Categories: Managing Settings and Mail :

delete and move to next message

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delete and move to next message jt3498734 9/12/09 2:16 AM
I just can't describe how frustrating it is to clean up my gmail box after a few months. I have to delete or archive, then it goes back to the home screen, then I have to open a new message to delete or archive that.

Why so many steps?

Why can't I delete, and move straight to the next message? Why can I only do this with a greasemonkey script on firefox?

It's such a simple concept that you find in clients such as outlook. You just go through each message and delete or archive it. But not in gmail, why do gmail want me to spend 5 x more time to clean up my email box?

And yes, more often I want delete, not archive, because if I archive then those emails will show up in future searches, and that's not what I want. There's a lot of unwanted messages that I don't need ever again, so please don't tell me it's because google wants us to archive not delete. A stupid argument if ever I

Thank for your tips
Re: delete and move to next message bdhamer 9/28/09 12:02 PM
I asked this same question over a year ago and still have not found an answer.
I also see the ease of deleting when in other programs, is just one.
Please have someone work on this so we can delete, clear space for other important messages and not take so many steps to have this happen
Re: delete and move to next message jt3498734 9/29/09 7:10 AM
Hmm, I agree. So anyone?

Is there anyone out there who can explain why deleting messages always makes me go back to the inbox? WHY WHY WHY can't I have a shortcut to 'delete and go to next'.

Why is google so hung up on archiving instead of deleting? Why can't they acknowledge that there exist genuine reasons to delete, PERMANENTLY. Why is that such a difficult concept to grasp. And why am I virtually on my own here?

Surely I can't be so out of touch that I want to delete messages like millions of user do in outlook.

It's really exasperating
Re: delete and move to next message Forestdog 9/29/09 11:06 AM
This is the first time I've used Google Help and this is exactly my can I delete and move on to the next message?  I was sure there must be a lab or something that would do it...luckily I've been doing a pretty good job of staying on top of my deletions, but jeez, this is probably my biggest peeve with Gmail...
Re: delete and move to next message jt3498734 9/29/09 11:52 AM
I'm sure others have asked many times. What would be really nice would be an explanation from Gmail team.

I know there's an anti delete philosophy at gmail, on the grounds that they provide so much storage that you don't 'need' to delete. Which is fantastic, as it means a message you would otherwise have deleted (to save space for example) would be retained for future.

But I can't see any argument to counter the fact, and yes it is a fact, that there are many emails you simply have NO NEED EVER to keep, eg marketing stuff, ebay announcements etc. If you do archive everything then when you come to search for something important you find you get 1000s of unwanted results from all the junk you archived instead of deleted.

I would love to see someone trying to argue against this key point, but the truth is they can't. So this begs the question why gmail decides to ignore us. Either very few people want this functionality, or maybe they decided a while back that they don't want you to have a tidy inbox, and that's why they make it so stunningly difficult to clear out old messages.

Either way, we the losers lose.

I am considering starting a high profile blog entry and petition. Watch this space.
Re: delete and move to next message bdhamer 9/29/09 3:14 PM
I posted the same question as least one other forum site - known issues - so maybe we can get an answer.  If we post on all forums, maybe this will get attention
Re: delete and move to next message aMU32 10/5/09 5:47 AM
I feel google was good ......but it just dont have Simple thing  delete and move on to the next message ..

I use Yahoo & hotmail. both have this Simple tool .
Re: delete and move to next message jt3498734 10/5/09 6:31 AM
Again, this means they've taken a deliberate decision not to include it. The question is why? Are there any logical reasons? Or is it just one of those quirky things that such a massive organisation can dictate to its users without fear of losing out to the competition.

I really would like someone to step in here to defend google's stance.
Re: delete and move to next message jt3498734 10/5/09 11:16 AM
Thanks Gravi for the response.

If all my emails in gmail were useful messages and important details from friends and family, then I would happily archive everything.

But as I have mentioned before there is a category of email that is between 'important' and 'spam', for example marketing info, or weekly newsletters, that I am happy to read once and then bin. Yes, I mean delete, safe in the knowledge that I will never need it again. Moreover, I don't want the text in those messages to show up in future searches, so I'd rather just delete it. Period.

I'm happy to archive, and 'archive and next' is great, but it still doesn't get round the simple fact that many of us would like a 'delete and next' function to speed up the tedious process of cleaning out our inboxes.

Does anyone else agree there are some messages you just read once and bin, that you don't want cluttering up your search results in future? Or is it just me.

I have made the suggestion on the appropriate web form, thanks for the tip, and I know countless others have, but if gmail haven't implemented this before now there's little chance they're going to based on one man's (me) rants. It's going to take a lot to convince gmail's developers that such a tool would be useful.

I don't see why it can't be hidden away in an optional lab.

My only stab can be that deleting messages somehow limits gmail's ability to generate revenue, because presumably there'd be fewer messages on which to target advertisements. I can't think of any other reason
Re: delete and move to next message bdhamer 10/5/09 12:11 PM
Thank you to gravi t.  I pasted a number of these messages on one of the suggestion sites and hope we will get an answer.
Re: delete and move to next message RR1822 10/6/09 12:07 PM
The solution is to use a combination of labels and keyboard shortcuts.

1.  Go to your Gmail settings.  Click the "General" tab, then verify that Keyboard Shortcuts = Keyboard Shortcuts On. 
2.  Remain in Gmail settings.  Now click the "Labels" tab.  Midway down the page is a box to create a new label.  Make a label named "Delete".
3.  Click back to you Inbox. 

4.  Begin reading your first conversation.  Press "K" to move to next newer conversation, "J" to move to next older conversation.
(Within a conversation, "p" = previous message, "n" = next message". Notice the pointer moving from message to message.  Press "Enter" to read)
5.  To delete a conversation, press "L" to bring up the choice labels, then press "D".  The "Delete" label should be highlighted.  Press Enter to select.  Continue through your email.
6.  When done reading email, the "Delete" label should be displayed along the left part of your Gmail window.  Click on it.  All the email your labeled with "Delete" is listed.  Click "Select All" and then click "Delete".

Re: delete and move to next message jt3498734 10/6/09 12:13 PM
Thank you for this tip, but I don't consider that a solution. Rather, it's a workaround.

As far as I can see it's actually more laborious than clicking the message, clicking delete, clicking the next message...etc

Out of interest does the delete key do anything in keyboard shortcuts? How nice would it be if you could just zip through your messages sitting on the delete key. Oh no, hang on, Outlook / Eudora / Thunderbird etc etc etc have already thought up that genius little trick.
Re: delete and move to next message jt3498734 10/11/09 12:31 PM
Ah OK. So if you use a standalone client to connect via imap or pop or whatever, then gmail let's you delete messages? I would have thought if they have a problem with users electing (of their own free will) to delete message in web based gmail, that they'd find a way to prevent them from using a software client to delete messages.

This could be helpful, but only when I'm at my PC.
Re: delete and move to next message dianaClick 12/9/09 10:17 AM
The shortcut keys I use to go through my inbox and delete or archive emails is this:

1.  From inbox view type "o" (for open)

2.  Now, from the Message view, you can type "y" to archive or "#" to delete.

3.  This will bring you back to the inbox view, where you can again type "o" and move on down the list.

Ideally, step 3 wouldn't be necessary, but for now, we have to deal with it...
Re: delete and move to next message dianaClick 12/14/09 8:52 AM
Since I cannot edit my previous reply, I will just have to make my update here.

In Step 1 above, you can also click on "Enter", and the selected item will open. 

In addition, to move up/down from your inbox list, you can type "j" to move down and "k" to move up.
Re: delete and move to next message nookycook 1/7/10 3:54 AM
I use the shortcuts as dianaClick suggest but when I have opened a message and press # to delete  I get a message saying my email has been archived!

Does anyone else experience this?   

Will try a delete label to workaround problem at the moment.

:) Jt
Re: delete and move to next message nookycook 1/7/10 9:37 AM
The label is working beautifully.   I called it "; delete".   I open one message and use j or k to navigate,  Should I decide to delete I type

 l  ;  enter

and the label is applied.    Then once I have finished housekeeping I click on the delete label and then the delete button to bin them all.

An added bonus will be adding the delete label to emails that are only relevant for a few days, ready for deletion later on.

Thank you!
Re: delete and move to next message jeajea 1/8/10 2:28 PM
it would definitely be nice to delete and move to the next message. it's odd that gmail does not have this feature since it's so basic that almost all email services have it. by making it such a hassle to delete and move forward, gmail is telling us that it does not want us to do so. one feature that gmail does have, however, is the archive and move to next message ( ] key). gmail has replaced delete with archive and therefore, wants us to do the same. archive can be considered as the new trash bin with a safety net.
Re: delete and move to next message jt3498734 1/8/10 3:26 PM
Ah yes, but don't forget that all archived message show up in searches. I get many messages that deserve to be DELETED, not archived. Things that are almost spam, or worthless for future reference. But google denies me the opportunity to delete them with ease, and I resent that hugely. I will continue to make a fuss until they listen. DELETE AND NEXT PLEASE!!!!
Re: delete and move to next message jt3498734 1/9/10 6:05 AM
Where is the gmail suggest a feature forum? I've yet to find that, so if you have a link that'd be great. I'm not interested in the suggest a feature email form, as that doesn't allow us to join together. It just creates messages which google HQ bin, presumably only taking notice (and then ignoring again) when numbers tally up to 1000s for a particular request
Re: delete and move to next message jt3498734 1/9/10 7:04 AM
I believe you are mistaken.

You alluded to "the Gmail suggest-a-feature forum", which sounds to me like a forum in which people can contribute to an evolving thread.

This is patently not the same as a suggest a feature link.

I would like the link to the forum where we can discuss, and add our opinions to, new suggestions. Which is basically what we're doing in this thread, but some stuck up forum snobs are getting in the way...
Re: delete and move to next message jt3498734 1/9/10 4:43 PM
What's a "snub"?
Re: delete and move to next message RZ24 1/16/10 8:23 PM
I agree it's cumbersome but using "Google's Keyboard Shortcuts"
Here's what I do to Delete and Open the next Message, and
Archive and Open next Message
Delete:           Keyboard Shortcut:  #o  (Letter o)    .... Delete(#) then Open(o) the next Conversation.
Archive:        Keyboard Shortcut:  eo  (Letters e&o)    .... Archive(e) then Open(o) the next Conversation.
Hope this helps a bit
Re: delete and move to next message ttconnexn 1/17/10 8:02 AM
For those who were looking for the

"Suggest a feature for Gmail"

Here's the Link...
Re: delete and move to next message jt3498734 1/17/10 8:07 AM
I have still yet to read an argument in favour of gmail's persisent and stubborn refusal to support this lifesaving tool.
Re: delete and move to next message Wimp35 1/19/10 8:47 AM
gmail won't respond to this. they think blocking this feature will help there advertising revenue. It will just make more people angry. If I did not like google's products so much I would have switched email providers cuz of this.
Re: delete and move to next message hazmatte 2/22/10 2:32 PM
I just want to throw another log on this fire. 

I find this behavior endlessly annoying too.  At home I generally will fire up Thunderbird and do my mailbox cleanup via IMAP to Gmail, but at work, they block POP/IMAP, so I'm stuck using the web interface so it's delete and back to the Inbox again... very frustrating.

With Thunderbird I also circumvent the bizarre blockade Gmail has on allowing you to sort by sender.  What is up with that stupid limitation?  I use labels to help with this, but I don't want to have to create a new label/filter for every sender I receive email from.

Gmail, give us some love.  At least add these features to the Lab!!!

Re: delete and move to next message safo 3/15/10 4:28 AM

The problem is that this is so unpractical!! Gmail says that this feature is on because you should not delete messages. ok i dont mind that but at least add a lab feature that will enable us to add it if we want to delete messages. We, as gmail users, really dont want to change any of gmail's policies, but isnt a policy of gmail that every user should be able to customize his own inbox? I for instance am very frustrated about this feature and demand a logical answer. Not a solution but a logical answer. Dont contradict your policies gmail!!

Re: delete and move to next message jt3498734 3/15/10 4:32 AM
Google are a fickle bunch. Don't forget that user friendliness and privacy will ALWAYS be second to Google's ability to generate revenue from its products.

If they make it too easy to delete emails, then they won't be able to serve as many adverts. And that means less revenue.

Which boils down 'delete and next' for us users.
Re: delete and move to next message dtb1969 4/25/10 5:14 AM
There obviously should be archive-then-next-message and delete-then-next-message functions.

There is neither, which results in enormous amounts of time wasted when clearing a bloated inbox.

For goodness sake google, this would be easy to implement; PLEASE do so -- at least in labs.

Re: delete and move to next message jt3498734 4/25/10 12:47 PM
It's the 'google mentality' at its worst I'm afraid. I pity anyone who disagrees with the way they do (dictate) things. God help us if they take over the whole web...
Re: delete and move to next message brycenesbitt 5/26/10 9:52 AM
You can try suggesting this feature at
A good summary is "Keyboard shortcut "} - Delete and Next" symmetric with "] - Archive and Next".

I use this greasemonkey script to fake it:
Or I create a label, apply that label with a keyboard shortcut, then periodically select that label and mass-delete.
Both are hacks.

Gmail's evangelism of "don't delete, archive" is a very blind.  There are real reasons to delete.  I find the 30 day buffer after deletion to be plenty... but the only feature I'd ask for beyond "delete and next" is the ability to fine-tune the auto-delete timeout.  As for google's revenue: the messages I delete are NOT RELEVANT.  That's why I'm deleting them.  They have no archival value, no search value, no keyword sensitive context value, NO VALUE.
Re: delete and move to next message bdhamer 6/23/10 1:18 PM
After yet another year and reading all the posts as they come across I have found the easiest way is based on a couple of previous posts.  Thank you to
for the beginnings of the best answer that I have found and it is really easy - simple also for those of us that are challenged with thousands of emails that need to be just DELETED.
1.  Make a new label or edit the existing DELETE label to include the *.  Then this label shows up as the first in the drop down screen and doesn't get lost in your list.  As you work through each message label with the *DELETE label - easy to find - easy to use - thus not pushing back to the home message screen.
2.  As was recommended by others - again thanks - every once in a while bring up all the messages that are labeled *DELETE and then do a mass delete for all of them at one time.
YEAH!! Something that is simple.
The thing that I hated most is now solved and that is having to enter each message again after doing whatever the other steps have been.
HAPPY DELETING with the *DELETE label. 
Re: delete and move to next message gerrymi 8/17/10 2:09 PM
I tried ALL the above suggestions and NONE worked (except the *DELETE thingy which is a lot of "work" with all the extra steps).  But I found a method that DOES "delete and move to next message" easily.  I just moved my GMail account over to Hotmail...and "delete and move" works GREAT!!!
Re: delete and move to next message fkee 8/27/10 9:51 AM
I can not find a one click solution and wish Gmail did have it built into delete. Here our two workaround that work pretty fast.

1.) Keyboard workaround: Open "GMAIL LABS" (click on little green bottle upper right). Enable "Custom Keyboard Shortcuts"

I Reprogram functions to correspond to my keypad as follows
 "Delete" to "." (Decimal point or Period)
 "Newer Conversation" to "+"
 "Older Conservation to "-"
"Archive" to "9"

Now with this change with one hand I can open, read & delete quickly no awkward keyboard  "#" then "o" or mouse clicking.  On keypad Open your message with "Enter" and "." to delete then "Enter to go to open next message.

2) 1.) Mouse workaround: Open "GMAIL LABS" (click on little green bottle upper right). Enable "Message Sneak Peek.

This enables right c
lick to display a extended (but not full) preview of message with Delete, Archive, Mark as Read, & Mark as Read click buttons.
Re: delete and move to next message gk47 9/23/10 7:00 PM
fkee, I do that as well but it still doesn't solve the problem of moving to the next message.

I've been using gmail for 5 years and this has always frustrated me.

My workaround has been to use the keyboard shortcuts lab and mass select messages in my inbox that I've either previously read or think I'm not interested in and then press delete. I've mapped '-' for up and '+' for down on the keypad, 's' for select 'a' for archive 'd' for delete. 

I archive all personal or work related messages, but I'm subscribed to so many newsletters I don't want them in my archive unless they contain something I want to refer to.

I do understand the value these useless (to us) messages have for google. Those newsletters and marketing messages contain keywords they can attach to your profile forever, and they're probably not allowed to store that info from deleted messages (haven't checked TOS).

Re: delete and move to next message Miniben 10/5/10 6:49 AM
Please sign in to and re-click on this address to vote for the ability of having delete and next.
If we all vote on that, we will have it !
Re: delete and move to next message consumedsoul 10/15/10 6:51 PM
Google we're begging you, at least implement this feature as a lab add-on. :(
Re: delete and move to next message obajaber 10/26/10 8:39 PM
Re: delete and move to next message consumedsoul 10/27/10 4:01 PM
Re: delete and move to next message jt3498734 10/27/10 4:06 PM
While I'm pleased they've finally got round to doing this, I'm also appalled at how long it took. The gmail team's attitude is just awful. Still, we're in a better position now, but I don't see any pressing need to forgive the team for dragging their heels like this. Pathetic in fact that it took so long. I wonder why they only now decided to come to their senses?
Re: delete and move to next message Skammie 1/5/11 1:41 PM
It's a free email service. Don't complain!
Re: delete and move to next message brycenesbitt 1/6/11 11:32 PM
Odd, I pay $50 a year for the service.  It is not JUST a free service, there are professional editions also.
Re: delete and move to next message obajaber 1/9/11 9:18 PM
Oh come on...use your common sense. It's not that they couldn't do it. They chose not to, because it means one less page to display ads for each email! Those ads are the ones that kept their service free for the majority of users.
Re: delete and move to next message jasonvaritekfan 10/26/10 6:52 PM
Go to Gmail Labs and enable the new lab released to address this request:
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