Help! I have 100,000 unread messages in my Gmail inbox. Where do I even start? [Ask ZDNet]

It’s time for one more installment of Ask ZDNet. In the mailbag this week: A crash course on TPM know-how, the quickest approach to get to Inbox Zero, and one of the best ways to maneuver massive recordsdata from one PC to a different. 


Got a query for us? Send it to [email protected]. Questions can cowl nearly any matter that is associated to work and know-how, together with PCs and Macs, cell gadgets, safety and privateness, social media, house workplace gear, shopper electronics, enterprise etiquette, monetary recommendation… effectively, you get the thought. 

Due to the quantity of submissions, we will not assure a private reply, however we do promise to learn each letter and reply proper right here to those that we expect shall be of curiosity to different readers. Please embrace your actual e mail tackle, so we will ask follow-up questions, if crucial. We promise to not use your e mail tackle for another goal.  

Ask away. 

I have greater than 100,000 unread messages in my Gmail inbox. That’s not good, is it?

Sometimes I simply stare on the variety of unread messages in my inbox and surprise the way it’s even attainable to get to this place. Other occasions, I really feel overwhelmed. How do I take again management?

We really feel your ache. In truth, we will quantify it. If you had been decided to work by way of a stack of 100,000 Inbox messages, processing each in lower than 10 seconds, it could take you greater than 30 eight-hour days in which you wouldn’t get another work accomplished. That dreary job would make an task on the Lumon Corp. appear like bliss. (Note: Severance is a darkish, dystopian fantasy, not a profession objective.) And, after all, throughout these days whilst you had been processing that giant backlog, you’ll obtain hundreds extra messages.

The reply is straightforward: Declare e mail chapter. You will really feel so a lot better once you merely make these unread, unprocessed, principally irrelevant emails simply vanish into skinny air so you can begin recent. On Gmail, which means going to your inbox in an internet browser and clicking the Select All checkbox on the far left of the toolbar, slightly below the Gmail emblem; then click on the hyperlink simply above the message that claims “Select all nnn conversations in Inbox,” the place nnn is the quantity that’s making you’re feeling discomfort. (That final step is essential; you do not wish to be processing messages 50 or 100 at a time.)

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Now click on the Archive button, simply to the correct of the Select All checkbox. It would possibly take some time, however finally you may find yourself with Inbox Zero.

And now that you’ve got reached Inbox Zero, you possibly can start studying how you can filter out undesirable messages and prepare Gmail to acknowledge which messages are Important. (That’s what the little yellow flag to the left of a message means. Use it to coach Gmail to acknowledge which messages you think about essential.) Use the Important view to be sure you’re responding to high-priority messages out of your boss or co-workers or (ahem) editor. Also, get in the behavior of archiving essential messages you have already handled and deleting unimportant messages after studying — as an alternative of permitting them to pile up.

If you utilize Outlook, you have an identical function referred to as Focused Inbox, which robotically types essential messages into the Focused tab and shows much less essential ones on the Other tab.

For extra concepts, we advocate a extremely entertaining article referred to as “Declare Email Bankruptcy and Get a Fresh Start” by productiveness guru Michael Hyatt.

Also: How to back up your Gmail: The ultimate guide

What’s a Trusted Platform Module, and why does my PC want one?

I’ve learn the specs for Windows 11 and I know that it requires a TPM. But I have no thought what a TPM is or what it will possibly do for me. Can you clarify the way it works? Do I have to do something to set it up?

The easy reply is {that a} Trusted Platform Module is a safe cryptoprocessor, a devoted microcontroller designed to deal with security-related duties in a approach that minimizes the power of attackers to interrupt right into a system. The full reply is, as with something associated to pc safety, barely extra difficult.

The TPM structure is outlined by a world normal (formally often called ISO/IEC 11889) created by the Trusted Computing Group. The normal offers with how completely different cryptographic operations are carried out, with an emphasis on “integrity safety, isolation and confidentially.”

A TPM could be carried out as a discrete chip soldered onto a pc motherboard, or it may be carried out throughout the firmware of a PC chipset, as Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm have accomplished. If you utilize a digital machine, you possibly can even construct a digital TPM chip into it. The overwhelming majority of PCs constructed in the final 10 years embrace TPM know-how, and most PCs designed in 2015 or later embrace the TPM 2.0 model that’s required by Windows 11.

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The level of that know-how is to be a super-secure location for processing cryptographic operations and storing the personal keys that make robust encryption attainable. The TPM works with the Secure Boot function, which verifies that solely signed, trusted code runs when the pc begins up. If somebody tries to tamper with the working system (so as to add a rootkit, say), Secure Boot prevents the modified code from executing. 

The TPM additionally holds the BitLocker keys that encrypt the contents of a Windows system disk, making it almost not possible for an attacker to interrupt that encryption and entry your information with out authorization. (For an in depth technical clarification, see “How Windows uses the Trusted Platform Module.”)

Windows 10 and Windows 11 initialize and take possession of the TPM as a part of the set up course of. You needn’t do something particular to arrange or use a TPM past ensuring it is enabled to be used by the PC. And it is not only a Windows function. Linux PCs and IoT gadgets can initialize and use a TPM as effectively.

Having that further stage of safety enforced in tamper-resistant {hardware} is a Very Good Thing.

What’s one of the best ways to switch massive recordsdata between my laptop computer and my desktop PC?

I do a number of video enhancing work, and I usually want to maneuver these recordsdata from my laptop computer to my PC and again once more. They’re enormous! What’s one of the best ways to switch them from one machine to a different?

Here at Ask ZDNet, we’re sufficiently old to recollect the time period sneakernet. For the younger’uns in the viewers, that was how your elders referred to the extremely tedious strategy of swapping recordsdata between PCs utilizing floppy disks.

In the trendy period, you possibly can do just about the identical factor, though you have a lot sooner and extra capacious choices. For these enormous video recordsdata, your greatest switch automobile is an exterior SSD that makes use of the Thunderbolt 3 or 4 normal or USB 3.2 Gen 2 (aka USB 3.1). Plug a type of drives right into a USB Type-C port, and you will be astonished at how briskly the bits fly from Point A to Point B. If that is not an possibility, an exterior drive utilizing USB 3.0 or later will most likely be quick sufficient to get the job accomplished.

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If each gadgets are working the identical working system, you should use wi-fi choices (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) to switch the recordsdata. On Windows PCs, the function is known as Nearby Sharing; on a Mac, it is referred to as AirDrop.

The hassle with sneakernet, even the wi-fi model, is that it requires handbook labor in your half — copying recordsdata from one PC after which bodily restoring them to the opposite machine. If you make adjustments on one machine and overlook to repeat it to the opposite, you would find yourself with recordsdata which can be out of sync, the place you have made adjustments to 2 completely different variations with no straightforward approach to reconcile them.

The greatest approach to keep away from this risk is to retailer these recordsdata utilizing a cloud storage platform (OneDrive, Google Drive, Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox, and so on.) and let a software program agent on every machine deal with retaining them in sync. If your work is especially asynchronous — that’s, when you do most of your edits on one machine and solely have to switch your recordsdata when all the things’s full, this selection is good. 

Send your inquiries to [email protected]. Due to the quantity of submissions, we will not assure a private reply, however we do promise to learn each letter and reply proper right here to those that we expect our readers will care about. Be certain to incorporate a working e mail tackle in case we have follow-up questions. We promise to not use it for another goal.

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