How To Automatically Empty the Trash in Gmail

Unwanted emails and spam can swiftly accumulate, filling up your inbox. Allowing these messages to build up too quickly will affect your total allotted Gmail storage capacity. It’s also possible that these particular messages can pose threats to your privacy if left to stack. The good thing is that regardless of what you do, after these messages are deleted, Gmail sees to it that they are automatically removed permanently after 30 days.

How To Automatically Empty the Trash in Gmail

“That’s perfect! So what are we talking about here?”

Well, as stated, allowing these messages to pile up can cause issues to personal privacy as well as prove detrimental to your storage cap. It may be more beneficial for you to be able to get rid of the problem before it occurs. You never know who could be snooping around in your emails when you’re not paying attention.

“But what if there are things inside of my trash folder I may actually want back?”

Then you might want to get on that before the 30-day auto-delete takes place, courtesy of Gmail. There’s really no way to prevent your emails from being auto-removed from existence short of pulling them out of the trash yourself.

Security and storage are likely your biggest concerns regarding an overflowing Trash folder. If you’re the type who would prefer to just remove trash as soon as it’s deleted, then continue reading.

Quickly Empty Your Gmail Trash and Spam Folders

To rid yourself of unnecessary and unwanted clutter caused by an overabundance of useless messages, you can actually go into your trash and spam folders to remove them yourself. In order to go about doing so from your web browser:

  1. Log in to your Gmail email account using the credentials associated with it.
  2. In the left sidebar where the Inbox is located, look for and click on More.
    • This will open up a list of additional folders that may contain messages.
  3. Scroll down until you find Trash and click on it.

From here, you can empty the trash a few ways:

  1. For a single message, left-click the box off to the left of the message. It will fill itself in with a check mark when done correctly.
    • Next, click on the Delete forever link that appears.
  2. For up to 50 messages at once, left-click the empty box at the very top left of the Trash window. Similar to the single messages, you’ll know it’s selected correctly when filled in by a check mark. You will also see it display as All 50 conversations on this page are selected.
    • Next, click on the Delete forever link that appears.
  3. To completely delete the contents of your Trash folder in one fell swoop, click on the link Empty Trash now.
    • You’ll receive a pop-up asking for confirmation to delete all messages forever.
    • Click OK to confirm.

Your Trash folder is now completely empty!

The same exact thing can be done in your Spam folder to delete all of the messages therein.

Empty Gmail Trash and Spam Using A Mobile Device

Perhaps you rely on your mobile device to handle your emails. You can quickly and easily remove all junk mail and spam from your folders using the Gmail app. No matter whether you use an iPhone, iPad, or Android device, all you need to do is:

  1. Launch the Gmail app from your mobile device.
  2. Tap on the Menu icon (three vertically-stacked lines) to view the list of folder labels.
  3. Next, tap on either the Trash or Spam folder to access it.
  4. For individual message deletion, you’ll need to tap on the circle located at the left of every message. It will fill in with a check mark once selected.
    • Once each message has been marked for deletion, tap on the Trash icon toward the top right of the screen.
  5. To completely delete all trash or spam permanently, tap on the Empty Trash Now or Empty Spam Now link located at the top of the screen.
  6. Finalize your decision by tapping on Empty when the confirmation pop-up window appears on the screen.

Some of you may not actually use the Gmail app to access your emails. Those of you who access Gmail using IMAP (the standard mail icon on your phone):

  1. Launch the Mail app from your mobile device.
  2. Access your Gmail account. Some mail is separate by email address. Others may include all mail in one inbox. Ensure you only choose the mail you actually want to delete before going through with it.
  3. Locate the list of Gmail folder labels.
  4. Tap on Trash or Junk to open the corresponding folder. This will pull up all messages currently in the specified folder.
  5. From here, it will be the same procedure as if you were using the Gmail app.

17 thoughts on “How To Automatically Empty the Trash in Gmail”

Patrick A Parris says:
I agree with above posts–this has nothing to do with auto- emptying the Trash–use post–I already know everything it mentioned :0
Pete williams says:
Not much help- sick and tired of ‘chasing’ emails around my ipad. From inbox to junk to trash .
After deleting from ‘trash’ i can leave the folder open and watch them re-appear, one by one until they are all back again !
Steve Larner says:
Open a new Gmail and see if you have the same deleted emails showing back up in the trash. Hacked? Maybe or maybe not.
Donald Robbins says:
very misleading post, nothing automatic here!
Mark says:
Misleading title. There’s nothing automatic about it if I have to go into each folder and empty it manually. Manual ≠ automatic.
johnnysugi says:
2/23/20 – the 2 “empty now” links/buttons seem to have disappeared on the Android version of Gmail. Does anyone know how to get it back?

Comments are closed.

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