How do you save all email messages from a specific sender to a folder so I can delete all other emails in one mass delete?

I have 38,000 emails. I want to delete them all except ones from one particular sender.

2 Answers 2


The general method is

  1. Find all the ones you want to save, and put a label on them. Lets call that label keep.

  2. Then execute a search to find everything except the messages that have that label. the format of that search is -label:keep

  3. when the search completes go to the left side of the list and select "all" from the drop down.

  4. You will see a message at the top of the list:

    All 100 conversations on this page are selected. Select all conversations that match this search

  5. click on the 2nd half of the message to select those 38,000 messages.

  6. Now I would create a new label " tobedeleted"and assign those messages to the label. Then click archive. Now they will be hidden from your inbox.

  7. To make sure that nothing ended up in both lists you can do a search th that looks for both labels. If nothing is returned then you know there is no overlap.

  8. Then simply: search for tobedeleted, select all, click on "Select all conversations that match this search", delete.


mhoran_psprep's answer is correct, but you can save yourself a step or two.

If you really want to delete all mail except if it's from one sender, you can use the NOT operator.

Search for:

-from:[email protected]

This will find all of the messages that are from someone other than [email protected]. You can then click the "All" box, choose "...select all conversations that match this search..." and then delete.

You probably want to keep the messages that you sent to that person, so a better search would be:

-from:[email protected] -to:[email protected]

One other caveat: By default Gmail works with conversations. If the person whose email messages you're trying to save participated in a conversation with someone whose messages you're not, you may inadvertently delete stuff you didn't mean to.

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