Cleaning out the inbox is a chore that most don’t like. But if you don’t keep track, you can end up with a clutter of outdated, unnecessary emails. We’ll show you how to quickly find and delete old emails in Gmail.
Find old emails in Gmail
Gmail offers a handy search feature that you can use to find emails from or to a specific person, or with a specific word in the subject line. But to find emails older than a certain number of years, months or days, all you need is the search box.
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To find emails older than a year, type the following into the search box at the top of Gmail:
You can replace the 1 with another number to find emails that are two, three, four or more years old.
In addition, you can use a different time frame. To find emails older than a certain number of months or days, use these expressions:
Again, replace the 1 with the number of months (m) or days (d) and look at your results.
Find emails in label folders
If you’re using Gmail labels, you’ll see the folders for those labels in the left navigation pane. So if you want to clean up one or two, you can use the above search terms within these as well.
Select a label’s folder on the left. This expression then appears in the search field.
After the pasted expression, type a space and then type one of the “older_than” expressions above immediately after it. In the screenshot below, we’re searching our newsletter label (folder) for emails older than six months.
You then have a list of old emails that exist in the folder of that label.
The beauty of using the search terms above, aside from quickly seeing old emails, is that you can further filter your results.
After searching, you will see several buttons at the top. These filters allow you to filter your search results by items such as Has Attachment, From, To, and Is Unread.
Note: The filter options vary depending on your search results.
Simply select one of these filters to narrow your search results. This is ideal if, for example, you only want to find the old emails with attachments, but still want to keep some others that you may need.
To remove a filter after applying it, just click on it again. To perform a more in-depth search, click Advanced Search to the right of the buttons.
Delete the emails found
After finding, filtering or checking those outdated emails and ready to delete them, it’s an easy task.
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Confirm that the emails shown are the ones you want to remove. In this case, check the box on the left of the top toolbar. This will select all emails and you can see the selected total below.
If you prefer to narrow down the selection, you can use the arrow next to the checkbox to select an option like Read, Unread, Starred, or Remove Starred.
When you’re done, click the trash can icon on the toolbar to delete the emails.
You will not be asked to confirm this action! So if you accidentally delete an email, go to the Trash folder on the left sidebar. Select the email and move it to where you want it, e.g. B. in your inbox or in a label’s folder.
Note: You may need to expand More to see the Trash folder.
Note that emails in the trash are automatically permanently deleted after 30 days.
When you’re ready to clean up your inbox or folders in Gmail, consider getting rid of those old and unnecessary emails. After that, remember to get rid of the junk e-mail that is piling up!
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