How to mark all unread emails as read in Gmail and more

Summary:Go from 2000+ unread emails to 0 unread emails in Gmail and other top email providers, instantly!

0 unread emails!

0 unread emails!

I love Gmail; however, I'm not exactly in love with some of the... choice... usability/interface features Google insists upon. Perhaps the most annoying "feature" of all has been the apparent inability to mark all unread messages as read. Now, if you only ever have one page of unread emails in Gmail, then this isn't likely an issue you've run into. Get up to hundreds or thousands of new emails, though, and you'll quickly become aware. With that in mind, I set out to achieve this should-be simple task. Luckily, it turns out that it is quite simple, though not at all obvious. As you'll also see, it's nowhere near as dead-simple as other email providers make it.
[Related: 10 Google search secrets]
And now, here's how to quickly empty your inbox to achieve that ever-elusive "you have 0 unread emails" in not just one, but four major email providers: Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, and AOL. (I know, I know! Yes, AOL. Apparently, a very large percentage of 18-29-year-olds prefer it. Who knew?)

How to mark all unread emails as read in Gmail

1: When logged-in to your Gmail account, in the search box up top, type the following, then press the search button: is:unread

 

2: Click the down-arrow in the "select" button, then choose "all."

 

3: The emails on the page you're on should now be checked; however, to select all of your unread emails, you need to click where it says "Select all conversations that match this search." It will be centered, just above the top-most email, as pictured below:

 

4: Finally, click the "More" button, then click "Mark as read."

 

5: Done!

How to mark all unread emails as read in Yahoo!

1: When logged-in to your Yahoo! email account, right-click on "Inbox" in the left-hand sidebar, then select "Mark All Read."

 

2: That's it! To note, the box below might show if you have a ton of emails that it has to mark as new.

 

How to mark all unread emails as read in AOL

1: When logged-in to your AOL email account, right-click on "Inbox" in the left-hand sidebar, then select "Mark all Messages Read."

 

2: You're all done!

How to mark all unread emails as read in Hotmail

1: When logged-in to Hotmail, right-click on "Inbox" in the left-hand sidebar, then select "Mark all as read."

 

2: No mas!

Conclusion

Clearly, Google needs to step up their game and make it easier for people to be more productive with cleaning their inboxes. Personally, I don't mind using the advanced operators, but when other providers makes it happen with ~2 clicks, that's kind of sad. Then again, perhaps Google is basing their usability on tons of user case studies where a majority of people said they don't give a hoot about marking all emails as read. Who knows? Do you have any issues or tips you'd like to express, in regards to Gmail or some other email provider/client? Let us all know in the comments below! -Stephen Chapman
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Topics: Apps, Browser, Cloud, Collaboration, Google

About

Stephen is a freelance writer and blogger based in Charlotte, NC. His contributions to ZDNet cover topics related to security, gaming, Microsoft, Apple, and other topics of interest with a tech/SMB skew.

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