Managing Old Email within Gmail

My Inbox is loaded with thousands of old unread email messages.  How can I archive or delete all email received before a specific date?

Log into your Gmail account and follow these steps:

  1. In the search field enter: before:yyyy/mm/dd with the date desired.
  2. Click the checkbox to select all email messages
    • By default only the first page of messages will be selected, at the top of the message list click Select all messages the match this search
  3. Click the Archive or Delete button
  4. The process may take a few minutes depending on the number of messages.


  • Archive – removes the messages from the Inbox but does not move them to the Trash and remove them from your account
  • Delete – moves the messages to the Trash, and after 30 days they are automatically purged from your account
    • If you need to free up space in Gmail quicker than 30 days, you can select Trash from the side menu and select Empty Trash Now at the top.