How to Delete Messages and Move to the Next Unread Message in Gmail

by Michael on May 22, 2009 · 2 comments

I’ve been cleaning out a bunch of old messages from Gmail, and have thus been looking for a setting that would allow me to open an unread message, delete it, and automatically open the next unread message. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a setting for this anywhere, and numerous Google searches came up empty.

The good news is that I came up with a workaround that’s nearly as good…

  1. Open your Gmail settings and turn on “Keyboard Shortcuts
  2. Search your mail for ‘is:unread‘ (this will display all unread messages)
  3. Open an unread message, verify you want to delete it, and hit ‘#’
  4. Click on the next message in the list and repeat

The key here is the keyboard shortcut for deleting the message. I keep my left hand on shift-3 and keep my right hand on the mouse. Using the keyboard to delete means that I don’t have to mouse up to the delete button and then back down to the list of messages.

Yes, I still need to move the mouse down slightly, but it’s way faster, and makes a huge difference when you’re working through a big list of unread messages.

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