How to Mark All Emails as Read in Gmail

Let's start off by stating the obvious - e-mails can be overwhelming, especially if you have a "busy" inbox and get dozens or hundreds of them every single day. It's like trying to drink from a fire hydrant, and more often than not, it gets messy. But how can you keep them all straight and know which ones are actually new since you last checked? One option, which we'll talk about in this article, is to mark all of your emails as "read".

How to Mark All Emails as Read in Gmail

The process to mark all e-mails as read in Gmail is pretty straightforward, much like any other task in Gmail. Follow these steps to mark all emails as read:

  1. Sign into your Gmail account.
  2. In the menu on the left side, click "More" to expand the list.
  1. Click on "All Mail".
  2. Click on the checkbox on the top left corner of your inbox, then click "Select all X conversations in All Mail".
  1. Click on the three vertical dots (the "More" button) at the top and select "Mark as read".

And that's it! Your inbox now has no unread emails.

Marking Specific Categories of Emails as Read

It's not always that we need to read all the emails in our inbox. Sometimes, we only want to tackle specific categories. Gmail offers us a smart way to handle this.

Here's the scoop:

  1. In your Gmail, go to the search bar at the top.
  2. Find and click the category you want to tackle. It could be "Primary", "Promotions", "Social", or "Forums".
  3. You should now see all emails under the specified category.
  4. Click on the small checkbox at the top left of your inbox to select all the emails on the current page.
  5. To select all emails in the given category, and not just those that are visible, click "Select all X conversations in [category]", where X is the number of messages and "[category]" is the currently selected category.
  6. Now, click on vertical dots icon ("More"), then click "Mark as read".

These are the same steps as before, except that instead of selecting the "All Mail" view, we're selecting a category view first.

Additional Ways to Manage your Inbox Efficiently

There are several additional features in Gmail you can use to manage your inbox more efficiently:

  • Archive: Archiving emails removes them from your inbox but keeps them in your account. It's like moving books you've already read from your bedside table to your bookshelf. They're out of sight, but still within reach if you need them.
  • Labels: Like real life labels, Gmail labels helps you organize your messages into different categories. This can make it much easier to find old emails based on groupings of your choosing.
  • Filters: Do you receive email on a frequent basis that you don't actually need to read but want to keep for later? You can use Gmail's filters to mark them as read and move them to a specified label.


Setting up a well-managed email environment can spare you a lot of unnecessary stress. Luckily, Gmail provides user-friendly tools to mark emails as read, either in bulk or by specific categories, and other features to efficiently manage your inbox. Remember, a clean inbox is a happy inbox! So go ahead and give these features a try and enjoy a clutter-free Gmail experience.

Last Updated: December 6th, 2023
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