How to do a bulk “unstar all” in Google Reader

Google Reader allows you to star articles to read later, which is handy. However, I’ve been happily starring away items since I’ve started using Reader, and have built up quite a backlog. On the advice of a friend who was horrified by this, I decided to unstar all items before a certain date. Surprisingly, Google Reader doesn’t currently give you a way to do this, besides unstarring each item individually, which isn’t much fun when you have over 500, even using the ‘s’ (star/unstar) and ‘j’ (jump to next item) keyboard shortcuts.

To automate this process, I whipped up this quick and dirty AutoHotkey script:

Loop 600 {
Send s
Sleep 10
Send j
Sleep 10

As you may have worked out, this simply simulates a press of the ‘s’ key, waits ten milliseconds, simulates the ‘j’ key, waits again, then repeats the process 600 times.

The first line of the file means “do the below when the user presses Ctrl+Alt+R”.

So all I had to do was save the script, double-click the .AHK file to activate it, then click on “Starred items” with Reader, click to open the first one and press Ctrl+Alt+R to instruct the script to start rifling through your items, unstarring them one by one. Because I had slightly less than 600 starred items, I found that the script “sticks” on the last item, starring and unstarring it repeatedly until I killed the script by right-clicking the “H” icon in the taskbar and clicking Exit.

Feel free to use my script to clear down your own starred items. If you find that the script seems to miss the odd item, you may need to increase the 10 ms delay.

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    4 comments on “How to do a bulk “unstar all” in Google Reader

    1. nate says:

      absolutely awesome, found this via a google search, and you just saved me hours of time…just unstarred about 2,000 items!

      Thank you!!!

    2. greko says:

      great idea!

    3. KJ says:

      Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    4. Jon says:

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

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