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July 1, 2006

Delete All Spam In Gmail


Gmail has a great spam filter, but the spam is hard to delete. And that's a problem if you get hundreds of spam messages every day. Gmail is rolling out a new link called "Delete all spam messages now" so you don't have to repeatedly select all messages and delete them. If you don't see the link yet, you'll find there in the next days. You can see it in the screenshot above, that also shows the previous design.

Clicking on the link gives this message:



Don't forget that Gmail allows you to create an infinite number of bulk addresses like myemailaddress+walmart@gmail.com. You should use them when creating accounts for different services or forums. If you see spam coming to that address, set a filter that moves all that messages to Spam.

Update: there's also a link that allows you to empty the trash.

59 comments:

  1. Can Gmail have "context sensitive (right click) drop down menu"? Deleting spam mails is not the only inconvenience that I can find, there are two more:
    - selecting all read emails but unstarred (or whatever combinations of read, unread, star, unstarred), and
    - moving emails to archive and at the same time marking it as read.

    If counting the addition of "Report Spam" button and "Delete" button, I find 5 inconveniences to which Gmail can resolve by modifiying its web page design. Would it be beter to hide all these (or upcoming) buttons and links in "context sensitive (right click) drop down menu"?

    ReplyDelete
  2. How to select all read but unstarred mails from the inbox?

    Type is:read in:inbox in the search box.
    Then select unstarred messages and click archive.

    It's hard to deal with right-click menus in Ajax application. Yahoo Mail Beta tries to do that, but it's not too responsive.

    To read more about searching in Gmail, go here.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Don't forget that Gmail allows you to create an infinite number of bulk addresses like myemailaddress+walmart@gmail.com.

    i only see one feature similar to this: The Accounts part of Settings where i can validly send email as though it came from one of my other accounts (Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.)... i'm not finding info on creating bulk addresses as you've described. It might be right in front of me, but some help would be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello, Joe.

    If your Gmail address is joe@gmail.com, every mail sent to joe+sometext@gmail.com arrives to your inbox. So you can use this feature to create a filter that looks at the From address and decides to do something with the mail sent to joe+sometext@gmail.com (in the example I gave in my article, report as spam). You can consider this a way to separate some of your mail from the rest.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the clarification. Didn't realize that was a feature. i'll have to put it to use. Just toss a "+" and something to trigger a filter....i think Yahoo offered something similar to their paid customers. i never did see any positive effect on my spam content using them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. the "+spam" add-on is not a feature of gmail - it's part of the RFC for all mail systems, which are required to deliver mail to "bob+foo@example.com" to "bob@example.com".

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are wrong. It doesn't work for Yahoo Mail and Hotmail. The RFCs doesn't say what to do with the plus symbol.

    Here's a table with characters allowed in a mail address, according to RFC2821 and RFC2822.

    Note: Request for Comments (RFC) documents are a series of memoranda encompassing new research, innovations, and methodologies applicable to Internet technologies (from Wikipedia).

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the tip on filtering. It will be a relief from all the comment spam I get forwarded to my Inbox.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's about time, I requested such features months ago, I expect a lot of other people did too!

    ReplyDelete
  10. @wilsonthongwk

    Give this a try:

    - to find all read emails but unstarred, simply search for "in:all is:unread -in:starred"

    - if you do this often enough you might want to install Greasemonkey and this user script to add persistent searches

    alphageek

    ReplyDelete
  11. OMFG ABOUT (*@#&$(*#^($&^#(%&#(%&($#& TIME.

    I have like 15k emails in my junk e-mail.

    And I was really pissed at google for being so stupid as to not have delete all junk email. Makes it impossible to freakin check if good emails are getting in spam.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I know this isn't the Google request line, but while they are at it I sure wish they would add an "Archive all mail in the inbox" link as well. I've given up archiving my mail because it is a hassle selecting all of the messages in my inbox (and yes, I know I should be dealing with them all as soon as I see them the first time)

    ReplyDelete
  13. @anonymous about "Archive all in inbox":

    Is it that much of a hassle clicking "All" (next to Select), and then "Archive"? You want a new link cluttering up Gmail's interface because you can't click twice?

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you want to do.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "Great spam filter"? Not my Gmail.

    ReplyDelete
  15. using some disposal email service such as trashmail.net will prevent potential spam

    Firefox+trashmail.net extension are quite efficient

    ReplyDelete
  16. isn't working in my gmail...

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've been waiting for someone to figure this out. Lovely stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  18. The foo+bar@gmail.com thing is useful, but gets messed up by the unbelievable number of websites that don't allow you to include a '+' in an email address. Usually because idiot web designers use '+' as a special character to separate fields.

    ReplyDelete
  19. And another thing. The anon. who said "select all and archive" obviously doesn't have 25,000 messagines in her inbox. Pretty tricky to do that 25 or even 100 messages at a time

    ReplyDelete
  20. was waiting for someone to mention the caveat that a ton of WWW forms requiring emails disallow a + character and return some form of an "invalid email" error

    And re: trashmail, I find that spamgourmet is better simply because it is designed to create new, disposable accounts on the fly instead of having to fill in a web form every time you need a new one. you setup an account at spamgourmet, say "anonymous@spamgourmet.com," then any time you want a disposable email you simply add a nickname for it and the # of emails you want allowed:

    blogger.5.anonymous@spamgourmet.com

    and input that into a WWW email field. it will be automatically created, forwarded to the email you have on file with spamgourmet and trashed after it forwards, in this case, 5 emails

    ReplyDelete
  21. Replying on the subject of "Archive all in inbox", think about it - you can only select all the email messages on the current screen. If you've got more than whatever displays, or say, a couple thousand messages, archiving all would take forever.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The easiest way to archive all the mail in your inbox, and even sort it too, is to do it as it comes in.

    For example, a mailing list that comes from someone@mailinglist.com can have a label automatically added to it and archived when it comes in with a custom filter.

    Or an easy way to have it all archived and never see anything in your inbox would be to set up a second gmail account and have all the mail forwarded from the first to the second...and set up a filter to archive it when it comes in, similar to the first filter I explained.

    Additionally, all those gmail invites you have can be very useful and disposable. You can set up account of joe.walmart@gmail.com then forward all mail from that account to your main one. Then set an autolabel to make it more noticeable. If you see spam in it, you can disable the forwarding and/or close the account.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hmm...i usually don't pay attention there but i will check it out next time.

    It sounds like a great new feature, about time, if you ask me, i'm finding the volume of spam dramatically higher than a year ago.

    But Gmail still owns by a mile.

    ReplyDelete
  24. thanks for the info!! it was really useful, especially the email+xxxx function.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I would love to use this fucntion but its been 5 days since ive read this posting and I still dont see the link on my GMail....
    Do I need to do anything or just wait for it to show up?

    ReplyDelete
  26. I've tried to make a bookmarklet that creates the links, but it doesn't work because the version with Delete All Spam uses a different code. Gmail's code is obfuscated, so it's pretty difficult to get something meaningful from it.

    Google should release this for everyone, because the feedback was impressive.

    It's hard for Google to admit they were wrong - Gmail was initially released with the idea "You don't have to delete mails". It took them almost two years to create a delete button for mails.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I must be dense, so I am sure someone here will explain to me WHY do you need this delete all SPAM feature? I hear "So I can check the SPAM folder for good emails." Well, what I do is everytime I check the SPAM folder, I select the current top page of emails and mark them as read. Then next time I want to check the SPAM folder, I first mark the first page of emails as read, then I just check down the list till I get to the next block of emails that I previously marked as read. Big deal?! Is there some OTHER reason to need this feature?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Is there a way of having the contents of the SPAM folder deleted automatically, no questions asked?

    ReplyDelete
  29. I wish Google would give us Gmailers the option to have marked messages added to the list of email filters, thus preventing them or anything from their domain from ever hitting our inbox/spam folders again.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'd like to be able to

    1. block senders
    2. set it so spam gets deleted immediately.

    plz google you would make my christmas great.

    ReplyDelete
  31. YES! Absolutely! Right on!

    1. Block senders!
    2. Deletes spam immedietly (or at least expand the option to decrease the number of days!)

    Thanx!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. http://www.spamsomeone.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. YES, there should be an option to delete spam sooner. One might suspect that someone has an interest in leaving this garbage searchable or something...

    And I can't even believe that there is such a service as "spamsomeone". How can they not close this down??? Offering and using this service is a CRIMINAL OFFENCE.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Here is what were looking for years :-D

    http://wiki.conmutador.net/index.php/RemoveGmailSpamAutomatically

    ReplyDelete
  35. Gmail smam is geting worse ever day, but it does put spam most times in the correct folder, i think they could do much better if they maybe tried a little bit....but what can we expect for free!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I think there should be a way that you could delete your whole spam box.

    ReplyDelete
  37. What do you mean by:
    Don't forget that Gmail allows you to create an infinite number of bulk addresses like myemailaddress+walmart@gmail.com. "

    How can I create an email adress like that and how do I access that adress?

    Please reply at clyde@mail.gr.
    I am very interested at this!

    ReplyDelete
  38. i came here to find out how to reduce spam, but got more confused on what to do.
    So does anyone know how to change a current gmail address,i'v tried to figure it out but failed, this would get rid of spam would it not?

    ReplyDelete
  39. No, this only allows you to delete all the messages from the spam folder. Gmail does a pretty good job at filtering spam: you should just "Report as spam" the messages that weren't detected by Gmail instead of deleting them. This will improve Gmail's filtering algorithms.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hello.

    Is it possible to restore deleted gmail spam?

    How can I do that?

    ReplyDelete
  41. If you delete a message from the Spam section, the button is labeled as "Delete forever". I suppose it's not necessary to mention what that means and that you can't restore it.

    ReplyDelete
  42. here is the answer ,so creative
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/385317/auto_delete_all_gmail_spam/

    its so easy to set things up

    ReplyDelete
  43. MY GOOGLE ACCOUNT MAXINELEVERETTE8@GMAIL.COM ISNT ACTING RIGHT I HAVE TO USE HMTL TO VIEW MY MESSAGES IT WASNT LIKE THAT I CANT EVEN DELETE MY SPAMS MESSAGE THANK YOU

    ReplyDelete
  44. "basic HTML" doesn't have many functions. Almost as bad as me posting as Anonymous here, while logged in w/my acc.

    ReplyDelete
  45. This delete all messages is not valid any longer, some time in 2009 google have removed the ability to do so. It is a shame.

    ReplyDelete
  46. note this is only true when using the HTML only version, when using the standard gui, it does still appear.

    ReplyDelete
  47. is it possible to retrieve the mail deleted from the spam folder? i need to retrieve the mail deleted from the spam folder.

    ReplyDelete
  48. What part of "delete forever" don't you understand? You clicked on "delete forever" and now you want to retrieve the deleted messages.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Why do so many people bother with this? Spam is a way of life. In fact, 85% or so of any user submission is spam. Get over it.

    Delete, man. Delete.

    ReplyDelete
  50. gmail has the worst fucking interface in the history of webmail

    I've held my tongue for three years thinking you guys would update and make it better over time but goodness sakes man your ui sucks. Lots of great features that are hard to find and lots of important common features that are 10 times harder to find than in any other mail service I use.

    ReplyDelete
  51. How do I delete all spam without checking each one?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I HATE SPAM MESSAGES.PLEASE HELP ME DELETE SPAM MESSAGES IN MY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT. THANK YOU

      Delete
  52. delete spam forever, please help me delete all spam

    ReplyDelete
  53. I've been trying to find out how to delete ALL spam in one go for ages! it's pointless trying to ask google,they don't give a toss. I am now forced to use my yahoo.co.uk email client as it has a delete ALL spam now feature which gets rid of it in seconds. Last week i spent 40 minutes meticulously checking each spam message in the spam folder deleting all the spam. i am totally p....d right off that Google cannot provide it's customers with a bulk delete button that most other email programs have. If the owners of Google cannot provide such a basic service to their customers they don't deserve us to stay and we should protest with our feet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they already have a delete all button, don't blame google because you don't know how to use it.

      Delete
    2. Hey a wipe if you are on a mobile network which the universe will all soon be on you would notice that the powers that be at Google have seriously flopped! They either have downgraded their services or made them even harder as opposed to easier to use. Especially their email services. I was a die hard Googler but since the advent of mobile disdain I am moving on, and I hope their profits go the same way.

      Delete
  54. hi,
    is this available for Basic HTML views. how about deleting all spam in basic view.

    thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Google, specifically Gmail, has gotten much better identifying my spam mail. I try to delete my spam folder daily so it doesn't get too long.. It is a time consuming process, but i have accepted it. Looking forward to a spam free future:)

    ReplyDelete