Published on November 15, 2023

How to Clean Gmail Inbox: A Simple Guide

By Chelsea Faith

Scrolling through a cluttered inbox can be challenging, especially when using Gmail for customer services or receiving thousands of emails from subscriptions. However, using the right tool and learning the correct strategies can make the process seamless if you're wondering how to clean your Gmail inbox.

This guide will walk you through various ways of cleaning your Gmail inbox, and you'll learn the best tool to speed up the process.

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What Does It Mean to "Clean" Your Gmail Inbox?

Cleaning up your Gmail inbox involves a process that enables you to organize messages, clear your email inbox, and improve your management experience. This process helps you locate essential emails and ensures smooth operations.

Here are the critical aspects of inbox management and why it's worth embracing.

Organizing Email Flow

Start by categorizing the emails based on their nature, importance, and source. Creating a category establishes a structured system that makes navigation easy and enhances the quick identification of essential messages.

Create levels that assign a rank of importance to different emails. For example, using labels in Gmail, you can organize the email from essential messages to less urgent promotional messages.

Benefits of Organizing Email Flow

  • Efficient Navigation: You can easily find essential emails without straining through a cluttered inbox. Well-defined categories and labels reduce the limitation of choosing how to handle the email, making it easy to decide which to delete and which to keep.
  • Time-Convinient: Organizing your email flow helps you quickly find what you seek. You'll spend less time navigating through your inbox when locating past emails.

Reducing Visual Clutter

Cleaning Gmail inbox helps reduce visual clutter, creating a more organized and visually appealing workspace. Removing some of the past messages in your primary inbox ensures you focus on current and relevant communication.

You can reduce visual clutter by archiving and deleting less important emails.


Archiving emails you want to keep for future reference helps remove them from the primary inbox, reducing visual noise.

Here is how to archive:

  1. Select the emails you want to archive. (Mark all the emails that need less attention.)
  2. Click the "Archive" button as shown below:


Archive or delete emails that are no longer relevant. Empty all the outdated communications, spam messages, and those emails that serve no purpose.

How to delete emails:

  1. Open your Gmail inbox and select all the emails that are not necessary.
  2. Click the delete button to clean up the email cluttering

Regular cleaning of your inbox enhances performance and creates more room within your inbox. This increased storage space facilitates smooth operation and reduces the risks of reaching storage limits that could impact functionality.

How to Clean Gmail Inbox in 8 Easy Steps

Ensure your inbox is tidy if you want efficient communication and productivity. Here are some strategies to manage your email inbox and clean your Gmail messages:

1. Use Tatem to Clean Up Your Gmail Inbox

While a Gmail app allows you to manage all the emails, it may fail to offer you the necessary convenience. However, using Tatem is one of the best and most effective methods of managing your Gmail inbox.

Tatem integrates seamlessly with your Gmail app, which helps organize your inbox and improve productivity. This powerful software can speed up your Gmail inbox cleaning process, saving you more hours daily to complete the management task.

How Tatem Speeds Up Your Gmail Inbox Clean-Up

Tatem takes your Gmail inbox management to a professional level with various features that help you categorize your emails. Here is why Tatem can accelerate the cleanup process:

  • Labeling: Multiple labels in your inbox creates a structured framework that enhances cleanup. You can group all the emails based on the project, identify priority messages, and mark the email for future reference. Labeling speeds up cleanup by arranging your emails systematically for quick recovery and deleting action.
  • Split Inbox: This feature lets you prioritize what is essential in your inbox. It allows you to focus on what matters, making it easy to remove the unnecessary emails cluttering your inbox. Utilizing the split inbox feature enables incoming emails to fall into their sort. Instead of navigating through your mixed inbox searching for the emails, you can quickly locate them in one place.
  • Smart Search: This function enhances your search experience by saving time and allowing you to find the emails you want, even when you remember a part of the email. The smart search feature enables you to find targeted results effortlessly without worrying about the exact sentence, subject line, or content.
  • Shortcuts: This is a feature that enhances time-saving by offering customizable shortcuts. You can set your keyboard to perform various functions, whether archiving, deleting, or labeling the emails. This means you can manage your inbox with just a few clicks and keystrokes, eliminating the need for repetitive navigation.
  • Tatem AI (Automation): Your inbox doesn't need to reach the Gmail storage limit; this feature allows you to autopilot your Gmail inbox, making it more reliable and faster for the clean-up processes.

2. Remove Large Attachments

Attachments can include large files that consume much of your Gmail storage space. Limited storage might hinder the overall performance of your account, and removing huge files can be helpful.

So, how can you remove these attachments?

Follow these steps to clean up your inbox by addressing these sizable files:

Identify the Large Attachments

You can identify large attachments using the Gmail search bar. Find the search bar and click on the advance search button as shown below:

After clicking, the Advanced search button brings you to a page where you can input the file size you want to search. You can either select "greater than" or "less than," then mark "has attachment" and click the "search" button.

Sort and Prioritize

The next step is to sort the emails with large attachments based on their relevance and priority. Focus on the attachments that are important and store them externally.

Download the Attachments

Download all the necessary attachments and save them on an external device or in the cloud. This step ensures that you keep all the crucial information while you free up space in your Gmail account.

Delete the Attachments from Emails

Once you have all your crucial information stored, return to the identified attachment and mark all of them. Then, find the "delete icon" and click to delete all the attachments.

Empty trash folder

To ensure attachments no longer contribute to the Gmail storage, empty the trash folder. Doing so confirms that the files are permanently deleted from your account.

The trash folder is a safety net for recovering deleted content. However, if there is nothing to recover, clean out the trash folder to ensure that files don't take up storage space.

3. Unsubscribe from Unwanted Email Listing

Constantly receiving emails from subscriptions leads to clutter in your inbox. These emails can be newsletters from non-essential senders whom you engaged with in the past.

For example, you can keep getting emails from the software you used, and you no longer need it. Go ahead and unsubscribe if you find their weekly messages not essential.

Take control of these non-essential subscriptions by:

Identify the Subscriptions: The easiest method of finding the subscriptions is to use the Gmail search bar. Type "unsubscribe" and click enter to find unnecessary messages. Click the messages from a specific sender, then scroll down until you find the unsubscribe link and click it.

Customize the Opt-Out Preferences: After clicking unsubscribe, you can update the subscription preferences for the services you want to receive the emails with less frequency.

4. Clean Up Spam Folder and Block Unwanted Senders

A spam folder with thousands of emails can hide important messages. Also, unwanted senders can be annoying and persistent with regular incoming junk messages.

The best thing is that Gmail allows you to block the senders who contribute to clutter in your spam folder. Click their emails, locate the more options button, and then use the block button to stop receiving unwanted emails.

5. Delete All Social and Promotional Emails

Gmails arranges your emails into three categories: primary, social, and promotions. Most of the social and promotional messages are of less importance.

Clearing the emails in the promotions tab is very simple. Go to your inbox, find promotions, and click it. Select all the emails and click the “delete button” to eliminate the clutter on this tab.

Then click the social button to find unread messages from sociable platforms. Mark all the messages and click delete.

You can also automate the process of deleting promotional and social messages. Here is how to automate the deleting process:

  1. After locating promotional or social emails, mark all the emails you want to delete automatically.
  2. Click the “more option button” and locate “filter messages like these.”
  3. Once you click “filter messages like these,” select “delete it.” This feature will allow the message to be deleted automatically.

6. Delete Emails within Specific Dates

Emails sent a year ago may have no benefits and consume a lot of valuable space in your inbox. Use the advanced search to locate messages between specific dates.

Fill in the period to find the emails; for example, select emails within one year, six months, or two days and click search to find the emails. Once the search appears, mark all the emails you don’t need and click delete.

7. Clear Emails That No Longer Hold Your Attention

Some emails may remain in your inbox without serving a purpose. You can identify the emails that are no longer important by searching using relevant terms.

For example, in the image below, after searching for the term “guitar” and selecting “older than one year,” there was a lot of clutter. Use the same method to find emails that no longer interest you.

Besides cleaning using Gmail's built-in features, you can use third-party tools. Below is the best software that is compatible with Gmail.

8. Clean Up Your Inbox Using the Gmail Search Bar

The Gmail search bar helps you locate the exact emails or sender by inputting key phrases related to your intent. In addition, there is an advanced search option.

The advanced search allows you to utilize the operators that enhance your search capabilities fully. It would help to understand the advanced search's features in detail.

Here are Gmail's advanced search features:

  • “From:” Use this to search and organize emails from a specific sender.
  • “To”: You can search for emails you sent to an individual.
  • “Subject:” Use this input to search for emails with a particular subject.
  • “Has the words:” Here you can search for specific phrases you remember.

“Doesn't have:” You can use words that are not included in the email to ensure you find the exact match.

  • “Size:” Here, you can choose between two options, “greater than” and “less than,” which allows you to find the files that have more or smaller MB. For example, if you input 5MB and want less than 5MB files, select "less than." You can search for more than 5MB files by selecting "greater than."
  • “Date within:” It's straightforward to choose emails within specific dates; for instance, finding files within one year is easy.
  • “Has attachment:” Marking this point allows you to locate all the emails with files attached.
  • “Don’t include chats:” This option allows you to find attachments without including chats.

The steps below can help you understand how to combine these search function features.

Summary of Cleaning up Your Gmail Inbox

The key reason to clean your Gmail inbox is to enhance efficient email flow. Categorizing the email based on its nature, source, and importance establishes a structured system that enhances the quick identification of essential messages and those with less importance.

Managing content by archiving and deleting lets you make your workspace more organized and visually appealing by reducing clutter.

Here are some simple steps you can take to start organizing your Gmail inbox:

  • Use the search bar to find unnecessary emails in your entire inbox.
  • Delete attachments larger than 1MB.
  • Free up spam folders and block unwanted users.
  • Clean emails from unwanted or unimportant sources and unsubscribe from the email lists.
  • Delete social and promotional emails.
  • Delete emails within a specific date that carry no value.
  • Remove emails that no longer draw your attention.
  • Use Tatem for more efficient and streamlined Gmail management processes.

Sign up with Tatem and enjoy more than just efficiency in time. This tool is about cleaning up your inbox with precision, speed, and a touch of autopilot.

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