I tried to create a filter to trash all emails from ([email protected]) - an email address used by my school to spam us.

After applying the filter to all my old messages, it trashed everything. I guesse the filter system reads a '!' as "not".

Can I roll back the change - or do I have to restore ALL my trashed emails (over 1000) to get back the 500+ that were incorrectly trashed.

  • 2
    You should be able to filter stuff in trash that you want to keep, though it might be a more methodical process. If you know certain things you always delete -- for example, I receive coupons and stuff from a few vendors -- you can filter those out using in:trash from:[email protected] and permanently delete them. Then, select all (and I do mean all of them) and then restore. That's one option, but it will be time-consuming.
    – Aarthi
    Apr 8, 2012 at 14:48
  • I think that this is the only real solution. I wish there were some 'undo' function I could use... I just restored everything to my inbox and started archiving/trashing stuff again :-( Apr 8, 2012 at 18:14
  • 1
    An email address can't start with an exclamation mark.
    – dnbrv
    Apr 9, 2012 at 17:58
  • 5
  • 1
    @Aarthi The option to Delete Forever disappears once you've applied any filter to your Trash.
    – user13779
    Apr 13, 2012 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


Gmail shows a preview of the messages that the filter will apply to during the filter setup I'd encourage you to review the results in the future to make sure they are what you expect. Unfortunately at this time it is not possible to revert a filter after creation, but I'm passing along your feedback. If you haven't already, make sure to delete that filter from your Settings to prevent it from catching any new incoming messages.

  • Thanks Sarah! Yea, I remember seeing that it was a large number of messages it would apply too, but wasn't really thinking and just clicked it. Apr 9, 2012 at 20:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.