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

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!

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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 Related Content:

Topics: Apps, Browser, Cloud, Collaboration, Google

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50 comments
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  • been wanting to know that

    I have been on Gmail for a few years now and all that time I have been thinking I needed to know how to make all unread mails tagged as read. It was with overwhelming wonder and joy when I read this report. Here I been thinking about this for years and now someone comes along and solves it for me so quickly. What am I goin' to do with all of my spare time now. Mumble, mumble, ............ where was that phone number for my shrink. Wait til I tell him about this. I know he's been thinkin' about this too.
    bd1235
    • awesome

      me too, thanks so much, that makes life so much easier.. worked great took 20 seconds to mark 15,000 messages read!! I really appreciate that!
      wexler81
      • Same here, been wanting a way to do this for years now

        I just literally did this to over 37,000 unread emails in my first gmail account. Thanks for outlining this. I don't know why, but i hated having all those unread emails. Why don't I delete them? I dunno... I offer: Aliens
        Acidon
        • dear

          Hello my dear
          friend very please with your profile Beside ,Love demands no Ethnic or Ages, Love is patient and kind Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. (juliana21_4u@hotmail.com) that's my mail contact i really cares for your relationship I'll attach my picture To your mailbox. thanks miss Juliana
          jullybaby
    • dear

      Hello my dear
      friend very please with your profile Beside ,Love demands no Ethnic or Ages, Love is patient and kind Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. (juliana21_4u@hotmail.com) that's my mail contact i really cares for your relationship I'll attach my picture To your mailbox. thanks miss Juliana
      jullybaby
    • dear

      Hello my dear
      friend very please with your profile Beside ,Love demands no Ethnic or Ages, Love is patient and kind Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. (juliana21_4u@hotmail.com) that's my mail contact i really cares for your relationship I'll attach my picture To your mailbox. thanks miss Juliana
      jullybaby
  • I don't get it.

    Why do you need to mark all emails as read in gmail? You can easily just select all and delete if you want without marking them as read. It doesn't seem to make any sense to mark them as read and then not read them unless you just want to delete them.

    Am I nissing something?
    ron.cleaver@...
    • Not new doesn't mean delete.

      I like keeping emails for reference and often come back to them later. But I don't want to confuse them with new ones. I'd say to think that having read them means you should delete them would be a rare mindset. Have you ever received an email marked "FYI"? Or one with attachments that you may require later? Lots of reasons.
      shanksli
      • Why not archive what you want to keep and delete the rest?

        Of course, I say this with the disclaimer that I have thousands of unread emails, most that I will never get around to reading and should just delete, but like m wife says, I'm a pack-rat and can never throw anything away! :)
        spatel3
      • dear

        Hello my dear
        friend very please with your profile Beside ,Love demands no Ethnic or Ages, Love is patient and kind Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. (juliana21_4u@hotmail.com) that's my mail contact i really cares for your relationship I'll attach my picture To your mailbox. thanks miss Juliana
        jullybaby
    • Why?

      When you select "All" in Gmail, it only selects all the emails showing on your screen at that moment, maybe 25 at the most. My Gmail has over 5000 unread emails. It's so bunged up with unread mail, that I don't use it anymore. This looks like a useful tool.
      JJJoseph
    • dear

      Hello my dear
      friend very please with your profile Beside ,Love demands no Ethnic or Ages, Love is patient and kind Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. (juliana21_4u@hotmail.com) that's my mail contact i really cares for your relationship I'll attach my picture To your mailbox. thanks miss Juliana
      jullybaby
  • RTFM

    The article author and all previous commenters are going to feel pretty silly when they log into Gmail and click the "More" button, pictured right here in the article. LOL!
    karimtemple
    • Seriously?

      I know this comment is old but simply had to reply....

      You should know how silly your comment was then, and it still applies today. Unless using the technique the author provided that "More" button you were so snarky about only selects one screen worth of mail. So enjoy repeating that 500 times to mark everything read.
      Tinmania
      • Seriously.

        When you check something, More contains an option "Mark as read." You have to select everything you want to mark. If, as I said, you log in and click More straight away, or just unselect anything you've selected, the option in More is "Mark all as read." Suddenly, this article becomes hilarious.
        karimtemple
        • Oops!

          Hahaha, man. You're right. I guess I never let my messages go past the first page.
          karimtemple
          • The article is totally correct, you aren't.

            Clicking mark all as read only marks the 25 or so messages on the page your on as read. I had 28,342 unread emails in my account since I hardly use gmail. Mainly because it was inundated with spam. So following your advice and marking 25 messages at a time as read would have required 1,134 repeats. Not something I wanted to spend 4 hours doing so this article is in fact very helpful. It's your comment that is hilarious.
            sbobyk
          • Hello

            Hello my dear
            friend very please with your profile Beside ,Love demands no Ethnic or Ages, Love is patient and kind Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. (juliana21_4u@hotmail.com) that's my mail contact i really cares for your relationship I'll attach my picture To your mailbox. thanks miss Juliana
            jullybaby
    • Hello

      Hello my dear
      friend very please with your profile Beside ,Love demands no Ethnic or Ages, Love is patient and kind Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. (juliana21_4u@hotmail.com) that's my mail contact i really cares for your relationship I'll attach my picture To your mailbox. thanks miss Juliana
      jullybaby
  • This is the best written info about how to mark all unread mail as read

    I have searched many times how to mark all unread mail as read but most articles used only words to describe how to do it, perhaps accompanied by small and hard to understand screen shots. This one done by PC Mag is different. The screen shots are large and very clear, so I was able to learn right away how to do the above for Gmail. BTW, if you used Google Chrome browser, there is an app called Read Later that you can use to save all those pages, including this useful PC Mag article, to your hard drive, saving you the need to print them out. Thank you agin, PC Mag!
    techmaven2012