If you’re not the inbox zero type — and I’m definitely not — you might sometimes rely on Gmail’s “Select all conversations that match this search” option to read, archive, or delete hundreds or thousands of messages at once.
Except we can’t do that anymore, and neither can a number of angry Gmail users we’ve spotted. The option has up and disappeared.
@gmail Hey, how come there’s no longer an option to “Select all conversations” to mark thousands as read at once?
I’m typing “is: unread” + selecting the “All” check box, but instead of “Select all conversations” at the top of my screen, it says “No results found”…? pic.twitter.com/dercwGE5OE
— Laura McQuillan (@mcquillanator) September 30, 2020
incredible that the “Select all conversations that match this search” option has been removed from @gmail. what on earth are they thinking??? actions can now be performed only on the max # of messages per page. insane! please fix ASAP @Google
— rick tait (@rickt) October 1, 2020
Instead, we’re seeing a nav bar with a handful of shortcut buttons when we search, like this:
Google didn’t reply to our requests for comment, so we’re not yet sure if we’re looking at an official new UI overhaul for Gmail, a quick experiment, or perhaps even a bug. A Gmail help thread from six days ago has so far gone unanswered.
It does seem that Google’s own Gmail support team was unaware of a change; on at least a couple occasions, they’ve been giving readers instructions that no longer work.
Got it. Lets try these steps to mark all emails as read in Gmail: Go to https://t.co/bXXJf3dEH5 on your Computer > Search for messages > Select all > Select all conversations that match this search > Mark as read. Keep us posted.
— Gmail (@gmail) October 1, 2020
It doesn’t help at all, because the select all conversations option isn’t showing up. As my initial tweet indicates, I’ve done this before. I’m now unable.
— Brant Barton (@brrrant_b) September 29, 2020
For now, if you want to read, archive, or delete more than a page worth of conversations at a time, you may need to use a filter instead, using the “Also apply filter to matching conversations” button, and then delete the filter after the fact.
I just gave it a try with some newsletters, and it still seems to work. It’s just a hassle.