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Gmail Mass Delete
February 17, 2006 9:06 AM   Subscribe

I have 10,000 messages from a mailing list I want to delete in Gmail. What's the easiest way?

I can search for them easily because they all have a subject [mailinglist]. I want to just automatically delete every message with that in the subject without having to download 2+gigs of e-mails through pop, delete all of them, and then forward the rest back to gmail.

And no, deleting 100 messages at a time is no the answer.
posted by empath to Technology (28 answers total)
 
Create a filter, and have gmail route that filter to the trash. Done.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:10 AM on February 17, 2006


That only moves future emails to the trash, and I actually want to to read the messages. It's something I've subscribed to.
posted by empath at 9:14 AM on February 17, 2006


These are messages that I've read, going back over a year, and I'm at 96%. I just want to dump all of the old messages at once to clear up space.
posted by empath at 9:15 AM on February 17, 2006


I don't think you can do it. I've had the same problem myself.
posted by unSane at 9:17 AM on February 17, 2006


Why isn't deleting 100 messages at once the answer? Once you do a search for them, it only takes a second and a half to check the select all box and then trash. The next 100 will pop up automatically, and repeat. Doing it this way will only take you a couple minutes at most.
posted by Meredith at 9:19 AM on February 17, 2006


If you can set up a POP program such as Thunderbird, and then screen your inbox using a title filter (I would use "css-d Digest, Vol" for the css-discuss list I belong to), you should be able to just mass delete them that way.

As far as I know, there is no way to natively mass-delete mail in gmail.
posted by charmston at 9:20 AM on February 17, 2006


Why don't you do a search for a unique word in the emails, select them all and create a label. Once you view the label you can select them all and then trash them.
posted by KathyK at 9:28 AM on February 17, 2006


The consensus on the Gmail group is that this is not something that is currently possible. I'd be interested to see if anyone has a workaround.
posted by jessamyn at 9:29 AM on February 17, 2006


Nix my answer, you can only do it at a max of 100 per page.
posted by KathyK at 9:31 AM on February 17, 2006


Why isn't deleting 100 messages at once the answer?

10,000/100 = 1000 pages. Let's say it takes me 3 seconds to delete a page of messages, that's going to be like an hour of deleting threads. And I really have more than 10,000 threads I'd like to delete.
posted by empath at 9:31 AM on February 17, 2006


10,000/100 = 1000

No, it's equal to 100 pages.
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:34 AM on February 17, 2006


I'm really kind of pissed off at Google. I'm on ONE high-traffic e-mail list. Google CLAIMS that you never have to delete messages, but it's not true, and by now, they should know that perfectly well.


It's a dead simple feature to implement, and it boggles my mind that they haven't done it.
posted by empath at 9:34 AM on February 17, 2006


kickstart--- oops, duh.. still not something i'm particularly excited about doing.
posted by empath at 9:35 AM on February 17, 2006


And for some reason, it only shows 20 messages per page when i search, even though I set the option to 100.
posted by empath at 9:37 AM on February 17, 2006


I think i'm just going to download them all through thunderbird and do it that way.
posted by empath at 9:38 AM on February 17, 2006


I'm not familiar at all with G-mail, but could you select all emails with that subject [mailinglist], put them into one folder, and then "delete" the folder?
posted by UnclePlayground at 9:42 AM on February 17, 2006


No GreaseMonkey script for this yet, and no programming volunteers? That's very un-Metafilterish. GM scriptage was the first extension to add a separate delete button for Gmail, back before Google added the button themselves. Seems like mass delete support is well within GM's capabilities.

I'd try it myself, but I never hopped on the Gmail train for an account.
posted by mdevore at 9:44 AM on February 17, 2006


BTW..When you do searches, it only pulls up 20! So that is NOT a good way to do it. the inbox only shows 100 messages.
posted by _zed_ at 9:45 AM on February 17, 2006


I'm not familiar at all with G-mail

Clearly. There's no such thing as folders. The "labels" people have been talking about is the closest equivalent.
posted by deadfather at 9:45 AM on February 17, 2006


The consensus on the Gmail group is that this is not something that is currently possible.

(Notice who posted the first question there.)
posted by smackfu at 9:46 AM on February 17, 2006


Yes -- me :) i was hoping that somebody here would have some kind of hackish work around.
posted by empath at 9:53 AM on February 17, 2006


When I wanted to mass delete something, I ended up doing a quick win batch script that literally pushed the mouse button in the right spots to work through the 20 at a time search results then went and had a shower. It was the fastest, easiest kludge I could come up with at the time, and I just wanted it done.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:12 AM on February 17, 2006


I take it that the best answer marking means that my solution worked?
posted by charmston at 10:52 AM on February 17, 2006


grumble grumble perfect example of one of the many reasons webmail blows grumble grumble
posted by Rhomboid at 10:58 AM on February 17, 2006


Surely it won't even be 1000 pages? I guess it depends on the way the list is configured, but the lists I'm subscribed to are threaded into conversations. So if someone posted, and there were twenty replies, I'd only have to tick a single box to delete that entire thread if I wanted.

Er, I hope that makes sense.
posted by coach_mcguirk at 11:31 AM on February 17, 2006


It would have taken considerably less time to delete them by hand 100 messages at a time than to write this message and wait for the best answer to be posted. However, now he knows what to do for the next mailing list too. Huzzah!
posted by Hildago at 11:34 AM on February 17, 2006


Surely it won't even be 1000 pages?

We are chatterboxes. It says, when searching -- "showing 1-20 of 10s of thousands."
posted by empath at 12:07 PM on February 17, 2006


You could sort by sender instead of searching. But yes, you're still left with the deleting-by-the-pageful issue.
posted by O9scar at 1:19 PM on February 17, 2006


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