I've previously used the default Email app on my CyanogenMod 7 EVO because I had an Exchange account at work. However, I switched jobs recently and my new place just uses GMail corporate accounts (which I enjoy). Since I don't have the Exchange account anymore, I'd like to move over to the GMail app because I prefer the UI and whatnot, but I can't for the life of me find any kind of "Select All" functionality in it.

The Email app allows me to do this from the options menu (Menu->Select All selects everything in the current folder). In GMail I noticed that if I select one or more items, then "Deselect All" becomes available in the options menu, but not "Select All". I've also tried various forms of long-pressing on messages, accounts, and folders to no avail.

Is there any way to do this in the GMail app, or am I just stuck without it? I searched the issue tracker and didn't find anything relevant, which surprised me a bit, to be honest. Obviously I can do this from a computer if I need to empty a folder/label, but I'd kind of like to retain the functionality on my phone, too. Am I missing some non-obvious (or perhaps even obvious) menu item somewhere?

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    One thing to remember is Google's attitude to deleting mails. For a long time after GMail launched there was no way to delete, all you could do was "archive" mails. They believed that with huge, ever-expanding mailbox storage you'd never need to delete. After much shouting from users they did finally give us a permanent delete option, but they still don't really believe in it. On a side-note your spam and trash folders do automatically empty of old mails, and won't cause you problems with your size limit. You can just forget they exist and not worry about manually emmptying them.
    – GAThrawn
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 16:37
  • @eldarerathis Could you please make your question body clearer, more focused and more general? There are now much content for the small thing. Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 13:59

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure exactly how you use the select all feature, but I think an effective way to mitigate your need for this is to go crazy with filters, labels, and the priority inbox.

Having your Gmail account sort your E-mail into highly specific labels for you and carefully tagging everything as either "important" or "not important" will keep the number of E-mails you see at any one time to a reasonable amount most of the time.

There are a ton of great tips in this article from LifeHacker that I've used both on the web interface and on my Gmail app.

Oh, and submit a feature request to Google. ;-)

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    I probably should be a little more diligent with my filtering and labeling. To be honest, though, one of the things I've had a tendency to do from my phone in the past is simply deleting/trashing everything in my Spam folder (which Select All->Delete could accomplish). I can't figure out a way to do that via the GMail app, though :( Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 15:37
  • Incidentally, it doesn't appear to be possible to empty your Trash folder from the GMail app either. I don't recall if I could do that from the Email app, though... Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 15:39
  • @eldarerathis - Yeah, I can see how clearing your whole Spam folder would be handy with this functionality. If you don't have a space issue in your Gmail account though it will automatically delete anything that's over a month old, so it's not like you have to worry about it getting ridiculously out of hand. I can understand the compulsion to keep that folder clear, though... :)
    – newuser
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 15:40
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    @eldarerathis - Man, these are really amateur mistakes by Google. I understand that they want to encourage people to archive everything so it can be searched later if necessary, but batch operations are such an entry-level feature that I'm honestly shocked that they were completely left out.
    – newuser
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 15:42

Nope, not as of v2.3.4.1 anyways. I've been through all the settings / actions pretty thoroughly, in various contexts, with no luck.

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