Ask LH: How Can I Remove Multiple Stars In Google Reader?

Dear Lifehacker, Got a quick question you guys might be able to help with. I've got a bit of a build-up of starred items on my Google Reader account. I use Byline on the iPhone & iPad and check the Google Reader site regularly and hence the starred items seem to build up quickly. I've Got a nice chunk of items built up at the moment and I've been looking at the web interface trying to find a way to remove all or even multiple starred items at once, but the only way I can find it to get rid of each stared item one-by-one. There's got to be an easier way... right? Thanks, Starry-Eyed

Dear Starry-Eyed,

Clearly, we're huge fans of using Google Reader, but we've got to admit that there's a bit of a gap here. There's no obvious way of de-starring multiple items at once that we could spot. The fastest option we could think of involves using keyboard shortcuts:

  • Type g then s to go to your starred items.
  • Hit space to select the first item.
  • Hit s to remove the star. (The s shortcut toggles the starred state on and off.)
  • Hit j to go to the next item in the list.
  • Repeat steps three and four until the list is empty. (If you want to keep something, just skip hitting s for that item.)

Once you hit the 'repeat' stage that's actually pretty quick, but still not as fast as a proper 'deselect all starred items' option. If any readers know of an alternative Google-compatible RSS reader that does offer that option, we'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Cheers Lifehacker


    Or someone can write a Greasemonkey script for it. (Or whatever else it's called on other browsers)

    NetNewsWire On Mac OS X

    Click on Flagged Item (Stared items from google reader)
    Command+A (Select All)
    Shift+Command+L (News > Mark > As Unflagged)

    Refresh All


    So glad I can get to a semi-full site on my iPad now!!! Also glad to hear that I'm not the only one using stars to mark read later items! A lot of times it's "watch this flash-only video later" too...

    Two tips:
    First, hit '2' to enter List Mode, then use the 'n' key, not 'j', as it won't waste time opening the item.
    Second, use AutoHotkey to automate the process. My current version invites the user to nominate how many items they wish to unstar (negative numbers go to previous, too!).

      thanks for your tips , very helpful!

    In Windows using VB


    set WshShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

    WshShell.AppActivate("Google Reader - Mozilla Firefox")

    WScript.Sleep 250
    WshShell.SendKeys "s"
    WScript.Sleep 750
    WshShell.SendKeys "j"

    WScript.Sleep 250
    WshShell.SendKeys "s"
    WScript.Sleep 750
    WshShell.SendKeys "j"

    WScript.Sleep 250
    WshShell.SendKeys "s"
    WScript.Sleep 250
    WshShell.SendKeys "j"

    [repeat accordingly]


    Here's another option that will save you thousands of clicks :)

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