and when no email is highlighted at all.

Now… How to Mark All Emails as Read on a Mac

Select All in Search Results

To highlight and act on all emails returned as search results in Apple Mail:

  1. Use Mail search to find all the emails you want to select.
    Across accounts: See below for collecting multiple accounts in search.
  2. Select any email in search results
  3. Press Command A.

How to Select All Emails in Apple Mail on a Mac: FAQ

Can I deselect all messages in Mail?


To remove all messages from the selection (so no email is selected) in Mail for Mac:

  1. Click any email so it is the only one selected.
  2. Now click that (highlighted) message again while you hold the Option key.

Can I select all emails across accounts?


To select all messages in multiple accounts (and, optionally, matching certain criteria):

  1. Set up a smart mailbox that collects all the emails you want to select.
    Select Mailbox | New Smart Mailbox… from the menu, make the mailbox contain messages that match any criterion, and set the criteria to be the individual email accounts you want to include.
  2. Optionally, search the smart mailbox to further narrow results.
  3. Now select all messages in search results or the smart mailbox as above.

(How to select all emails in Apple Mail on a Mac tested with macOS Sonoma 14.3 and Ventura 13.3; first published March 2023, last updated March 2024)

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