How Do I Trash Emails in Google Inbox?

One of the first things I noticed about Google Inbox was the absence of a trash bin or the option to delete emails. From my earliest days using technology I have used the trash bin. Remember the drag and drop on Windows 95 and the old Apple IIe? Why on Earth would Google take away the trash bin from email? Isn’t this something everyone uses? Well, Google took it away because Gmail offers (basically) unlimited storage so there is no reason to trash anything. Google Inbox encourages users to archive or “mark as done” with the check box on Google Inbox. Below is what the top buttons look like:

google-inbox-trash

 

As you can clearly see, there is no trash option. You have to click the three vertical dots on the upper right hand side of your smartphone (mine is an Apple iPhone). When clicking the three dots you will be given several options which include:

  • Trash
  • Spam

Bundle in the Inbox:

  • Travel
  • Purchases
  • Finance
  • Social
  • Updates
  • Forums

Most people will recognize the Social, Updates and Forums as the desktop version of Gmail started using these designations in the last year. In my eyes, this is very useful as I get tons of emails that are promotions or social updates that I don’t really need to see immediately. Below is what the screen will look like after you click the three vertical dots:

google-inbox-three-dots

When you decided to move an email to Trash or Spam it is important to note that it will be deleted. Google Inbox encourages users to simply click the check mark at the top of the email rather than the three dots.

There are two buttons to the left of the check box that are very important and useful. There is a pin button to allow you to pin an email. This is something I think many users could use much like they would use Pinterest. If you have important emails, pin them now and get to them later. The other button is the snooze button. This is the one that looks like an alarm clock. If you have an email that won’t be relevant for several days, weeks or months you can snooze it and it will show up again at a specific date. This is extremely useful for upcoming events such as concerts, anniversaries or travel dates. There is no reason to let a concert ticket sit in your inbox when it won’t happen for several months.

Over the next several weeks and months I will continue to create help resources for Google Inbox. If you have any questions as it relates to the features of Inbox feel free to comment below with your question. I will get to it in the form of a comment or in a new blog post.

March 2015 Update

I have been an avid user of Google Inbox and I absolutely love it. If you want to get the most out of Google Inbox I would suggest archiving or trashing emails to keep it rather clean. Google does a fantastic job with their search function on Inbox so even if you trash or archive an email it will be easily findable. Several business professionals have asked me how to better manage their email which lead to this post – How to Never Delete an Email in Gmail and Inbox.

Using folders and bundling is extremely helpful for those that get dozens of emails every single day. In my opinion, Google does a fantastic job of keeping all the offers and deals in a separate “inbox” so it does not clutter your main inbox. If you have trouble deleting emails remember you can use the pin feature or the snooze feature to keep them around. If you need other tips as it pertains to Google Inbox please feel free to comment below.


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[…] in which you have utilized the snooze option effectively. The snooze option will help you avoid trashing emails or having to mark as done with the check box. This is […]

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[…] is nice and bungled I am able to manage my email more efficiently. I know some people like to still delete their emails, but for me treating my inbox as a To-Do List and not like a traditional email inbox has reduced […]

Farrel Buchinsky
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Farrel Buchinsky

I would like trash to occupy a more central role. I do not want to trash simply to reduce my storage. Instead there are billions of email messages that I never want to see again. I do not want them to ever show up when I search for an email, no matter how perfectly it meets the search criteria I may stipulate in month’s time or even 6 year’s time. A message is junk or nonsense even if it contains words that I have searched for.

Kourosh
Guest

I am with you Farrel. Trash and spam needs to have a more prominent role. Specially on the phone. I am used to swiping to get rid of junk. It needs to be simple to get rid of junk as opposed to move it to the done folder.

Vikas
Guest
Vikas

“Their is a method to this madness” And this how you do this EFFICIENTLY. You do not go to each and every message that u need to delete individually, you leave them in your bundle. The mails you need to keep, you swipe them, mails that needs attending later should be pinned. Now if the bundle (which displays 25 mails at a time) do not further contain any important mail, use the options button (three dots) and delete. 25 mails that are displayed will get deleted. All pinned mail will NOT GET DELETED, even if its in the bundle you… Read more »

Rudee
Guest
Rudee

How do you efficiently delete all the messages in the Spam folder? The default Spam folder doesn’t show up as a Bundle, so from what I can gather, I have to select each message one at a time and delete them. I’m on the PC, and would like to know how to delete all messages in the Spam folder at once. In the Gmail app you would just click on the Spam folder and select the ‘delete all spam messages now’ option.

Justin Goldberg
Guest

There’s a nice addon for thunderbird that can delete emails based on rules after x number of days, it’s called autoarchive. It’s not what you’re looking for, but it might help other visitors.

Another gripe with Inbox is that marking Messages as Done seems to be deleting them.

TJ
Guest
TJ

I would like to see more options for turning on certain features, like with the Android Gmail app you have the option to swipe to archive or delete. I’d like the option to customize inbox buttons (could be an advanced option).

Alan
Guest
Alan

I can’t find any way to EMPTY TRASH. I have to go to the old GMAIL app on Samsung S5 to do it.

Bob Willcox
Guest

Google seems intent on keeping as many emails as it can for as long as it can. This can only mean that it wants longer to scan/interrogate content for targeting/monetary purposes. A simple , manual function to clear the trash bin seems so straightforward that it beggars belief that google feels we dont need it. 30 days is far too long to keep unwanted emails.

JMP
Guest
JMP

I love the Inbox interface.

I wanted to trash an individual email a bundled message. It is basically impossible in Inbox.

I had to open my mailbox in the old gmail.com interfce in order to delete the individual email response.

Yes its cool not to ever delete however Inbox should give you the option to delete if you actually really want to delete.

Scott Masterton
Guest

I have tried using inbox several times now and each time I initially think it has potential and then I hit the same wall each time, namely not being easily able to trash some emails. There are emails that I never want to see again, so I don’t want to find them in a search in years to come, clogging up the search results. I really really want a trash option that is instantaneously accessible and not buried in a menu, then I might start to use inbox.

Agustin
Guest
Agustin

Hey Vikas, thanks for the suggestion. That would actually be pretty neat, but the three dots / options button won’t appear on the bundle on my iPhone.

Lars
Guest
Lars

Which version are you running, Agustin? I’m using it now (current versions of both iOS and Inbox) and the dots are there.

I wish we could swipe to delete. Snoozing should not be one of the default options. That’s a feature I would rarely — if ever — utilize.

Agustin
Guest
Agustin

Hi Lars, iPhone 6 plus everything updated. Note the three dots appear on individual mails but not on the bundle. Say cannot post links.

Travis
Guest
Travis

OK so I get that when you click “DONE” that you are just archiving the email….so you should be able to login to your old gmail (not Inbox) and empty the archive location……..but I cant even find that. I can search and find my “DONE” email….but it doesn’t tell me the location of it. I’d like to find that location so that I can just delete them all from gmail….(the old one)……does anyone know this location? thanks.

Nik Phirke
Guest

I just installed Inbox and I’m finding it great but there should be an option to empty trash no matter what. I receive about 20 spam emails daily and there’s no point in keeping them anywhere inside my inbox/trash.

Graham
Guest
Graham

I’d like to give Inbox more of a try than I have. But it needs more gestures especially as devices get larger screens where one handed operation (reaching for the menu in the top corner becomes ever harder). I’d like swipe to delete and swipe to archive as an action enabled always, like mailbox app. Now I know you believe in not deleting but instead filing. I do both. But that brings me to the next missing action already in mailbox. Swipe to folder. I use that all the time. It’s essential, even more than delete. I don’t want to… Read more »

AP
Guest
AP

That Gmail has unlimited storage is a myth! It’s 15 GB. If you use a Android Phone all your photos are uploaded to Google Photos whether you want it or not. Then it wants to geotag and share them via Google + , Google’s mandatory social network that functions more like a social disease than an app. The fact that there is no way to Empty the Trash or get rid of Spam is another manipulative ploy by Google to consume space and force you in to a monthly paid subscription plan is both desperate and dishonest. I’m getting more… Read more »

Matthew Gregg
Guest
Matthew Gregg

You can set the default action to “Trash” instead of “Done”. Also “Empty Trash Now” is available.

Agustin
Guest
Agustin

They added the trash button. Our work here is done gentlemen.

Joy
Guest
Joy

Agree with all the comments about needing a quick way to “trash” e-mails. Those of us that are a wee bit OCD cannot abide the thought of dedicating any space to items that should just be gone. It’s like sweeping dirt under a rug. Additionally, I miss the ability to use multiple flags. I track all the marketing requests for my company and route them to the proper departments. I’ve always forwarded as necessary but then flagged them with a specific color flag until I can add them to my tracking data. Items that I want to refer back to… Read more »

Kevin James
Guest
Kevin James

Well, no one’s complained about this since January so I’ll keep it going….Please just give us a one click (one swipe on mobile device) Trash option!! As already mentioned, everyday I encounter several messages that I simply never, ever want to see again. It’s worth the extra effort for me to dig down into the menus just to trash these messages…so why not just make this easier on everybody. Or at least make it configurable! I love everything else about Inbox, except the lack of a simple Trash button or swipe.

Kevin James
Guest
Kevin James

One more comment…I know the option was added to make the Check mark archive or trash a message, but that’s not quite what I’m after. I still want the check mark to archive messages. That makes perfect sense. But I’d like a Trash button on the individual messages and on the bundles in addition to the check mark to throw message away.