- go to your Google Account.
- Click Data & personalization.
- Under “Activity and timeline,”
- Click My Activity.
- Click More.
- Click Delete activity by.
- Below “Delete Activity,”
- Click All time.
- Click Delete.
I’ve been using Gmail for several years now, and have noticed that a lot of my recent activity on the site seems to stick around regardless of how many times I delete it. My “Inbox” folder is generally full of spam mail from various scammers or phishers, so I block all messages from those senders.
However, their email addresses still show up in my Recent Activity list — along with any other emails you’ve ever deleted but not purged. Why? How can one get rid of this information once and for all? Thanks! — Thom Shaw via Android Central Forums
The short answer is you can’t. The long answer is that there are ways of making your Gmail experience a lot more private than it normally is. But we’ll get to that in a second.
When you delete an email in Gmail, what’s really happening behind the scenes is that Google’s servers are sending back an auto-response saying “Hey, I received this message, but I’m deleting it and not giving it another thought.” Other people who receive messages from you will see normal deletion cues — either a blank new message with three dots (…) showing up or simply nothing at all because Gmail has deleted whatever you wanted deleted. If those other people try to forward your email on to someone else they will see empty space where the message used to be.
But you and other Gmail users will always have the option of looking up your own recent activity, which means that if a spammer or phisher gets one email through they might keep trying over and over again until they succeed. Because it’s important for you to know when someone is actively trying to break into your account(s), Google doesn’t let you completely wipe away all traces of activity from your Gmail account — not even by giving yourself an extended vacation from using the service. And depending on how much privacy you want in your life, knowing this could either be good news or bad news.
Getting rid of old emails by deleting them multiple times isn’t going to work, either – at least not for a long time. The reason for this is because Gmail doesn’t just keep your newest emails in “Inbox” but keeps “All Mail” around as well, and are stored forever unless you decide to delete them manually or through the Delete option under Settings. Additionally, when we checked out the settings of one of our Android Central writer’s account, it showed that over 7GB of Gmail data was being saved on Google’s servers for him alone — most likely full of old email threads he’d intentionally deleted through his activity log many times before.
Thankfully, there are some ways to safeguard yourself against any possible situations where someone might actually get into your account(s). However, it won’t be easy if you’re not familiar with how to use Google’s web-based tools (or how to search for things on Google), so we’re going to assume you’re either comfortable with or can learn how to operate these tools if you want the best possible protection.
By un-checking the boxes beside their names, you’re saying, “I don’t want to see this person’s writing in any of my labels anymore.” You do not have to go through your emails and delete them one by one. This way you won’t find yourself deleting email that you meant to keep.
When someone has emailed me several times, it is tempting to just check the box next to the name and mass-delete all future emails from them…
That’s usually not what I really wanted. I just had a conversation with someone about this exact issue recently….it turned out that we had both been doing the same thing for years! The result was that we now have lots of messages we wish we hadn’t deleted.
So the best solution for this is to go into Preferences – Labels and check ‘Show in All Labels’ next to these people’s names, so that they show up in your Inbox again….but now you’ll only be seeing their emails when you actually want to see them!
or at least move the message from your inbox into a specific label…and then it will not show up on your main page anymore (ie. messages directly labeled work won’t show up on the left column of Gmail anymore). This is more selective than just deleting by checking boxes. You can also sort by labels (click “more” tab) instead of viewing recent activity.
You can undo deleting a conversation in a number of ways:
Checking and unchecking their name in the “Trash” folder. (The “trash” box shows up on your inbox screen.) This will not delete actual emails, but it will remove them from your recent activity view. Go to Trash > click “Empty Trash.” (Just like emptying a real trash-can). This only removes them from recent activity. If you wish to actually delete the message, do either (a) or (b) below.
(a) Click Inbox > View All Mailboxes > Click Trash > select email thread you want to restore . You can then drag these messages back into your current inbox with the filing button => drop mail into… Both emails will be in your trash folder.
(b) Or here’s a more direct way to restore the deleted message: Move the email you want back to your inbox by clicking “Move to” > “Inbox”. Then you can click on “All Mail” so that it will show up there.
Also, I once heard someone say this tip about deleting messages (which makes some sense): they said that if you wanted these emails out of your life, but not completely gone forever, you could unsubscribe from them instead of deleting them! You can go into preferences and choose categories which are unlikely to let their emails come through again. That would seem like a nice middle ground solution for those of us who enjoy using Gmail but also want to keep our inboxes as unfilled with clutter and junk as possible.
While I know that this is a fairly basic question, I am hoping you could help me better understand how to manage my Gmail inbox.
I have been using Gmail for years but in the past few months found it necessary to organize some of the emails into categories such as Personal, Work, Family, Shopping; etc., however, this has made it more difficult to find an email when needed since I can not see the person’s name in my left column. Is there anyway to change this so that once again the Inbox will show the sender’s name? ~ JL via email on 6/30/2011
You don’t have easy access to the left column since it’s actually a set of tabs on top of your inbox. You can make these tabs appear while you are checking mail, using the drop-down menu next to your Inbox label and choosing “All Mail” (ie. whatever labels you have in your system).
However, I don’t think this is what people usually want when they say they want a “sender’s name” view… because then everything would be displayed as sender’s names without any lables at all! What most people really mean is either:
A) Showing recent activity only for emails that are unread/newer than my last email contact with them OR B) Showing only those emails which are directly labeled in their own categories, and not other emails that are sent directly to my Inbox.
1. Go to your Google Account.
2. Click Data & personalization.
3. Under “Activity and timeline,”
4. Click My Activity.
5. Click More.
6. Click Delete activity by.
7. Below “Delete Activity,”
8. Click All time.
9. Click Delete.
On the left, click Clear browsing data. A box will appear.
From the drop-down menu, select how much history you want to delete.
Click Clear data.
Google will still keep your data even if you delete it, to audit the company’s use of the information, for internal purposes or other uses. However, they won’t use it for targeted ads or customizing your search result pages after you’ve disabled Web history on your browser for 18 months.