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I have hundreds of unread emails in my Gmail account and I want to mark them all as read.

How can I do that?

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migrated from superuser.com Sep 18 '13 at 12:01

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

up vote 16 down vote accepted

There is a step-by-step solution here, and it works:


  • Press the search button: is:unread
  • Click the down-arrow in the "select" button, then choose "all."
  • Click where it says "Select all conversations that match this search."
  • Click the "More" button, then click "Mark as read."
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The "Select all conversations that match this search" link appear when you have performed a search. If your search is for unread messages ("is:unread") you shouldn't have in the visible page all mails, but just unread ones. Be aware that the selection is active (for the current session) until you don't perform an unselect (i.e. if you select all messages with a certain criterion, a new search do not unselect them automatically). – Paolo Gibellini Sep 18 '13 at 20:47
@cipricus. Very odd. I'm not able to replicate this without having a filter. – Paolo Gibellini Sep 22 '13 at 7:57
I don't think this works anymore. I don't get the Select all x conversations part. – Louis Oct 11 '13 at 0:55
You need 1. to use a filter and 2. to select all. Then, the "select all conversations that..." link appears. – Paolo Gibellini Oct 11 '13 at 10:20
@PaoloGibellini - i had changed it but the new answer was wrong so i deleted it: i'should roll back to the initial one. sorry for my last comment too, which will now be deleted – cipricus Nov 25 '13 at 8:38

Using is:unread lists all unread emails from all categories, including Promotions and Spam. If you want to mark only your Primary emails as read, use

enter image description here

This only lists the emails from selected category which makes marking as read task easier.

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Good, but this only shows your unread messages. The question was: How do you mark those messages as read? – Vidar S. Ramdal Nov 18 '13 at 12:11

This will work only if the new tabbed view of the inbox is not enabled. To disable it:

enter image description here

Unselect all (except first one, that cannot be un-checked anyway)

enter image description here

Then, select all mails (which in fact will select only those of the current page) and a message inviting you to select all the message in inbox appears:

enter image description here

Chose to select all conversations in inbox and then (under 'More') mark as read. (In the image, I have "Mark as read"button enabled in Settings- Lab.)

enter image description here

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Only that you have to do this manually for each label. – Alex Oct 17 '13 at 9:15
@Alex - if labels are enabled, the message to select all mails in inbox (not just those that are visible on the page) is not available. – cipricus Nov 25 '13 at 8:56
I prefer to work with tabbed view and use the filter is:unread to select, but this is an alternative way. – Paolo Gibellini Nov 25 '13 at 12:21
@PaoloGibellini - your answer stands as definitive not only because it works in both tabbed and non-tabbed view of inbox, but is more bound to stay valid despite future changes of gmail features – cipricus Nov 25 '13 at 13:39

You can create a filter for all the unread email (I'm assuming that you might have several pages of unread emails) and set it as read at the end of the filter creation options.

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protected by Community Jun 27 '14 at 11:18

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