Can I get all of my gmail junk mail in one search?
May 28, 2018 9:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to clear up space from my gmail account. So far, I've just been searching for each junk sender (e.g., Indeed Jobs, Amazon Offers, airlines, etc.) and deleting them per search. Is there a way to search for all of the junk mails and then delete them? Alternately, can I filter by generic senders or personal senders and sort of reverse delete all other email (that is, that's not from a personalized email account?) Thanks in advance!
posted by stillmoving to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, I meant to add: these are all emails that are in my Inbox, not in a junk folder or anything. (I am lazy and just leave everything in the inbox!)
posted by stillmoving at 9:24 AM on May 28, 2018

Can you search for 'category:promotions'? And then delete all?
posted by batter_my_heart at 9:42 AM on May 28, 2018

I have done this by searching for the word "unsubscribe," though that may be overinclusive--I usually give it a once-over before I batch-delete.
posted by trixie119 at 9:45 AM on May 28, 2018 [7 favorites]

I think if you turn on the promotional category it moves all that email with it. Delete it, turn the category back off.
posted by Ftsqg at 10:28 AM on May 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you want to clear up space, you want to delete the email with the largest attachments. One way is to search for messages larger than a certain size: "size:25000000" will find all messages over 25mb. I also found "How to Sort Gmail Messages by Size".
posted by ShooBoo at 12:44 PM on May 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

Rather than searching, you could go through your inbox, create filters for the emails you want to delete, and have gmail apply those filters to existing emails. So for example, select emails from Indeed Jobs, Amazon Offers, and Delta, pick 'Filter messages like these' (you don't have to open them, just check them) then set up the filter to delete the messages, and check the "Also apply filter to xxx matching conversations" box.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 1:41 PM on May 28, 2018

You can check your usage of Gmail and Google Drive Storage on this page: Click on the View Details button below the pie chart.

Rather than cleaning out your Gmail it might be more efficient to clean out your Google Drive.
posted by gregr at 2:31 PM on May 28, 2018

I just did this last night! 10GB of email became 6GB after deleting the 17,000 emails that Google categorised as "promotions", "social"and "updates". You can do it by turning on Google's inbox categories, if you don't already use them, and then deleting everything in those tabs (click on "also select everything else in this category" when you select all, otherwise it just does the first 50 or so.)

I assume it works even if you haven't used the tabbed inbox before today. I've turned it on and off over time and it still seemed to catch it all.
posted by lollusc at 5:29 PM on May 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

Also if you are worried about accidentally deleting something important, use Google Takeout first to download your entire mail archive so you can restore it later if you want.
posted by lollusc at 5:52 AM on May 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks! These are all good options, marked the one that was easiest and most efficient for me as best. The promotions tab was also useful, but pulled up all of the 'receipts' from bill pay, online orders, etc., so wasn't as easy for bulk deletion.
posted by stillmoving at 4:01 AM on June 3, 2018

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