Category Archives: Tech Tips

How to count search results in Gmail

Gmail is a great products with powerful search and labelling systems that changed the way I use email. There is a small annoyance though – when doing search, Gmail does not return the total number of results if you have more than a few. Further, there is no easy way to access older results or see more than 20 results per page. Basically, you’d have to keep hitting the “older” button until you get to that last message. But what if you had hundreds or thousands of results from a mailing list, like I do?

Here is a power tip for Gmail users with thousands of messages on how to find the exact number of search results, browse 100 results at a time, and easily access the oldest messages:

  1. Do a search, either regular or advanced through the “Show search options” link.
  2. Select all the results by hitting “Select: All”
  3. Really select ALL the results by clicking on the “Select all conversations that match this search” link
  4. Apply a new label to the results, such as “Results Count”
  5. A popup dialog will ask you “This action will affect all conversations in this search. Are you sure you want to continue?” Hit OK.
  6. Now you can go to the “Results Count” label on the left side bar and:
    1. See the total number of messages
    2. See the total number of unread messages
    3. Paginate through the messages up to 100 messages at a time
    4. Access the oldest message easily through the now available “Oldest ยป” link.
  7. If you no longer need this label, you can select all the message and clear the label so it’s usable in future searches.

Did you find this tip useful? I’d appreciate some feedback in the comments. Feel free to link to other Gmail power tips.