Google accidentally deleted this fan-favorite Gmail feature

Gmail
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Google has accidentally removed a popular inbox management feature in Gmail (opens in new tab), much to the annoyance of some users.

The “select all conversations that match this search” feature traditionally allows Gmail users to select a collection of associated emails, which can then be archived, categorized, deleted or marked as read.

However, users that rely on the feature to manage their chaotic inboxes will be dismayed to find it has vanished mysteriously from the Gmail interface.

“What on earth are they thinking??? actions can now be performed on a max # of messages per page. Insane! [sic]” tweeted one frustrated user (opens in new tab).

“I’ve tried Chrome, Firefox and Safari, including incognito/private windows. I’m not getting the select all conversations option in any of them,” complained another (opens in new tab).

Missing Gmail feature

It transpires that Google (opens in new tab) did not intend to remove the Gmail feature, which was presumably meddled with by mistake during an upgrade or maintenance procedure. The company has issued an apology to affected users and is in the process of investigating the issue.

“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. That feature was removed unintentionally,” explained Google in a statement.

While Google works to reinstate the feature, Gmail users hoping to clean up their inboxes can take advantage of a workaround that exploits the email filtering system; it’s a little more finicky, but will do in an emergency.

Clicking the dropdown icon in the right-hand corner of the Gmail search bar opens up the Advanced Search menu, from which users can create a new filter. 

Selecting an action option in the filter menu (e.g. “Mark as read”) and then “Also apply filter to matching conversations” will apply the same action to all relevant messages.

Deleting the filter afterwards will ensure the same rule isn’t applied to future messages that land in the inbox.

Via The Verge (opens in new tab)

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.