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. Google accidentally removed it, the company confirms to The Verge.
@gmail Hey, how come there's no longer an option to "Select all conversations" to mark thousands as read at once?— Laura McQuillan (@mcquillanator) September 30, 2020
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
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 of the option, we’re seeing a nav bar with a handful of shortcut buttons when we search, like this:
Thankfully, Google tells The Verge it’s coming back “as soon as possible,” adding:
We are working to bring back the feature in Gmail that allows you to ‘select all conversations that match this search’ as soon as possible. This feature was removed unintentionally. We apologize to our users who may have been affected.
That’ll be good news to those who posted in this Gmail help thread from six days ago, which had gone unanswered until now, and it explains why Google’s own Gmail support team was unaware of a change; on at least a couple occasions, they’d 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.
Update, 5:55 PM ET: Added Google’s explanation that this was just a mistake.