Organizing your bedroom by getting rid of items you no longer need makes it easier and more comfortable to bring in new stuff. We can also apply this to our Gmail account by deleting unnecessary emails to free up space. An easy way to find these unnecessary emails is to look in the Promotions tab.
In this article, we will learn how to delete all promotional emails in Gmail, both on desktop and mobile. We'll also take a look at what Promotional Emails are and why you should delete them.
What are Promotional Emails?
A promotional email is considered to be marketing or commercial email. It usually includes special offers, newsletters, a list of new services or products, and other "calls to action" emails sent to the audience. The target audience could be anyone the company wants to inform about their new services, products, deals, etc.
To be clear, not all of these emails are necessarily bad. Maybe there are situations in which you actually want to receive these kinds of emails, or at least from specific companies, like your favorite bakery sending out their weekly deal. Luckily in these cases Gmail will allow you to drag the specific email from the "Promotions" tab to the "Primary" tab, indicating to Gmail that you want to see this email. Unfortunately, for most people there are very few promotional emails that they really care to see.
How Does a Gmail Detect a Promotional Email?
When emails are sent to recipients, Gmail uses an algorithm to determine whether they contain deals, offers, newsletters, a list of products or services, or other promotional messages. 84.5% of scanned emails containing the above list end up in your Gmail account's promotion tab.
It works in a very similar way to a spam filter in which many the algorithms collects many different data points (i.e. number of links, existence of certain keywords, number and type of images, etc) and uses those data points to decide if it's likely that the email is promotional in nature. Like the spam filter, Gmail is always working to improve the algorithm, and marketers are always trying to find ways to avoid getting filtered into the Promotions tab.
Why Delete Promotional Emails?
One of the main reasons why we may want to delete promotional emails is so that they don't take up space in our Google account. Free Google accounts have a limit of 15 GB, which counts storage between your Gmail account, Google Drive, and Google Photos. This storage can be upgraded to 100 GB for $2/month, but there's not much point in paying for storage if it's just to save marketing emails in your inbox.
Not only do they take up your account's storage, but having too many unwanted emails in your inbox can cause a big clutter problem. Imagine you're trying to search for an email in your inbox about your son's basketball practice, but all of the emails that come up are about deals on basketballs from a sporting goods store. With years of promotional emails collecting in your inbox, scenarios like this are actually pretty common.
Deleting All Promotional Emails on Desktop
You can find that most of the promotional emails are, unsurprisingly, located in the Promotion tab in your Gmail account. Click on the Promotion tab with the price tag icon, as shown in the image below:
Let's start by deleting these promotional emails from your Gmail account. To begin, select all promotional emails by clicking on the checkbox icon in the top-left corner of your inbox, as shown here:
After that, we need to select the remaining promotional emails in your inbox as well. The first checkbox we click only selected the promotional emails you're currently viewing, but Gmail also gives you the option to select all promotional emails. To do this, click the blue text that says "Select all [number] conversations in Promotions". Once clicked, it should then say "All [number] conversations in Promotions are selected".
Now, to actually delete these, click on the bin icon that appears after we have selected all of the emails we want to delete:
Once that is done, you have successfully deleted all Promotional Emails in your Gmail account!
Now, let's proceed to delete All Promotional Emails in Gmail on Mobile.
Deleting All Promotional Emails on Mobile
As of now, Google hasn't made it possible to select multiple emails at once on mobile. Rather, simply hold down each promotional email to mark the ones you want to delete, then click the bin icon at the top.
On mobile, however, another technique can be used to select all Promotional emails at once. Access the web version of Gmail on your mobile device (as opposed to via the app). Doing this on desktop is definitely easier, but if you don't have any other choice, then follow these instructions for mobile.
First ensure that you are logged in, and and after doing so you'll be redirected to another page. Simply click the "Use Web Version" button, which is shown here:
Note: You'll find the "Use Web Version" button at the bottom part of the page, under the blue button.
After you have done that, you will be directed to the page below. Click on the menu icon at the top-left side of the page:
Once done, you will be directed to your menu page. Click on the "desktop" link, which is at the bottom part of the menu page:
You should then be directed to the following page:
Now zoom in to the bottom part of this page where you will find the "standard" link, just as shown here:
Once you have located the "standard" link, click it and you will be directed to your Gmail account in the desktop view:
From here on out, the process is much like the in the desktop version. To locate the promotional emails in your inbox, click on the Promotion tab:
Once you have located the promotional emails, click on the checkbox in the top-left side of the page to select all emails in this page. Again, you'll need to then click the blue text saying "Select all [number] conversations in Promotions" to select all promotional emails, and not just the ones on that page.
To delete all selected emails, click on the trash bin icon near the top of the page:
After this is done, you will have successfully deleted all promotional emails from your Gmail account!
In this article we have learned what promotional emails are, why it's usually best to delete them, and how to delete all promotional emails from our inbox on both desktop and mobile devices.
While this article should be good enough for most people, more drastic steps can be taken on your account, like deleting all emails from your inbox. This might be useful if you want a fresh start or your inbox has gotten so out of control that it's too difficult to clean up. For cases like this, check out our other article How to Delete All Emails in Gmail.