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I have a number of older emails in Gmail which are unread which I'd like to make read but I don't want to mark recent unread emails as read. Can I mark all emails from a specific date to be marked read without manually finding each one?

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The same way you'd do any bulk action on email messages: Search first.

Assuming you want to find all of the messages from before April 1 and mark them read:

  1. search Gmail for before:2019-04-01
  2. click the checkbox at the top of the list to select all of the visible messages
  3. if you have more than 1 page of results, you'll get a message similar to "All 50 conversations on this page are selected. Select all conversations that match this search" where "Select all conversations..." is a link. Click that link to choose all matching messages
  4. Choose your action. "Mark as read" should be one of the buttons at the top, among others. There are other actions in the "More" menu

There are a lot of search operators you can use with Gmail.

| improve this answer | |
  • Many thanks. I added "before:2019-10-01 label:unread" and all the unread messages came up. I then clicked the open envelope icon to change them to read. – LegalEagle2 Nov 25 '19 at 17:18

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