I would like to delete all email messages that did not come from Mr. A. In other words, I would like to keep messages that are only from Mr. A.

How can I do this, using Gmail?

  • What program or site are you trying to do this in? Each program or site will do this differently. Jul 14 '15 at 18:55
  • tag and question both say gmail. Jul 14 '15 at 19:32

Are you sure your only criteria is that the messages aren't from a single person? You don't want to include a label or something?


If you use the default conversation view, it's very possible that you'll get conversations that have some messages from your target and some not; the search doesn't distinguish and you may delete messages you didn't mean to. You may want to turn off conversation view for this.

You can do what you want by following these steps:

  1. Search for -from:mister_a@gmail.com

    That will catch all messages where the "from:" address is not Mister A.

  2. Use the checkbox above the list of messages to select all conversations/messages on the page

  3. If there's more than one page of results, click the link that says Select all conversations that match this search to select all of the conversations/messages on subsequent pages

  4. Click "Delete"

All the conversations/messages are now in your "Trash". If, for some reason, you deleted something you didn't mean to, you can recover it.

  • Another remark: the messages in the Gmail Trash will be permanently deleted after 30 days.
    – Rubén
    Jul 14 '15 at 21:51

Al E's answer is a good approach, although for safety I would do it in two steps -- first select all, and apply a new label, then after double-checking everything, go ahead and delete everything in that label.

There is another approach which is actually quite similar. Make a filter for all messages from that person, and apply a new label. Make sure to check to apply the filter to old messages too "Also apply filter to x matching messages." Then, same as before, double-check and remove the label if necessary, and then delete everything with that label.

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