How to delete all emails from Gmail (and why you should do it)

Whether you want to clean up your Gmail inbox or move away from the provider, deleting emails is easy enough. Learn how to delete all emails from Gmail quickly.
If you have been using Gmail for a while, your inbox is likely quite cluttered. This makes it hard to stay organized and ensure you don’t miss important messages, especially if you use the same account for personal and business use.Once you make sure there is no important correspondence you must refer back to at some point, you might want to empty your inbox and start fresh. Alternatively, you may want to shift to another email provider without transferring your old emails to it.Either way, this guide will help by teaching you how to delete all emails from Gmail in only a few clicks. You will learn how to clean your inbox on different devices and why doing so might be a good idea in the first place.
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Can you delete all emails at once in Gmail?

The answer to this question depends on the device you’re using. If you are using Gmail on a browser, you can remove all mail at once. This option is not available on the Gmail mobile app, though, so you would need to delete emails in batches. It’s unclear why this is the case, and a lack of such an option is quite inconvenient.With the above in mind, this article covers two quick tutorials:
  1. How to delete all emails in Gmail for desktop
  2. How to delete all Gmail messages on your phone

How to quickly delete emails in Gmail’s browser version

The fastest way to empty your Gmail inbox is to do it through the platform’s desktop/browser version. When you log in, follow these steps to delete all mail:
  1. On the left-hand menu, click More > All Mail
  2. Click the arrow next to the check mark right above the inbox, and select All
  3. Only the first 50 conversations on the first page will be selected by default. To expand the selection to the entire inbox, click Select All [XYZ] Conversations in All Mail
  4. Click the bin icon above the inbox and confirm the deletion when prompted
Your emails will be moved to Trash, where they will stay for 30 days before being removed permanently. If you want to delete them sooner, navigate to the Trash category in the left-hand menu, and click Empty Trash.
Source: Gmail screenshotYou can repeat the above process for any specific category you want to delete if you’re still not ready to empty your inbox entirely. For instance, if you want to delete promotional mail, open the Promotions category from the left-hand menu and repeat steps 2–4 from the above guide.If you want to keep certain conversations, deselect them after marking all your mail, and Gmail will leave them in your inbox.

How to delete all emails on Gmail on iPhone or Android

As mentioned, Gmail’s mobile app doesn’t allow for the mass deletion of emails on either the iPhone or Android. The best you can do is delete multiple emails at once, which only makes sense if you don’t have too many conversations. Otherwise, it’s too time-consuming and laborious.Still, if you want to use this approach, you can delete emails in batches by following these steps:
  1. Click the hamburger menu in the upper-left corner and go to All Mail
  2. Tap the name bubble of the email you want to delete to select it
  3. After making your selection, tap the bin icon at the top to delete the emails
Source: Gmail screenshotDon’t forget to remove the emails from Trash to ensure they’re deleted permanently.If you don’t want to clean your inbox manually but still want to do it through your phone, the only option to remove all mail is by using a third-party app. A quick App Store or Play Store search should uncover plenty of options to choose from.

Why you might want to delete all Gmail emails

The most common reason for cleaning your Gmail inbox is to stay on top of conversations without getting lost in the emails you need. Still, privacy-conscious users often have another motive—protecting their correspondence from both external threats and Google’s invasive practices by switching to a more private service.Gmail is far from the safest email provider, and many people have awoken to its security issues. The biggest red flag is the encryption type the provider uses, which isn’t strong enough to keep your emails safe from attackers.Namely, the platform supports the TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol by default, which comes with two significant issues:
  • It only safeguards data in transit, so there’s no protection while emails are resting on Google’s servers
  • TLS has numerous vulnerabilities that competent hackers can exploit to steal users’ data
With this in mind, your Gmail correspondence might be at significant risk of leaking if an attacker penetrates Google’s servers. Even without external threats, your messages still aren’t private because Gmail creates and stores encryption keys, which gives them access to plaintext copies.To eliminate these issues and keep your emails confidential, you should consider switching to a privacy-first email service.
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How secure email services protect your data

Your email provider must ensure comprehensive safety from various types of cyberattacks and give you full control over the information you send via email. To make this happen, they should use end-to-end encryption (E2EE).Unlike the TLS protocol, E2EE standards encompass two encryption types:
Encryption typeWhat it does
Encryption in transitKeeps emails secure while they’re traveling between servers
Encryption at restSecures emails while they’re idle on the provider’s server
E2EE does more than combine these two encryption types—it happens at the device level, meaning your emails are encrypted before reaching the provider. The encryption key isn’t shared with the email service, so they can’t eavesdrop on your conversations. Only the recipient holding the decryption key on their device can decipher and read the message.Google doesn’t offer this protection level to most users. You must sign up for one of its highest-paid tiers to unlock an option to use S/MIME encryption. Even if you invested in it, you still wouldn’t enjoy complete privacy, as you must share your S/MIME certificate with Google. This means they can still decipher your messages despite this extra security layer.To fix the above issues and make advanced email security available to everyone, Skiff created a privacy-first email platform that gives every user complete ownership of their data—Skiff Mail.

Skiff Mail—free, secure, and easy to use

Skiff Mail implements strong end-to-end encryption that safeguards your data using two separate keys:
Public keyPrivate key
Used for encryption and shared between the sender and recipientUsed to decrypt the message and stored on the user’s device
Nobody can decipher and read your emails besides the intended recipient—not even Skiff’s team. The platform doesn’t even store your login credentials thanks to the Secure Remote Password algorithm, which enables zero-knowledge login. You can get started without revealing any identifiable information, like your phone number.For additional account security, Skiff Mail offers two-factor authentication with the Authenticator app. This is an excellent way to protect your account from social engineering attacks like phishing.

Beyond security—how Skiff Mail helps you stay productive

All of Skiff Mail’s security measures are active by default, so there’s no need to configure them manually. When you create an account, you’ll see a clean, beautifully designed interface optimized for maximum productivity. You can navigate the platform’s many functions without complications, regardless of your tech skills.Using Skiff Mail is free, so no valuable feature is hidden behind a paywall. The free plan encompasses all you need to create a secure email environment:
  • Lightning-fast email and text search (typically reserved for paid services)
  • 10 GB of end-to-end encrypted cloud storage
  • Four aliases that funnel mail from multiple addresses into your inbox
  • Five folders and labels
  • Integration with various crypto wallets, including MetaMask, Brave, and Keplr
You can learn more about these features and Skiff’s security measures in the whitepaper. The platform is open source, and the codebase is available to the public on Skiff’s GitHub.

Expand your workflow with Skiff’s secure product suite

When you open a Skiff Mail account, you’ll get access to three additional end-to-end encrypted platforms at no additional cost:
  • Skiff Pages—A more secure alternative to Google Docs that keeps key metadata and document contents encrypted. You can leverage a rich text editor to create an unlimited number of docs and use invite-based collaboration to control access to each document and delegate tasks more easily
  • Skiff Drive—An end-to-end encrypted cloud solution offering up to 1 TB of secure storage. You can access your files from various devices thanks to seamless cross-platform syncing. Skiff Drive also offers optional integration with the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS)
  • Skiff Calendar—A tracking and scheduling tool that integrates with Skiff Mail to pull all important event data and help you stay organized. The calendar app is customizable, so you can tailor its features to your needs. It also lets you host private meetings and video conferences using the built-in conferencing tool
Skiff is available on all major browsers and has dedicated apps for iOS, Android, and macOS. Visit the download page for more details on the platform’s compatibility.

Sign up for Skiff in three quick steps

Securing your correspondence with Skiff Mail only takes a few clicks—all you have to do is:
  1. Go to the signup page
  2. Choose your account name and password
  3. Explore Skiff Mail and other end-to-end encrypted products
Besides the robust free plan suitable for different user groups, Skiff offers three affordable paid tiers that let you unlock additional features like custom domains and short aliases.If security is your main reason for cleaning out your inbox, there’s no need to lose your correspondence when switching from Gmailyou can move it to Skiff in a single click, and all your mail will be encrypted immediately.

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