How to Delete Old Emails in Gmail

If you’ve been using Gmail for years, you’re probably wondering: how do I delete multiple, or thousands, of emails in Gmail?

So, if you’re looking to declutter your inbox or make some space, just follow these instructions. Selecting emails one by one can be tiring, but there are some solutions.

We recommend following this guide with a Gmail for Mac client.

Delete Old Emails

You can easily search for old emails in Gmail and delete them in a batch. In the Gmail search bar, you can type the date in this format: YYYY/DD/MM.

So, for example, if you want to delete all emails that you received before Jan. 1, 2022, you can search before:2022/01/1.

You can even search by how old emails are. If you type older_than:1y, you’ll see all the Gmail emails older than 1 year. You can use m for months or d for days.

type older_than:1y to select all emails older than 1 year

If you want to delete them all, click the Check all box, then click Select all conversations that match this search followed by the Delete button.

Select All emails to delete them

Click on delete icon to delete all emails older than 1 year

Advanced Searches

By combining different queries, you can easily find all messages matching certain criteria and delete them all.

Let’s say you want to delete all messages tagged with newsletter received more than 1 year ago: you can use this query: older_than:1y label:newsletter. You’ll see all the resulting emails and you’ll be able to bulk delete them as explained before.

For a full list of searches, you can do inside Gmail, take a look at this page

Delete All Emails in the Gmail App

To permanently delete all email from your Gmail account, you need to select everything first.

This is easier if you use a Gmail desktop client.

To do this, got to the All Mail tab, click the tickbox at the top of the page to select all emails on that page.

As you can see in the image below, you’ll see that a message appears that says Select all XXX conversations in All Mail.

Click on that link to select all messages in your Gmail account, and finally click on the Delete button to delete them all.

Delete Old Emails Automatically

If you want to delete old messages automatically, you can totally do that by setting up a filter.

To do this, open the Gmail settings, go to Filters and Blocked Addresses, and then click on Create a new filter.

In this interface, in the Has the words field, use one the time queries we explained before, like older_than:90d, and finally click on Create Filter.

Finally, click on the Delete it option to delete these matching messages automatically.

Take your Gmail game to the next level

We’ve made a guide to manage your Gmail inbox and used advanced features, you can read it here.


    • I experimented with it typing like this: “older_than:18mo”. It brought all emails before that. I deleted them all.

    • Seems to have worked for me. I set my filter to ‘older_than:18m’ and have removed all emails before Nov 2020. On the second window where you would click the check mark for ‘delete’, you also have to click ‘apply filter to matching conversations’.

  1. Gmail filters are only designed to be applied to incoming email. They are not run again against existing messages in the inbox/labels.

    Only 50 messages are displayed at a time and I am only allowed to delete those 50. Your solution has not shown how to delete thousands without paging through them 50 at a time.

    I am using Gmail via GSuite

    • Hi Rita,
      You can delete all the emails without having to paging through them 50 at once. First, apply the filter and then click on square box to select the first 50 emails on the page. Click on “Select all conversations that match this search” to select all emails that match the filter results and then click on delete.
      Keep using boxysuite!

    • Yes it does, Rita. I think you are missing this line in the instructions… (it took me a while to see it).
      “If you want to delete them all, click the Check all box, then click Select all conversations that match this search followed by the Delete button.”
      The link you have to click is the words “Select all conversations that match this search” and it appears about 2 inches from the top of the screen in the centre.
      Works 100% for me on all of my Gmail accounts.

  2. Is there a way to delete multiple Gmails via mobile yet? I have no access to computer and having to select one at a time is frustrating!!!

  3. I love older_than:1y HOWEVER – can I constrain this to emails that I have not put into a folder? Essentially older_than:1y label:”blank” ?

    • Go to the folder(s), select all and add star to every message. Then search on “older_than:1y” (no need to go through the filter menu) and select “unstarred”

  4. if you dont have access to a computer . just go to your phone chrome browser go to gmail on it , then click on the 3 dots on the top right corner on the browser and select desktop site , and then it will be exactly like a computer a little more difficult but you can do it the same way from there.

  5. on desktop using Chrome, have filer set for “older_than:90d”, box to the left of that filter is unchecked. When I go “select all” emails there’s only an option to “select all 14,015 conversations in inbox”. Don’t see one that says “that match this search”. Feel like I’m missing a step. Thanks for the help.

  6. But this doesn’t delete emails automatically, you still have to run the filter (manually) and then press delete. That’s manual.

    Automatically means without any intervention. So, automatically here would be like emails getting removed after x number of days without me having to find them first.

  7. With “Delete Old Emails Automatically” do you have to go in manually and do this each time or is there a way to set this up to run automatically without user intervention. I have {label:xxx label:xxx} older_than:90d but When I go check there are emails older than 90 days and I have to run the filter?

  8. In the “Delete Old Emails” section: Isn’t the date format supposed to be: YYYY/MM/DD instead of YYYY/DD/MM? That is, enter the month before the day?

  9. Confirm creating filter
    Filter searches containing “label:”, “in:”, “is:”, date range (e.g. “before:” or “after:”) or stars criteria (e.g. “has:yellow-star”) are not recommended as they will never match incoming mail. Do you still wish to continue to the next step?

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