Add the Auto-Sweep Feature of Outlook to Gmail

Written by Amit Agarwal on Mar 4, 2014

Outlook has an interesting Auto-Sweep feature that automatically deletes older email messages from specific senders after a certain period of time. The Trash and the Spam folders in Gmail too have a similar auto-purge property and any mail in these folders that is older than 30 days is automatically deleted.

Gmail Auto Purge
Get rid of unwanted and older email messages with auto-purge in Gmail.

Gmail Auto Purge – Delete Old Mails Automatically

Auto-purging can help keep your mailbox lean and tidy.

For instance, if you have created a rule in Gmail that archives all your newsletter subscriptions to a particular label, these unwanted messages will live forever until you manually purge them. With auto-purging enabled, the older mails of a label are automatically removed from your mailbox.

How to Enable Auto-Purging in Gmail

You can’t enable auto-purging in Gmail for any particular label but there’s a simple Google Script that will bring this missing functionality to your Gmail. The script will basically monitor messages belonging to a particular folder /label in Gmail and purge those that have exceed the retention time.

Here’s how you can get auto-purge to work inside your Gmail:

  1. Click here to copy the Google Auto-Purge Script into your Google Drive.
  2. Set the value of GMAIL_LABEL to the label that you wish to auto-purge and PURGE_AFTER are the number of days for which you to retain a message in Gmail.
  3. Go to Run -> Initialize and grant the necessary permissions. This is your personal script and nobody else will ever have access to your data.
  4. Go to Run -> Install to install the auto-purge script.


That’s it. Exit the Google Script and it will continuously monitor that particular Gmail label in the background. If you need to disable auto-purging later, just open the same script in your Google Drive and choose Run -> Uninstall.

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