Anyway to remove all stars from starred Google Reader items?
November 5, 2010 9:49 PM   Subscribe

I want to remove all of the stars from my Google Reader starred items, so that I can start from scratch with my starred items. Is there any way to do this without doing it one by one? My searches seem to prove that this is a desired feature but not one that can be done, but I figured if there was a group that could either (a) help or (b) find me a shortcut solution, this would be it.
posted by MCMikeNamara to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I feel your pain... I'm stuck with several thousand old starred items I can't get to easily because of a similar issue. The official Google help forums are notoriously unhelpful for stuff like that.

The best advice I can find is the third comment in this post, which talks about some kind of userscript you might be able to use to unstar everything automagically. It mentions some hacking you have to do to get it to work with mixed starred and unstarred stuff, but you should be able to bypass that by first loading your starred items list and then marking all as read using the dropdown box.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:12 PM on November 5, 2010

Idea: look at some of the many newsreaders that offer synching with your GRead account, and see if you csn find the feature you need... Just because you can't get Google's web client to do it doesn't mean it can't be done.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 9:48 AM on November 6, 2010

It's simple to create a Greasemonkey script which automagically removes all stars from starred items in Google Reader, for all items which are listed in the items pane. Just did it as a proof of concept and tested on Reader here, as a matter of fact.

But I'm not sure if that's what you're wanting in your question. If you can use a Greasemonkey script that automatically clears starred items, and which only clears starred items listed in the pane, let me know and I'll post it for you. Might work in other browsers, although cross-platform support of GM scripts isn't terribly robust, or hasn't been.
posted by mdevore at 3:13 PM on November 6, 2010

Response by poster: Embarrassingly, I didn't realize/remember that the "s" key will toggle that stars, which I believe would help me if I re-write some of the links Rhaomi gave me, and I take your suggestion to heart OneMonkeysUncle; I'm pretty happy with Google Reader for a number of reasons, most importantly lately the ability to easily save stuff in Evernote to browse/read later since I can't view a lot of videos at work, where I do a lot of Google Reader browsing.

But mdevore, you did describe what I want, and though I realize it would still take some time that way (as each starred item doesn't show up at once in a singly pane), it would still be better at removing them all manually, so if you could post it that would be great. (I think I could maybe play around with user scripts and try to figure it out myself, but I'd rather figure out how yours works than learn something new from scratch right now. (Let me know which browser its working in for you, too, if you can -- since this is a one time thing, if it doesn't work in Firefox (my usual browser as of late), running it in Chrome would be no big deal.)

posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:52 PM on November 6, 2010

Best answer: Actually there is a way to load all the starred items in a pane at once. You need another Greasemonkey script (not one I wrote) called Google Reader Prefetch More. It loads more than the default number of items in a pane. Once you grab it, change the line var list = 60; // default is 20 to a larger number. I use var list = 1000 to load up to 1000 items at once. Excellent script, honestly the only Greasemonkey script I regularly use which I didn’t write myself.

Anyway, if you use the script set with your desired number, seems to also work with clicking the “Starred Items” link in the Home pane to load up all the starred items to the set number. I just checked with 121.

I’ll go ahead and post the unstarring script to userscripts when I’m done here, and post a link back. It's strictly Firefox tested, Chrome probably wouldn't require too much change. Safari extension, ehhh, could be done, but lot of overhead work there.
posted by mdevore at 12:45 AM on November 7, 2010

Best answer: OK, here’s the link:

Here’s the instruction blurb:

When activated, clears all stars in Google Reader for items loaded in the main items pane by simulating mouse click on each starred entry.

After Google Reader is loaded, from the Browser menu choose Tools/Greasemonkey/User Script Commands/Remove Stars in Google Reader to clear all those pesky stars from loaded items.

Questions or problems let me know. I tested it successfully a few times, but didn’t push it very hard.
posted by mdevore at 1:04 AM on November 7, 2010

Response by poster: Wowsa - worked like a charm. Thanks so much -- hopefully I'll never have to use it again, but it sure worked fast and easy. I really appreciate your time and generosity.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:53 AM on November 7, 2010

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