Gmail empties messages from the Spam folder every 30 days. This used to be fine for me as I was only getting a spam email every couple of days, which didn't particularly build up over time. I'm now getting between 5-10 emails a day which are filtered to my spam folder. This would be fine, and I'm happy that Gmail does filter these out pretty much bang on each time, but the Spam folder is highlighted whenever there's unread emails in there, which annoys me somewhat.

I'm aware you can manually go into the Spam folder and delete everything with a single click but is there a way of changing the time a message will stay in the spam folder before it is deleted?

  • 1
    Well it does delete messages older than 30 days, which is something different as emptying every 30 days.
    – webjunkie
    Jul 14, 2010 at 14:09
  • 1
    Gmail hides the spam folder by default now, and has done so for quite some time. It's easy to ignore.
    – ale
    Dec 2, 2015 at 0:14

3 Answers 3


I don't think you can tweak that but I see 2 partial solutions :

  • Set up a filter. I think you could create a filter to mark as read all the emails that goes to the Spam folder.
  • You can hide the Spam label. If you want it to be purged quickly I guess you don't go there often. Just go to Settings -> Labels and select Hide for the Spam system label. You may still be able to access the folder if you want by typing "in:Spam" as search criteria.
  • 4
    hide the spam-label.
    – akira
    Jul 14, 2010 at 12:37

You can create in https://script.google.com, a script like that, running daily.

function Sent_to_Trash() {
  var threads = GmailApp.search('older_than:3d in:spam');
  for (var i = 0; i < threads.length; i++) { 

If you want to clear your spam folder more easily so you don't have to do it regularly, you could use the Spameo Chrome Extension

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