Why Not Just Leave Emails Unread?
Since unread messages doesn’t take up any more email storage space than one that has been opened, you might be wondering why not just leave unread messages as they are. Check out this video to find out how to make your Gmail mark all as read and why to do so.
So, the main reason why is that having too many unread emails alongside opened ones makes it much more likely for you to overlook something important, such as an urgent announcement from your boss, account compromise notice, and so on.
To make matters worse, the longer you leave unread messages sit in your inbox, the more difficult it becomes to get rid of them unless you choose the nuclear option and open them all in one go using the methods described in this article.
Automatically Mark New Messages as Read
Most Gmail users read only a small fraction of the messages they receive. After all, who would waste their time reading routine confirmation emails, receipts for online purchases, or unwanted newsletters?
The problem is that Gmail users still have to open each and every message to keep the unread email counter at zero, and that costs them valuable time that could be much better used on other activities.
Fortunately, there are inbox organizers like Clean Email, which makes it possible to automatically mark all unread messages as read in Gmail by creating smart Auto Clean rules that trigger whenever a new message matching certain criteria finds its way into the inbox. Like this:
- Go to: https://app.clean.email/
- Sign in with your Gmail account.
- Choose the Auto Clean tool.
- Click the + icon to create a new rule.
- Name the new rule and specify the conditions when you want the rule to trigger.
- Choose the desired action to happen when the rule conditions are met (Mark Read).
- (Optional) Apply the rule to existing messages.
- Click Create Rule.
You can repeat steps 3 to 8 to create as many rules as you need. You can see all the rules you’ve created on the main Auto Clean page. There, you can pause them, edit them, and delete them.
Of course, Clean Email also lets you mark all existing unread messages as read without creating an Auto Clean rule. Here’s how to mark all messages as read in Gmail in just three simple steps:
- Select Unread Mail from the list of Favorites.
- Click Select and Select All.
- Click the Mark Read button.
To only mark as read certain types of emails, such as social notifications, online shopping confirmations, or automated messages, you can take advantage of Smart Folders, which are handy collections of emails from all folders in your inbox. Here’s how you can mark all emails included in a Smart Folder as read:
- Browse the list of Smart Folders in the left pane and click the folder you want to select.
- Click Select and Select All.
- Click the Mark Read button.
Many Gmail users mark as read subscription emails because they don’t want piles of them just sitting in their inboxes, but there’s an even better way to deal with them: the Keep Newest feature. With this feature, you can automatically delete all but the latest message from a sender:
- Select Inbox from the list of Favorites.
- Select the sender whose messages you want to automatically delete (except for the latest one).
- Click Keep Newest.
By combining Clean Email’s powerful inbox organization features, you can keep your inbox clean with minimum effort required.
Manually Mark All Emails as Read
Gmail makes it easy to mark all emails as read as long as you use the web-based version for desktop computers (gmail.com). The Gmail mobile app doesn’t make it possible to quickly zero the unread counter because there’s no Gmail mark all as read option (well, technically, there is, but it’s far from useful since you can only select messages one by one).
Assuming you’re sitting behind a computer with a web browser opened, here’s what you need to do to mark all emails as read in Gmail:
- Go to: https://gmail.com/
- Log in to your Gmail account.
- Type label:inbox is:unread into the search bar and press Enter.
- Click the down-facing caret and select All.
- Click the Mark as read button.
Instead of “label:inbox is:unread,” you can also type just “is:unread.” The former will display all unread messages with the inbox label, and the latter will display unread messages regardless of the label attached to them.
Alternatively, you can start by clicking the down-facing caret and selecting All. Gmail will select all emails on the current page, and you need to click the “Select all X messages in Inbox” link to also select the rest. Then, you can click the Mark as read button.
💡 Tip: Google’s mail service supports many different search operators that you can use to narrow down your messages to those you want to mark as read.
Are you a mobile user with no access to a desktop computer? Instead of going through the trouble of selecting all messages you haven’t opened yet one by one just to open them in bulk, you can use the Android and iOS versions of Clean Email instead.
How To Make Your Gmail Mark All As Read - FAQs
Can I mark all messages as read on my iPhone?
The official Gmail app doesn’t let you select all unread messages in one go — you can only select them one message at a time. Selecting each and every message manually might take an absurdly long amount of time, so it’s better to use Clean Email instead.
Do I need to buy a license to mark all messages as read using Clean Email?
No, with the free version of Clean Email, you can mark up to 1,000 messages as read and test all premium features for up to 14 days.
Can I revert and mark the message as unread?
Yes, you can use the Gmail mark as unread option to instantly mark all selected messages as read. Alternatively, you can use the same option in Clean Email to achieve the same result.
How long does it take to label all emails as read?
It takes barely any time at all to label all emails as read regardless of whether you do it manually or with the help of a third-party inbox organizer.
Can I mark all emails with a specific label?
Yes, using the search operators in Gmail (such as label:work is:unread), it’s possible to show and select only emails with a specific label. Alternatively, you can use Smart Filters in Clean Email to see all emails that have something in common (such as their age, size, sender, etc.).