Mark all Unread Emails as Read on Gmail in Less Than 10 Seconds

I am having more than 21,000 email conversations on my Gmail account and out of them 1,200+ emails are unread. I want to mark all of them as read so that I can start fresh and keep an eye on new emails coming to my Gmail ID. Gmail is having a button as “Mark all as read” but that will mark only  unread emails appearing on the dashboard i.e. 50 or 100 at a time. Gmail settings page is having option to change the maximum size of conversations page, but that is also limited to 100. That means, using default mark option I can mark unread emails as read in a batch of maximum 100 conversations at a time and then will have to navigate to the next page and repeat the same process.

gmail-unread-emails-read

But here is a simple way to mark all unread emails on Gmail as read in batch process which completes in less than 10 seconds. Follow the simple step to achieve this,

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Mark all Unread Conversations on Gmail as Read in Batch

– Select one email on your Gmail dashboard and click on “Filter Messages like these” under “More Actions” option

gmail-filter-email

– Delete whatever comes in the “From” box on the new window. And populate some random and undefined word in the section “Doesn’t have”. For example, I wrote “DFFRRFFDDS” as I am sure this word will not be in any of my emails on this Gmail ID. This way Gmail will select all of my emails because of this filter. Click on “Next Step”.

Gmail-filter-create

– On next window, select “Mark as read” and don’t forget to select “Also apply filter to ### conversations below”. In my case, it was 21,000. And click on “Create Filter”.

gmail-filter-final

Done. Just refresh the Gmail page and you can see every email marked as read.

Important – Don’t forget to delete the newly created filter otherwise all your future emails will also be marked as “Read” even if you haven’t open them. Go to “Settings ==> Filters” and find the filter name that you just created. Click on delete button beside that filter to completely remove that filter. All your past conversations will remain as marked as read but future conversations will not be affected by that filter.

What a relief it is. Now I can use new Gmail lab to see the unread emails count on favicon or use Gmail extension on Chrome to see the new incoming email on my Gmail ID.

I did a screen-cast of this whole process on my another test email ID to show you in a video. As this is a new ID and I am not having that much conversations but the process is same and you may try this for thousands on unread emails as well.

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Share your feedback and issues through comments.

Sanjeev Mishra is a professional blogger and an Internet Marketing Consultant based in India. He has built the Internet Techies to provide you updates in technology and web application area.
  • Danny

    Genius! I spent 20 minutes yesterday creating random filters to achieve this exact thing but a few kept on getting through. I found your article and I love the approach. So simple but I totally missed it. Thanks!

    Danny

  • Jackie

    GENIUS! I have always wondered why Gmail never has the ability to actually mark ALL as read, and I’ve spent numerous hours going through pages and pages of emails before giving up and coming to the realization that I will always have 1,200 unread emails in my inbox. Thank you so much for this!!

  • Mikkel

    Bloody brilliant – how come all us GMailers never thought of this?? Thanks so much!