Actions Clean Email Supports
To help you clean up your email account, Clean Email lets you select multiple message groups and apply an action to all selected messages at the same time. These actions include things like archiving, trashing, or deleting all selected messages.
For more information on selecting multiple message groups at the same time, check out our article Folders and Smart Folders.
In case you start a cleaning action by mistake, the Quick Cancel feature can give you a chance to cancel the action before it begins.
For more information, please see Canceling an Accidental Action with Quick Clean.
Here is a full list of the actions you can apply to groups of messages using Clean Email:
Messages in the selected group or groups will be moved to the trash (sometimes called “Deleted Items”) in your email account. You can review messages in the trash and choose to move them back to the inbox, or completely remove them by emptying your trash. For some email accounts such as Gmail and Outlook, messages in the trash are automatically removed after 30 days.
Messages in the selected group or groups will be marked as read. Most email clients automatically mark a message as read once you have opened it, but this action lets you apply the “read” status to a group of messages without actually opening them.
📌 Note: Clean Email never automatically marks messages as read. Whether you preview a message or even click the Load Message button for a given message, the message is not marked as read unless you specifically apply the Mark Read action.
Messages in the selected group(s) are marked as unread. This applies the “Unread” status to all selected messages. Any messages that were already marked as unread are not affected by this action.
If any messages in the selected groups have a star or flag marking, it is removed from those messages.
This action selects the star or flag for all messages in all selected groups.
📌 Note: Different email services use different terminology to mark important messages or messages that need a follow up. In Google mail accounts such as Gmail and Google Workspace (GSuite), the star status is applied. In other types of accounts such as Outlook, a flag is applied instead of a star.
This action prompts you to confirm that you want to keep only the most recent message from among all selected groups and messages. When you confirm the action, Clean Email moves all other messages to the trash.
If you create an Auto Clean rule using this action, as soon as you receive a new message matching your criteria, the older existing message will be moved to the trash. For more information about this process, please see Keeping Only the Newest in One or More Groups of Messages.
Messages in the selected group(s) are moved to the Read Later folder. For more information about the Read Later folder, please see Read Later.
This action moves messages in the selected group(s) to a folder of your choice. You can choose an existing folder, or enter the name of a new folder to be created automatically.
📌 Note: Different email services use different terminology to describe how messages are grouped together and organized. In Google mail accounts such as Gmail and Google Workspace (GSuite), you can apply one or more labels to messages. You can also move messages out of the inbox to a specific label.
In other types of mail accounts, messages arrive in your inbox folder by default, and you can optionally move them to other folders.
When you use the Move action in Clean Email for a Google email account, the selected label is applied to all selected messages, and all other labels are removed from those messages.
This action opens the Choose Labels dialog. The options in this dialog only apply to Google email accounts such as Gmail and Google Workspace (GSuite). Other types of email accounts are not affected by this action.
- In the Add field, enter a new label to add to all messages, or click the drop-down and select an existing label.
- In the Remove field, enter the name of the label to be removed from all messages, or click the drop-down and select the label to be removed.
- Click Confirm to confirm your selections.
Messages in the selected group(s) are archived.
- In Google email accounts such as Gmail and Google Workspace (GSuite), the “Inbox” label is removed from messages. Messages are still visible in All Mail within your email application, and in Clean Email. Any other labels that have been applied to the messages remain and are not removed.
- In other types of email accounts, the messages are removed from the Inbox folder and placed into an “Archive” folder.
Note that archiving messages does not remove them from your email account. Keep in mind, also, that by default, Clean Email shows you all messages in your account regardless of which folder or label the messages are in, so it is normal to continue seeing messages in Clean Email after you archive them.
If you do not want to see archived messages in Clean Email, you can click the Filters button just below the search field in any Smart Folder, and exclude archived messages by simply selecting a folder or label. Some Smart Folders include the “In Inbox” filter by default, which also excludes archived messages.
For more information on archiving messages, please see Archiving Messages.
For more information about applying a filter, please see Searching and Filtering.
Messages in the group are marked as Spam, notifying your email service provider (where applicable) that the messages are spam. Your mail provider may update its records to identify similar messages as spam in the future and deliver them to a different folder (e.g., your spam folder).
All selected messages are completely removed from your mailbox and cannot be recovered.
⚠️ Warning: Message deletion is permanent and irreversible. Use caution when deleting multiple messages at the same time or creating an Auto Clean rule with this action. Make sure you do not delete messages that you want to keep.
Misuse of this action can cause some people to experience lost messages. Read this article to learn more.
This action opens the Auto Clean rule creation dialog with preset options based on the selected message groups. Auto Clean proactively applies actions such as the ones listed in this article to new messages as they arrive in your account. For more information, please see Creating Auto Clean Rules.
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