Most of the time you wouldn’t need to bulk delete spam or empty your trash because Gmail automatically deletes them every 30 days.

However, if you’re like me, you prefer to keep your spam and trash clean, so you like to delete it all yourself. What really frustrated me was not being able to delete spam or empty trash from my mobile device. Well, since the recent update, now you can.

Navigate to the spam or trash folder in your Gmail app. Click the menu button (3 dots in the right hand corner) and select “Delete Spam” or “Empty Trash” from the list.

Empty Trash

Wait 2-3 seconds and voila, it’s all gone.

This is a great addition to the Gmail app. If you’re not already using it, get going!

Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.


rl jones · December 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm

When I click the 3dots for menu delete spam, trash does not show up, really need to clear the garbage.

    Jeffrey Taylor · December 11, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Make sure you’re in your “Spam” or “Trash” folders. Use the left side menu to scroll into the right folder. When you’re in the right folder, then you’ll be able to empty the garbage.

anne · December 23, 2013 at 10:09 am

my phone does not give the option to delete its a samsung sii, when you click on the left side…3 dots~~….

    Jeffrey Taylor · December 23, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Hmm…make sure you have the most recent Gmail app. It’s version 4.7.1 (as of 12/23/13).

    Make sure you’re using the Gmail app and not the standard “Mail” app.

    The 3 menu dots are in the upper right hand corner of the Gmail app.

anne · December 23, 2013 at 11:30 am

When I press on the msg, it highlights and there is a check mark next to it and yes when I click on the the 3 menu dots on the right side on the upper right hand corner….it does not give the delete option…only options to change the label or move to another folder.

my phone does frequent updates, it dosent even show the trash can.

not happy!

anne · December 23, 2013 at 12:17 pm

i figured it out.
I have to press the little square button on the bottom of the phone and it gives the delete option!
thanks for your help.
happy holidays!

Nicole · March 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm

I still don’t have the delete option..

Lisa Connon · April 15, 2014 at 12:49 pm

I have the Android Smart Phone and my trash and spam move to another folder then back. It’s like I’m in a never ending circle!! Lisa

Lisa Connon · April 15, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Also, my trash only reads trash, not empty trash. Same with spam. Thanks for any help. It’s messing with my phone!! Lisa

    Jeffrey Taylor · April 15, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    It sounds like you’re using the default mail app and not the Gmail app. Check to verify that first.

      Lisa Connon · April 15, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      Okay. I’ll go to settings and update.

      Lisa Connon · April 15, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      There’s a Sync Gmail box and it’s check marked for use.

Bob · April 27, 2014 at 8:05 pm

I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with the latest Android software and for the life of me can’t delete the trash. I’ve tried using your suggestions from your thread to no avail. HELP!!!!

    Jeffrey Taylor · April 27, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Try this:

    Make sure you’re using the Gmail app, not the default Android mail app. Try again.

    Lisa Connon · May 4, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Bob, pretty sure I can help. Read info below. Lisa Connon.

Lisa Connon · May 4, 2014 at 9:47 am

I figured out how to empty trash and spam on the android 4.0 smartphome. If you need HELP, text me @ 585-286-0030. Lisa Connon.

Jeffrey Taylor · May 4, 2014 at 10:38 am

Be aware that this post talks about the Gmail app.

Timothy Takemoto · June 16, 2014 at 3:58 pm

This works in spam and trash but not in other folders such as social and promotions, alas.

    Jeffrey Taylor · June 16, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Yes, because the other folders are tied to conversations. I’m not sure I’d empty those folders at random anyway.

      timtak · June 16, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      I would very much like to empty them. But alas the folders do not exist on my PC so I don’t think that there is any way of doing it.

Manuel · July 2, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Either Google or Samsung are yahoos for making this task solo difficult.

Mimo · December 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm

How can I delete one spam or one single e mail from the bin without deleting all the others?

Mimo · December 20, 2017 at 1:19 pm

How to delete a single e mail from bin on Samsung

Don Seastrum · February 8, 2018 at 10:20 am

I am trying to delete the email in my Gmail spam folder. This is on my laptop computer, not an app.
Most of the information I find deals with how to do this for an iPhone, app. Also, my spam foulder is full of spam that is more than 30 days old. Any suggestions?

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