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For privacy reasons, I want to permanently delete a lot of mail from gmail. I've downloaded it using IMAP. However, when I try to delete the mail, it keeps coming back. This happens even when I delete from the All Mail folder. I would rather not go in through the gmail interface, as I have 50,000+ email messages. Is there another way?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You'll have to open the web interface to change the settings anyway, so you may as well use the web interface to delete your messages. If the messages you want to delete have anything at all in common, just use Gmail's powerful search tool to find them, select all, and delete.

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And once deleted you will also have to empty the "bin" otherwise they will linger for another 30 days. – BJ292 May 20 '12 at 14:51
Select all doesn't work for 50,000 documents. It only deletes those on the current page. I have 300+ pages. – vy32 May 20 '12 at 16:55
+1 for an answer that should work. @vy32, you may consider fetching a child of 5 to click-delete through 300 pages. – Nikana Reklawyks Nov 19 '12 at 0:33
Isn't there a button somewhere that says "Delete All instead of just these on this page" – tladuke Jul 20 '13 at 1:05

Using OfflineIMAP to sync IMAP folders 2-way, I haven't got many issues about mails coming back (it does happen once in a while, but that's very rare).

I just tried deleting mails on my Gmail account, it works like a charm (deleting them locally, they're removed from the online interface).

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protected by Community Apr 13 '13 at 21:36

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