'Mark done' in bulk

If inbox zero is a goal, bulk archiving is a great way to start with a clean slate. And it's easy to do!

First, let's review some helpful Gmail search syntax. We'll use these to pull up batches of emails and bulk archive them:

  • in:inbox
  • is:unread
  • -is:unread (the - reverses the query)
  • is:starred
  • -is:starred
  • before:YYYY/MM/DD
  • after:YYYY/MM/DD
  • from: (useful if you want to clear out spam from a particular sender, i.e. vendors, newsletters, etc.)
  • Tip: You can define logic with AND or OR to combine searches too, e.g. in:inbox AND before:2022/01/01

Not sure where to start? We suggest first archiving everything you received more than a month ago that you already read.

To do that:

  1. Type in:inbox before:2022/02/01 -is:unread into Gmail's search box (of course, feel free to adjust that date).
  2. Use the check box to select all emails on that page, then click Select all conversations that match this search (the blue link):
  3. Click Archive (the gray button with the white down arrow).
  4. After that, scan through whatever is left in your inbox and temporarily star or mark unread anything that is important or still requires your attention.
  5. Go to the search box again and type in:inbox -is:unread or in:inbox -is:starred to archive any remaining emails.

Of course, these search parameters are entirely up to you and can be adjusted as you see fit. If you’d like a hand with bulk archiving, just let us know!