I have a couple thousand e-mails in my Gmail inbox which I want to move to a folder called "oldmail".

I can select the checkbox button and then "All" and move but it only selects and moves those that are showing (about 40).

How can I select and move all mails from my inbox to the folder "oldmail"?

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6 Answers 6


To apply the oldmail label to all the messages in your inbox

  1. Click "all".
  2. You should then see "All 100 conversations on this page are selected. Select all 139 conversations in Inbox" between the buttons and the first email.
  3. Click the second part of the phrase.
  4. Use the label button to assign the label or to create the label
  5. Click the Archive button.
  • didn't see that at first, thanks! Commented Aug 8, 2012 at 3:41
  • 2
    I don't see any such message as mentioned in point 2. I did a long time ago, but not any longer. Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 17:12
  • 2
    I cannot see such a message now. I think Google have made changes to GMail!
    – fatuhoku
    Commented Jul 2, 2013 at 14:58
  • 1
    Google changed this functionality. As off 2014/05/07, there is no obvious way to complete this task.
    – Sandwich
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 19:59

@mhoran_psprep's answer actually is still valid, with one caveat

Fancy New Inbox is broken

If you're using the fancy new inbox (which they will probably have defaulted you to) you need to disable it. This is what I mean by 'fancy new inbox' where it separates groups of items :

enter image description here

Disable fancy new inbox

  • Go to Settings > Inbox
  • Don't go to Configure inbox because that's different
  • Change the inbox to Default
  • Save changes

enter image description here

Move to inbox

You can now go back to the steps in @mhoran_psprep's answer and you should see this

enter image description here


I just moved 39,741 emails to the archives, using GMail's Priority Inbox (if you're not using Priority Inbox, skip to step 3) by doing the following:

1. In the menu on the lefthand side (beneath "Inbox, Starred" etc), click "More" "More

2. Click "All Mail"
"All Mail

3. Check the master selection box above the top ad, above your inbox.
Master Selection box

4. Beneath the ad, you'll see a message with something like "All ### conversations on this page are selected. Select all ### conversations in Inbox". Click the second part of the phrase.
Select All

5. Archive your emails by clicking the Archive button.


I was able to do this using filters.

  1. Search: label:inbox
  2. More -> Create Filter
  3. Create filter with this search
  4. Apply the label [Your label]
  5. Apply filter to [thousands of] matching conversations.
  6. That's it! Google needed a minute to process this, but everything is moved
  7. Delete the filter
  • For the current Gmail, as of 2/2014 this is the only correct answer.
    – mxmissile
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 18:09

As of the time of writing, following mhoran_psprep's answer will not do because Gmail will no longer prompt you for the option of selecting all your mail.

The good news is, you can still work around it. The key is to use a custom search string such as in:inbox is:read which then brings up the prompt again. You can modify it for your needs to catch more than just read mails.

I found this solution on wikiHow.


As of Jan 2014 I think this is even more broken that it was a few months ago. No matter which search criteria I used, I could not get Google to return more than about 45 messages on my wife's account. There's no UI indication that the search results are incomplete.

I turned off both the "special boxes" and "conversation mode". Then I did a date search


Then I clicked the select all box - only 45 were returned and they were all checked, but I still checked Select All. THEN I could the subtle (old school) link to "Select all messages that match this search". Again, there's no UI indication, but when I clicked that I say "Loading ..." for a minute or two. Then the messages were archived.

  • Welcome to Web Applications SE! It's not clear to me if this is an answer to the question. If you have a solution/explanation to the OP, please rephrase your answer. If you have a question on your own, use the Ask question button. Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 9:56
  • 1
    It was an answer. Sorry it wasn't clear to you. Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 17:09

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