How to delete all e-mails at once

Updated: 08/31/2020 by Computer Hope
Email

When it comes to e-mail, many of us are not great at keeping up with the number of messages sent to our inboxes. While you can delete them individually or a few at a time, junk mail or infrequent account usage can necessitate the removal of thousands of messages. This page shows you how to clear all of the messages in your inbox (or other folders) at the same time. To proceed, choose your e-mail service from the list below and follow the steps.

Google Gmail logo.

Google Gmail

Gmail only allows users to view 50 messages per page. To delete more than that, you can use the Search mail feature.

How to delete every message in a folder

  1. Log into your Gmail account.
  2. Locate the Search mail bar near the top of the screen.

Search mail bar in Gmail

  1. To choose a folder, type "label:" followed by a folder name. For example, label:Inbox displays all messages in your inbox.

Inbox folder

  1. In the section below the search box, check the Select box with the down arrow next to it, and then click the Delete icon.

Delete all mail in inbox.

Tip

If you would like to delete all of the messages in your Gmail account, you can type label:All into the Search mail bar. HOWEVER, do note that this method deletes every message in every folder in your Gmail account, so proceed with caution.

Yahoo! mail logo.

Yahoo! Mail

By default, Yahoo Mail does not offer a direct option to delete a folder's entire contents, and only shows its first 40 messages. To delete more than 40 at once, you'll first need to scroll down in the folder to populate the list with all messages.

How to delete every message in a folder

  1. Log into your Yahoo! e-mail account.
  2. On the left side of the screen, locate and click the folder you'd like to empty. We're using the inbox for this example.

Mail Inbox folder

  1. On the right side of the screen, click-and-drag the vertical slider until you reach the end of your inbox. You may need to repeat this process many times to populate all of the messages, but it goes faster as you repeat this action.

Vertical scroll bar.

  1. Once you have fully populated the folder, click the checkbox in the upper-left corner, and then select Delete.

Delete all final

  1. Wait a few moments (longer if there are many messages), and you'll see a confirmation prompt appear.

Delete confirm Yahoo Mail

Outlook.com logo.

Outlook.com

Microsoft's Outlook.com webmail service is the most straightforward when it comes to deleting an entire folder's worth of e-mail messages.

How to delete every message in a folder

  1. Log into your Outlook.com account.
  2. On the left side, click Folders to expand the menu.

Expand Folders menu

  1. Locate the folder you want to empty. We'll be using the inbox.

Inbox selector

  1. Right-click the folder and select Empty folder from the drop-down menu.

Empty folder selector

  1. Click the Delete all button on the prompt that appears.

Delete all

  1. Once the folder is emptied you'll see a confirmation message:

Empty folder confirm

Microsoft Outlook Logo

Microsoft Outlook

Similar to its online counterpart Outlook.com, Microsoft's software-based version of Outlook allows users to delete an entire folder's worth of e-mails no matter how many it contains.

How to delete every message in a folder

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Expand the Folders pane (if not already expanded) by clicking the arrow in the top-left corner of the window.
  3. Locate the folder you'd like to empty and right-click it.
  4. Select Delete all from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click the Yes button on the prompt.
  6. Return to the expanded Folders menu. Right-click the Deleted Items folder.
  7. Select Delete all from the drop-down menu.
  8. Click the Yes button on the prompt.
Thunderbird logo

Mozilla Thunderbird

Thunderbird requires you to select all messages in the folder that you want to delete, and then choose to permanently erase them. While this two-step solution isn't ideal, it may keep you from getting rid of messages you meant to keep.

How to delete every message in a folder

  1. Open Thunderbird.
  2. Open the folder you'd like to empty.
  3. Press the shortcut key combination Ctrl+A to select every message.
  4. In the lower message pane, click Delete to remove the selected e-mails.
  5. Once you've deleted the messages, right-click the folder and select Compact to erase them permanently.