How to Find and Delete Old Gmail Emails

Cleaning up your inbox is a chore most of us do not enjoy. But if you do not stay on top of things, you can end up with a mess of outdated, unneeded emails.

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
April 26, 2022

Cleaning up your Inbox is a chore most of us do not enjoy. But if you do not stay on top of things, you can end up with a mess of outdated, unneeded emails. Let’s explore how to remedy this situation in Gmail.

This is for devices using Gmail. Screenshots are from Windows 10

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Find Old Emails

Gmail offers a handy Search feature that lets you find emails from or to specific people, or with a particular 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.

First. at the top of Gmail, enter the following into the Search box to find emails older than one year. Refer to the below image:

Gmail 1
Gmail Search

Next, you can replace the 1 with a different number to find emails older than two, three, four, or more years.

In addition, you can use a different timeframe. To find emails older than a certain number of months or days, use these expressions:

older_than:1m
older_than:1d

Again, replace the 1 with the number of months (m) or days (d) and see your results.

Find Emails in Label Folders

If you use Gmail labels, you will see the folders for those labels in the left-hand navigation. So if you want to clean up one or two, you can use the above search expressions within those as well.

Now, select a label’s folder on the left. You will then see that expression pop into the Search field. See the below image:

Gmail 2
Search a Labeled folder

Next, select the inserted phrase, type a space, and then one of the older_than expressions above right after it. In the screenshot below, we search our Important label (folder) for emails older than one day. See the following image:

Gmail 3
Search a Labeled folder with a specified time range

Filter Further

The nice part about using the above search expressions, aside from seeing old emails quickly, is that you can filter your results further.

Now, after you search, you will see several buttons across the top. These let you filter your search results by things like Has Attachment, From, To, and Is Unread. Refer to the below image:

Gmail 4
Filter your Search

Next, select one of these filters to narrow down your search results. This is ideal if you want to find only those old emails with attachments, for example, but still, hang onto some others you might need.

Now, to remove a filter after you apply it, just click it again. To do a more in-depth search, click the Show search options icon at the top of your screen. See the below image:

Gmail 5
Selecting Search options

Next, the Search options will be displayed. Just enter your criteria for the search and, when finished, click the Search button. See the following image:

Gmail 6
Your search options

Delete the Emails

After you find those outdated emails, have filtered or reviewed them, and are ready to delete them.

Now, confirm that the emails you see are the ones you want to remove. If so, check the box on the left of the top toolbar. This selects all emails and you can see the total number selected at the bottom. Refer to the below image:

Gmail 7
Selecting to Delete all emails

Next, if you prefer to limit the selection, you can use the arrow next to the checkbox to pick an option like Read, Unread, Starred, or Unstarred. See the below image:

Gmail 8
Limit your deletion

Now, when you are ready, click the Trash can icon in the toolbar to delete the emails. Up to 50 emails will be deleted at a time. See the following image:

Note: You may need to expand More to see the Trash folder.

Gmail 9
Moving your emails to Trash

Next, you will not be asked to confirm this action! So if you mistakenly delete an email, head to the Trash folder in the left-hand sidebar. Select the email and then move it where you want such as your Inbox or a Label’s folder.

Keep in mind that emails in the Trash are automatically deleted for good after 30 days.

Related

How to Bulk Delete Emails in Gmail

Quote For the Day

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Ansel Adams

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How to Bulk Delete Emails in Gmail

Want to wipe your Gmail inbox clean? Using Gmail’s bulk delete option, you can delete all emails from your Gmail account at once in just a few clicks.

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
January 11, 2022

Want to wipe your Gmail inbox clean? Using Gmail’s bulk delete option, you can delete all emails from your Gmail account at once in just a few clicks.

If you use the Gmail app on an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone, you can not delete all emails at once on your device. This means you will have to rely on the Gmail site to purge your inbox. Let’s explore how this is done.

This is for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebook using Gmail

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Deleting all your emails does not delete your Gmail account. You can still send and receive emails after you have deleted all your existing emails.

First, open a web browser on your Windows, Mac, Linux, or Chromebook computer and access the Gmail site. Log in to your Gmail account on the site if not already logged in.

Next, in the sidebar on the left, click All Mail. If you do not see this option, click More to reveal the option. Refer to the below image:

Gmail 1
Accessing All Mail option

Now, in the pane on the right, you will see all your Gmail emails, including your archived emails. To delete these emails, you will have to first select all these emails. This is done by clicking the Select option (a square icon) at the top of the Gmail interface. See the below image:

Gmail 2
Selecting up to 50 emails

Once check-marked, up to the default (50) emails will be highlighted for deletion.

Next, to select the emails that are not on this page, at the top of the emails list, click the Select all X conversations in All Mail, where “X” is the number of emails in the All Mail folder. See the following image:

Gmail 3
Selecting to delete all emails

Now, all your emails are now selected. To start deleting them, at the top of the Gmail interface, click the Delete option (the trash icon). Refer to the below image:

Gmail 4
Delete all emails

Next, you will see a Confirm bulk action pop-up message. Here, click OK. See the below image:

Gmail 5
Confirming the deletion

Now, Gmail will start deleting and moving your emails to the Trash folder. To remove your emails for good, you will have to empty the Trash. To do so, in Gmail’s left sidebar, click the Trash folder. See the following image:

Gmail 6
Selecting your Trash emails

In the pane on the right, at the top, click Empty Trash now. Refer to the below image:

Gmail 7
Selecting to empty your Trash emails

Next, in the Confirm deleting messages pop-up message that opens, click OK. See the below image:

Gmail 8
Confirm the deletion

You will receive a cute message from Google about how their servers “feel”. (By the way, servers have no “feelings”). See the following image:

Gmail 10
The servers are “feeling unloved”

Now, all your emails except for the ones in the Spam folder are now deleted.

Next, to clear the spam emails, in Gmail’s left sidebar, click Spam. Then, in the pane on the right, click Delete all spam messages now. Refer to the below image:

Gmail 9
Deleting Spam emails

Quote For the Day

If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.

Tom Peters

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You can access the e-book from a Kindle device, the Kindle App for the desktop or smartphone, which is a free app.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong Vietnam: Events and Aftermath

How to Edit Office Documents Directly in GMail

Google is making it even easier to work with Microsoft Office files, with the company now allowing you to directly edit attached Office files in Gmail as well as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. It’s available to all Gmail users, free and paid accounts. No more document conversion hassles, at long last!

Google is making it even easier to work with Microsoft Office files, with the company now allowing you to directly edit attached Office files in Gmail as well as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. It’s available to all Gmail users, free and paid accounts. No more document conversion hassles, at long last!

This is for devices using Google Gmail

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Google Editing Explained

Previously, documents had to be imported into Google Drive in order to edit or modify them; while emailed attachments were only able to be viewed.

The new workflow, however, streamlines that process considerably. Now, you can directly open and edit an Office file using the Google Docs editor just by clicking on it; just like you would a native Google Docs. But the new editing function does not convert Office files into Google Docs, instead preserving the original file format.

Gmail will allow you to respond to the original email and include the now-updated file (still in an Office file format) without first requiring you to download and re-attach the updated file.

This means you can now edit your Word, Excel and PowerPoint files without ever leaving Gmail.

For example, when you receive a Word document as an email attachment, you can open it and start editing in Docs with a single click while still preserving the Word file format.

With the new change, Microsoft Office attachments will have a new “edit” option and when edits are complete, there will be a new option to share the document via email.

Remove a Chrome Extension

First, you must remove an Extension (if installed) from Google Chrome.

  1. Sign into your managed Google Account.
  2. In a Chrome browser, click More.
  3. Scroll down to More tools.
  4. Click Extensions.
  5. Find the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets. & Slides extension and click Remove.

Once you have removed the Extension you can use the Office editing feature.

Directly Edit Office Attachments

Any incoming email with a Microsoft Office document appears in the Inbox list with icons, preview pane, and the name of the document attachment. Refer to below image:

Gmail 1
Accessing the email with attached Office files

Clicking one of those panes opens a pop-up windows with various options. At top right there is a download button; use that to save a copy for opening in Word, Excel or PowerPoint on your computer. Now, click on the Edit icon to edit your file. See below image where we are selecting the Word file to edit:

Gmail 2
Selecting the Edit for a Word file

Hover your mouse over each attachment to see some options:

  • Download – save to your computer
  • Save to Google Drive
  • Edit with Google Docs – opens a new browser window ready to edit.

After Google Editing

Once you have edited the attachment, there are various options for sharing the revised document. Look under the File menu. See following image for the Email option:

Gmail 4
Your Email option

Now, checkout your various options to save the document. Refer to below image for the Download options:

Gmail 5
Your Download options

Google Editing of Office Files

Word docx files can be edited directly with Google Docs, look for the .DOCX icon at top left. See below image:

Gmail 6
Edit a Word document

Excel xlsx files can be edited directly with Google Sheets look for the .XLSX icon at top left. See following image:

Gmail 7
Edit an Excel file

PowerPoint .pptx files can be edited directly with Google Slides, look for the .PPTX icon at top left. Refer to below image:

Gmail 8
Edit a PowerPoint file

Note! There may be compatibility problems between Excel and Sheets or PowerPoint and Slides.

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How to Change Your Display Name In Gmail

Gmail allows you to change the name that is associated with your email address. Your display name and your email address will show up when you send an email from your Gmail account.

Gmail allows you to change the name that is associated with your email address. Your display name and your email address will show up when you send an email from your Gmail account.

Your Google username is what pops up whenever you send someone an email. It is how people identify you, and how they know that it is okay to open those messages, even if your email address does not include your full name or another way of identifying who you are.

Keep in mind that changing your username is not the same as changing your email address; you would need to create a new account for that.

Before diving in, keep in mind that this action is not yet supported on mobile devices like Android, iPhone, or iPad. This can only be done on your desktop/laptop browser and you have to be logged into your Gmail account to get started.

This is for the PC

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Setting Menus

To change the name on your Gmail account, first, log in to your account through mail.google.com on your desktop/laptop browser. Note! You may already be logged in, if so, you can just launch Gmail.

Now, click the gear icon to open the Settings menu. Refer to below image:

gmail 1
Accessing Gmail Settings

Next, select See All Settings link at the top of the drop-down menu. See below image:

gmail 2
Accessing See All Settings link

You will now be in the General tab of Gmail’s Settings menu. Now, click the Accounts and Import tab. See following image:

gmail 3
Selecting the Accounts and Import tab

Your Display Name

Notice in the Send Mail As section, you will see your email address and the display name associated with your address. Author’s Note! Email addresses have been grayed out for privacy purposes.

Next, click the Edit Info button to change your display name. Refer to below image:

gmail 4
Selecting Edit Info button

A new window will appear. Here, you can change your display name by clicking the bubble next to the text box and then typing the new display name in that text box.

Now, click Save Changes to apply your change. See below image:

gmail 5
Changing your display name

Your Changed Display Name

Now, you will see your newly entered display name next to the Send Mail As section in Gmail’s Settings menu. See following image:

gmail 6
Showing your new display name

Final Notes

The next time you send an email, your new display name will be shown to the recipient.

While Google allows you to change your display name, you can not actually change your username (which is different than your display name) or your email address. As mentioned previously, if you really need a new email address, you can always create another Google account. Also, you can migrate your data from your “old” account to the newly created one.

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How to Recall an Email in Gmail

Oops! You just sent a Google Gmail message that you did not want to send. You realize for one reason or another that the message has a mistake or that it shouldn’t have been sent at all. Using Gmail, you have a small window of time in which to undo your mistake.

Oops! You just sent a Google Gmail message that you did not want to send. You realize for one reason or another that the message has a mistake or that it shouldn’t have been sent at all. Using Gmail, you have a small window of time in which to undo your mistake.

By default, Gmail only gives you a 5 second delay in which to recall an email after you hit the Send button. If this is too short, you’ll need to extend the length of time Gmail will keep emails pending before it sends them. Once an email(s) are sent, you are unable to recall them.

This is for Windows 10 PCs, Macs and other devices that support Google Gmail

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Setting the Time Delay in Web Based Gmail

Unfortunately, you can’t change the length of this cancellation period in the Gmail app. You’ll need to do this in the Settings menu of Web based Gmail using your Windows 10 PC or Mac.

First, open Gmail using your browser and click Settings (the gear icon) in upper right-hand corner. Next, click the See all settings option. Refer to below image:

Gmail Recall 1
Open Web based Gmail Settings

In the General tab, you’ll see an option for Undo Send with a default 5 seconds delay. You can change this to periods of 10, 20, and 30 seconds from the drop-down list. It is recommended you set a 30 second delay. See below image:

Gmail Recall 2
Setting the Cancellation Period in Web based Gmail Settings

Scroll way down till you see the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen. Press this button to save your change. The Settings window will then close.

The cancellation period you’ve selected will be applied to your Google account across all your devices.

How to Recall a Web Email in Gmail

If you want to recall a message sent by a Web based Gmail, you’ll need to do so within the cancellation period that applies to your account. This period begins from the moment you press the Send button. If you followed my recommendation, you have 30 seconds.

To recall an email, press the Undo button that appears in the black Message Sent pop-up. It is visible in the bottom-left corner of the Web based Gmail window. See following image:

Gmail Recall 3
Undo your email in Web based Gmail

This is your only chance to recall the email. If you miss it, or you click the “X” button to close the pop-up, you won’t be able to recall it. Once the cancellation period has passed, the Undo button will disappear and the email will be sent.

How to Recall a Mobile Device Email in Gmail

The process for recalling a mobile device email is similar to using the Web based Gmail. Your cancellation period you setup above for your Google account applies.

Go ahead an send an email using the Gmail app. A black pop-up box will appear at the bottom of your screen, telling you that the email has been sent.

The Undo button will appear on the right-hand side of this pop-up. If you want to stop the email, tap this button within the cancellation period or 30 seconds if following my recommendation. Refer to below image:

Gmail Recall 4
Undo your email using Gmail app

Pressing Undo will recall the email, returning you to the Compose draft screen in the Gmail app. At this point, you can then make changes to your email, save it as a draft or delete it.

RELATED

Note! Coming soon if inactive
How to Recall a Sent Microsoft Outlook Message

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Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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