Lost the option to empty spam and trash in the Gmail app? Here's how to get it back

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you fire up the Gmail app on your Android handset today, you might start to think that Google has lost the plot. Rather than making it easier to deal with your emails, a strange change actually makes it more difficult.

For anyone who likes to keep their inbox nice and tidy, the 'Empty trash now' and 'Empty spam now' options provide a quick and easy way to purge a bunch of unwanted emails en masse, but these options now appear to have vanished.

The disappearance of these options means that deleting spam requires each message to be manually selected, then sent to Trash. The you'll have to wait for the delete messages to sit in Trash for 30 days before they are deleted.automatically. 

Or, at least that's how it seems. In reality there's no need to panic. The removal of the two emptying options that has people talking in the Gmail Community forums isn't a strange decision by Google, but a bug that the company is aware of.

Bash the bug

Thankfully, resourceful Gmail users have discovered a couple of workarounds. Just flip your phone round into landscape mode, and you should find that the emptying options show up again. Another option is to open a message in your spam folder or trash, and then return to your inbox. Again you should find that the emptying options have rematerialised.

In the same forum thread, product expert Andrew Hatchett explains that Google is aware of the problem and that engineers are currently researching a fix. There's no way of knowing quite when this fix will appear, so you'll have to make do with the workaround for now – or you can perform your mass deletions using the web-based version of Gmail which does not have the same problems.

Via Android Police

Sofia Elizabella Wyciślik-Wilson
Freelance writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 25 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.

You can find her on Twitter and Mastodon.