Going into work on Monday morning and staring down the barrel of 487 unread messages simply isn’t a fun experience.
Sure, with enough free time on your schedule, you can muscle through the weeds, deleting emails you don’t need, and preserving the ones that are most important.
But who has the time?
And the patience? Is there an app to clean up email?
Yes, there are a handful of good ones! In this article, I’ve hand-picked my favorite email cleaner apps that’ll help you with cleaning up your email inbox 😃
Table of Contents
What Is an Email Cleaner App?
Email cleaner apps include various features and functions that all share a common purpose: making sure your inbox is neat, clean, and organized.
These are some of the features you’ll generally in email cleaners:
- Automating. Automatically sorting new emails into different folders and categories, or deleting messages that meet certain criteria.
- Deleting / archiving. Email cleaner apps usually have some kind of feature to help you delete or archive emails faster or in bulk.
- Organizing. With a good email cleaning app, you can stay more organized (and do it more conveniently). For more help, see our guide on Gmail organization!
- Unsubscribing. Most of us have a handful of email newsletters we actually like subscribing to – and dozens that we don’t even remember signing up for. Email cleaner apps usually automate and simplify the unsubscribe process.
Some email cleaner apps are specialists, doing one thing extraordinarily well. Others are more comprehensive, with every tool you can imagine (and then some).
The Best Email Cleaners
Now to the real meat of this article – the best email cleaning apps available.
Which apps have the highest potential to revolutionize your inbox and help you inch closer to inbox zero?
Trimbox is a simple Gmail plugin which makes keeping a clean inbox as easy as checking your email.
It lives directly in your Gmail inbox and tags each mailing list email with an unsubscribe button. Whenever you see the button, just click it once and Trimbox will automatically unsubscribe you from the mailing list.
If you want to clear out all of the old emails from that mailing list, just click the button one more time and Trimbox will automatically delete all the emails from that sender in your inbox.
Since Trimbox lives directly in your inbox, you don’t have to remember to navigate to a separate site to clean your email. This makes Trimbox very easy to adopt as a simple daily routine, so your inbox stays clean for good.
Clean.email is another great email cleaning app. It’s all about getting rid of the emails in your inbox that you no longer need.
If they’re old, bloated with extra files, or if they aren’t relevant to your current work, Clean.email will help you delete them quickly and efficiently.
It also has built-in tools to help you group emails, label them appropriately, and archive them if you want to review them at a later date or store them permanently.
With Mailstrom, you can connect your Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo! account and delete thousands of unnecessary emails in just a few clicks.
You can easily filter messages based on factors like sender, date sent, and size, and clear out entire categories of messages.
You can also unsubscribe from all those pesky marketing and sales lists you ended up on.
If you’re interested in finally unsubscribing from all those annoying newsletters, Unroll.me might be the best email cleaner tool for the job.
Once you link up your email address, you’ll get a near-instant breakdown of all the subscriptions you currently hold. From there, you can unsubscribe from anything and everything that’s no longer relevant to you.
Plus, it’s completely free, so there’s no downside.
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Cleanfox is a similar app designed to help you get away from the newsletters and marketing emails you no longer want.
With just a few clicks, you can clean your inbox of old emails that don’t have any value – and make sure you receive fewer such emails in the future.
There’s also SaneBox, an email management tool that has compatibility with practically any email service. With it, you can connect all your email accounts and create settings for organizational purposes.
Once you establish your priorities and habits, SaneBox will help you stay organized and provide you with daily digests that make your inbox clean and convenient to manage.
Triage bills itself as “first aid for your inbox,” giving you a chance to easily sort through your old and persistent messages with simple gestures. In a matter of minutes, you can clear out months, or even years of old messages.
The only catch is the app is only for iOS devices, so it’s not universally useful.
The Value of “Clean” Email
You might be saying to yourself, “okay, but how important is a clean inbox, really? Don’t geniuses thrive under pressure? I heard Einstein was really messy…”
Yeah, okay, there are some dubious scientific claims that intelligent people are messier.
But that’s not a good justification of taking a disorganized approach to your email inbox.
With the right email cleaner app, you can enjoy a ton of benefits, including:
Less spam and unwanted messages.
Get rid of the marketing clutter and the messages from brands you’ve long since forgotten about. These messages don’t need to be bogging down the flow of your inbox – and with the right email cleaner, you can reduce them to a minimum.
Prioritization, organization, and hierarchy.
Which messages are more important than others? Who needs a response right away and who can wait a few days? I’d be lying if I said email cleaning apps have all the answers, but they do have some of the answers – they’re great for setting new priorities and establishing hierarchies.
Do we dare bring up the Holy Grail of inbox management? Inbox zero? Swirling rumors suggest that some people, both blessed and lucky, can eventually get down to zero messages in their inbox – a perfectly clean platform ready for whatever comes next.
I’m exaggerating of course; for some people in some roles, inbox zero is a distant dream. But a good email cleaner app may be able to help you make it a reality.
Ultimately this all means:
- Time savings. You don’t have to waste time manually unsubscribing from email lists, sorting your emails, and trying to figure out your priorities. Much of this happens automatically, so you don’t even need to think about it.
- Better focus. You may not realize it, but your cluttered inbox could be ruining your focus and productivity. With a cleaner inbox, you stand a much better chance of performing your best.
- Less stress. Your cluttered inbox is stressing you out, whether you realize it or not. Once it’s clean, you’ll feel like an immense burden has been lifted from you.
- No lost tasks or messages. Have you ever lost a sale or lost track of a task on your to-do list because it got buried in your inbox? I have. I bet you have too.
Once you’ve used one of these email cleaners to clean up your inbox, it’s time to implement methods to keep your inbox under control.
After all, email is a major source of stress – and lost productivity – for millions of people.
But it’s much easier to manage and much more in control when you can visualize your email activity. This also helps to manage email overload.
So what’s next?
Try EmailAnalytics. It’s an analytics tool deigned specifically for Gmail that allows you to review your average email response time, busiest times and days of the week, and dozens of other variables.
Once in place, you can learn more about your email habits – and work to correct them to maximize your productivity.
Want to get started? It’s totally free to get started. Sign up for a free trial today to see what you’ve been missing!
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before selling it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.