I previously used a service that sent me Slashdot articles as individual e-mails. All I had to do was give them the RSS url, and they handled the rest. On the Gmail side, I simply made a filter, labeling these e-mails as "News".

Once I stopped using the service, I realized that I had more than 20,000 such e-mails stockpiled. While I could delete all "News" e-mails, there are some that I've forwarded to friends, sometimes receiving multiple replies. These conversations are valuable - I would like to keep them.

As far as I can tell, there's no way to search for conversations that have more than one e-mail in the thread. Up until now, I've been deleting them page by page, carefully de-selecting the conversations that have more than one e-mail; however, it will take far too much time to complete. Is there an easier way that I'm missing?

  • Can you delete it by e-mailaddress? I think that service always uses the same address, no?
    – Mien
    Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 18:39
  • @Mien Yep, they all have the same address, but when I search for that, I still get conversations listed. So, if I were to delete, I'd wipe out even those conversations that have more than one e-mail.
    – Matt Refghi
    Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 18:56

2 Answers 2


I have a similar situation where I email a lot of things to myself from Google Reader, I can filter the ones that I have forwarded though by using the to: field.

In this case:

"google reader" to:!me

Where the ! mark finds all emails sent to NOT me.

Then you can label these and filter again:

label:News !label:Keep

This will find all News NOT with the label Keep.

  • This looks really promising, but it seems to be missing some conversations. Trying to figure it out now. Here's what I'm using as a search "label:news to:[email protected] rssfwd".
    – Matt Refghi
    Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 19:07
  • Not sure why it's missing some, you could try without rssfwd as its over specific, and you can also substitute [email protected] for me in searches Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 19:15
  • I understand it, now, and it is entirely my fault. It's unfortunate, but I had the habit of cleaning up the e-mails whenever I forwarded them, effectively removing any references to "rssfwd" and "slashdot". That's why they aren't being returned. Your method works, though, and it allowed me to flag at least ~400 e-mails... maybe I'll have to settle for that...rather than deal with these manually.
    – Matt Refghi
    Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 19:25

You could consider connecting any IMAP capable e-mail client that can search for such a thing to your Gmail account and deleting the single mail "threads" like that.

Thunderbird's message filters don't seem to work exactly the way you want, but I think they might help speed things up.

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