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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Delete Almost All Junk Emails the Easily Way

How to Delete Almost All Junk Emails the Easily Way

A large number of email messages in an inbox.
AFANASEV IVAN / Shutterstock.com

Is your e-mail account full? Don̵

7;t pay a monthly subscription fee just to store a ton of newsletters, promotional emails, and other junk that you’ll never look at again. Here’s how to get your email off the worst offenders quickly.

Which emails do you actually need?

We’re not here to encourage you to search through thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of emails one at a time. That sounds time consuming.

Instead, we have some helpful tips for sorting the junk emails from the pile. It’s easy to select large numbers of emails that just aren’t helpful.

Search for frequently used phrases in junk emails

Consider looking for common phrases in junk emails. For example, search for the following sentences:

  • Sign out
  • Verify
  • Welcome
  • Activate
  • “Password recovery”
  • “New login”
  • “Account Registration”
  • Alert

If you start looking for this, you will find a lot of useless emails that you probably don’t need. If they all look useless, you can quickly perform a “select all” action and delete them.

(Of course, you have to be careful. There may be an email that is important to you that contains the word “Unsubscribe.” Only you really know which emails are important to you.)


Look for accumulating newsletters

If you’re like most people, you probably receive regular email newsletters from multiple organizations.

In most cases, you probably don’t need to keep every email newsletter or promotion you receive. If you want to delete many newsletters at once, find one of the newsletters and find the address from where it was sent. For example, it could come from newsletter@example.com.

Do a search for messages from the sender “newsletter@example.com” in your email client, and you’ll find all the newsletters they’ve ever sent you. With a quick “Select All” and “Delete” you can delete a large number of emails.

For example, our newsletter address is newsletter@howtogeek.com. If you find it useful, that’s great, and we’re grateful for your subscription. But you probably don’t need to keep an archive for every newsletter we’ve ever sent, so you can delete them to free up space.

Search for How-To Geek Newsletters in Gmail.

If you’ve been in the habit of archiving all the emails you receive instead of deleting them, you can easily find thousands upon thousands of useless newsletters that you can quickly delete.

Consider deleting useless emails instead of archiving them in the future. It saves you time.

RELATED: Why you should delete emails instead of archiving them

What other useless emails do you have?

Everyone’s email is different, of course. Think about the useless emails likely lurking in your inbox, and consider whether you want to keep them.

For example, let’s say you participated in a mailing list years ago and buried many emails from that mailing list in your archive. When you realize that you will never need them again, you can search for the address of that mailing list and then delete them all with a quick “Select All” and “Delete”.

You can also keep an eye out for emails arriving in the future. Let’s say you receive some kind of email that you have received many times before, and you realize you really don’t need to keep it. Instead of deleting just that specific email, search for the subject or sender (whatever makes the email unique) and delete all emails of that type. It is a quick way to delete large amount of emails without going through them one by one.

How to delete the emails with the most space

Deleting a lot of useless emails will free up more space than you expect. However, much of the space used in your email account can come from large emails with images and files attached.

To find them, you can search for emails with attachments, or sort your email archive by message size.

The functions available depend on the software you are using. For example, Gmail allows you to search for emails by attachment. Just search for “has: attachment”. However, Gmail does not show the file size of every email message or thread in the web interface.

If you are using Gmail, consider accessing your email account via IMAP with Mozilla Thunderbird. You can then sort your email account by message size and quickly find the email threads with the most space. Focus on deleting these if you really want to free up space quickly.

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