In Gmail, how do you select all emails that are not important and not starred?
The filters search against all messages, and then returns entire conversations (assuming the user has turned on Conversation View in the Settings). If any message within a conversation is returned by the query, then the entire conversation is returned, even if the conversation as a whole is not starred.
Therefore using the
-in:starred will only work if ALL the messages in the thread are starred.
What is misleading about the Gmail UI is that starring the conversation, does not star all the containing messages, and therefor won't remove it from the filtered inbox when using the
-in:starred search option, despite appearing to be starred in the main inbox view.
The syntax of the filter is not important, Gmail accepts both
-is:starred with or without the AND keyword.
Of course, if you do not use Gmail in Conversation View (Settings → General → Conversation View), then the filter will work as expected.
I used this search, which worked perfectly
in:inbox and (-in:starred and -in:important)
It's based on this answer by mfcabrera, but I tweaked it slightly, replacing
I used Al's version by searching but, added the last part for: in:inbox and (-in:starred or -in:important) is:unread
So, I generally got only un-read and un-starred items. I don't use the 'important' label so I removed that.
I then cycled through my inbox by a: checking all, b: unchecking and starring any items I wanted to save, then clicking 'mark as read'. I repeated that to clean out about 800 emails I really didn't need to see.
I've also been trying unroll.me as a free service that 'rolls up' all the emails from newsletters, news sources and want-to-read-someday emails. They then roll those all up into one email vs. 50 that I'll get this week. Pretty cool.
Although Google doesn't support selecting all unstarred messages in conversation view, there's a third-party paid product called SuperHuman which does.
It properly filters any conversations having at least one starred message when you search using the -is:starred keyword.
It's a product designed to make email usage with Google/G-suite more productive/efficient. I've been using it for 6 months, and though it costs $30/month, I admit it has saved me a lot of time.
Other email apps like Spark may support this as well. If archiving un-starred emails is part of your regular email workflow the apps may be the way to go.