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Created: 2022-04-03 | Last update: 2022-04-24

Automatically Mark Archived Email as Read in Gmail

Background

My preferred method of managing emails in Gmail is Zero Inbox. In short, emails in Inbox work as to-do list. The Inbox may contain important email i need to attend or a digital receipt from a payment I've made a minute ago. Since I know the content of that email the task is done and I archive it. This email will move from Inbox to All Mail or a dedicated label if you have automation rules.

The Problem

When using the Archive function email which weren't opened or marked as Read will show as number counter in All Mail or Dedicated Label. Since I'm done with those emails I have to manually mark emails as read. This is a tedious task and I don't want to do it manually

The Solution

Using Google Scripts We can create a personal app that will automatically mark emails as read when they are archived. This is a simple script that will run on Gmail and will mark emails as read when they are no longer in the inbox folder. You can choose how often you want to automatically mark archived email as read in gmail. This solution was tested on personal Gmail accounts and the Google Workspace Gmail accounts (as long you can grunt permission).

Installation

Make sure you are logged in to your Google account. Open Google Scripts and create a new project.

Create a new project

You will be prompted with a new windwos. Rename the project to Automatically Mark Archived Email as Read.
Copy and repace the following code to the new project.

function markArchivedAsRead() {
  var threads = GmailApp.search('label:unread -label:inbox', 0, 100);
  GmailApp.markThreadsRead(threads);
  var spamThreads = GmailApp.search('label:spam -label:inbox', 0, 100);
  GmailApp.markThreadsRead(spamThreads);
}

Your windwos should look like this:

Script function

Save the project.

Save project

After saving the project you should be able Run the script.

Run script

On the first run the script will ask you to give it the necessary permissions. Click Review permissions to continue.

Review permissions

Since the app is not signed you will be prompted with a warning. I's ok and safe. Click Advanced.

Warning

Click Go to Gmail Mark Archived as Read (unsafe) to continue.

Allow warning

At this point you will be prompted to grant the script Automatically Mark Archived Email as Read access to your Gmail account. Click Allow. This will alow the script to perform the actions you need.

Grunt permissions

If all went well you should see the log of the script as show bellow.

Execution log

At this point we create a Automatically Mark Archived Email as Read script and grunt it the necessary permissions. NNow we want to automate the process. We can do this by creating a new timed trigger. Head over the Trigger menu

Trigger menu

Click Add Trigger.

You will be prompted to select when and how the script will run. The following example will run the script every 5 minutes, and send a failure email report onece a week.

Note

The script may fail onces in a while. This is due to the fact it depends on Gmail's API. Unless you receive an email with hunders of failed attempts, you can ignore the email.

Create trigger

Note

Update: Some people are reporting an error which says "This operation can only be applied to at most 100 threads. (line 3, file "Code")". To fix this, you have to manually do a search for "is:unread" and mark all of them as read before running the script, so that it starts with a clean slate. The script can only process 100 threads per run, so if you give it more than 100 on the first run,

After creating the trigger you screen should look like this:

Trigger created

Now we whant to ensure that the script runs every 5 minutes. We can do this in Execution menu:

Triggered execution

When 5 minutes passed from the point the trigger was created, the page log should look like this:

Execution menu

We are done with the installation and the configuration. You should already be able to see that some of the emails are marked as read.

Limitations

Google's API is limited to 100 threads per request - a single script's run. This means that every 5 minutes it runs it will mark 100 emails as read. Since the script is run every 5 minutes, it won't take long to mark all emails as read automatically. If you aren't able to wait you can do it mark emails as read manually.

Troubleshooting

I've seen this script working without any issues for months, But suddenly you may receive an email with the Automatically Mark Archived Email as Read failing to run all the time. The reason is that the script lost the Gmail permissions. The solution is to run the script manually and grant the script the necessary permissions as the first time.

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