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You can use *a, but this only selects conversations on the current page. I'd like to select all conversations without using the mouse, IE to delete hundreds of emails from a specific sender.

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I can't find a way to do this easily without the mouse, the "Select all conversations..." link isn't even selectable by using the Tab key, so you can't get round it that way.

I think the best you can do is keep on pressing *a, then #, then *a, then #...

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This is a bummer. (The situation, not the answer.) But currently it is indeed possible to tab to "Select all conversations..." It took me A LOT of tabbing, but I could get there. So things are a tiny bit better than in 2010. –  mdahlman Mar 1 '13 at 22:22
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This isn't really a general solution, but for situations like your example, you could set up a filter using the search, then apply it to existing messages.

  1. Click "create filter" next to the search button.

  2. Fill in your search criteria. You can click "Test Search" to make sure you are only getting what you want.

  3. Once you've selected the messages you want, click "Next Step".

  4. Choose the actions you want to perform. You will also want to check the box that says "Also apply filter to n conversations below".

  5. Click "Create Filter".

If you don't want to keep doing the action automatically in the future, you will need to delete the filter. You can find all your filters in the "Filters" tab in your settings. The last one you created should be at the bottom of the list.

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I think you misunderstood the question. Ben specifically doesn't want to have to use the mouse. He appears to know how to do the search and delete all the messages using the mouse, but is looking for a way to do this just with keyboard shortcuts... –  x3ja Jul 5 '10 at 1:08
    
@x3ja: I know what he's trying to do, but I'm just suggesting a different way to perform an action on hundreds of messages. –  Matthew Crumley Jul 5 '10 at 2:23
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There's no need to create a filter to do this though - you can just do the search, then click select all and then "Select all messages that match" and do what you suggest above. Although I guess if you want to repeat it on a regular basis then that would be a good approach. –  x3ja Jul 5 '10 at 11:24
    
@x3ja: Thanks, I didn't know you could do that. –  Matthew Crumley Jul 5 '10 at 16:10
    
I'm curious how complex it is, to build something with google labs for gmail, so when you press "Threadlist selection" ( * then a ) - second time it would select all messages that match. –  A.B Dec 12 '12 at 21:26
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