How To Archive Emails in Gmail and Unarchive Them

Regular email archiving is one of the most effective ways to maintain a clean inbox. Learning how to archive emails in Gmail and unarchive them is something that everyone should do, and our detailed step-by-step instructions explain how to do just that using Gmail’s built-in features as well as Clean Email, a third-party inbox organizer.

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Archive Emails in Gmail to Maintain a Clean Inbox

Do you sometimes feel that maintaining a clean Gmail inbox is a losing battle, with emails arriving at a faster rate than you can process them? Many people feel the same way. That’s because spam has become a huge problem in the world, with 320 billion spam emails sent every day.

In addition to increasing spam rates, we now also receive a steady stream of social media notifications, online purchase confirmation, and other emails of questionable importance. Buried deep under all of this are important messages from family members, friends, and coworkers.

Indeed, our inboxes often resemble houses occupied by hoarders, and they’re similarly pleasant to spend any extended amount of time in. Clearly, something needs to be done, and learning how to archive Gmail emails is a good first step.

The email archive feature enables you to remove messages from your inbox without deleting them and depriving yourself of the option to come back to them later.

How to Archive in Gmail

In this section, we explain how to archive emails in Gmail using the web client and the mobile app. We recommend you store all messages that you’re not ready to delete. Ideally, your inbox should contain only unopened messages that you haven’t organized yet.

Desktop

To archive emails in Gmail using the web client on desktop:

  1. Launch your preferred web browser and go to: https://mail.google.com/
  2. Log in to your mail account.
  3. Click the small checkbox next to the email you want to be archived (you can select multiple messages at the same time).
  4. Click the Archive button.

Mobile

To archive emails using the Gmail app on Android or iOS:

  1. Launch the app.
  2. Long-press the email you want to be archived.
  3. Tap the Archive button.

Now that you know how to archive all emails in Gmail, it doesn’t take much effort to also learn how to archive in Outlook, how to archive Yahoo Mail messages, and so on.

How to Archive Old Emails in Gmail

If you know how to archive emails in Gmail, it doesn’t take much effort at all to also learn how to archive Gmail by date so that you can efficiently clean up older emails and not just those that have arrived recently.

Here’s what you need to do to archive old emails in Gmail:

  1. Open your mail account on the web.
  2. Click the search box and type in something like the following: before: 2010-01-01 (you can, of course, modify the date according to your preferences). It will display all messages that were sent to you before January 1st, 2010.
  3. Check all necessary messages and click the Archive button.

How to Unarchive Emails in Gmail

To unarchive emails in Gmail, you need to first find them. Don’t worry: learning how to find archived emails in Gmail is simple. Simply go to the All Mail folder on desktop or mobile, and your messages should be right there. Just know that this folder also contains unarchived messages, which is why it’s best to aim at achieving Inbox Zero, keeping your inbox clean all the time. You can now learn how to unarchive Gmail emails on desktop and mobile by following these steps.

Desktop

How to unarchive Gmail emails on desktop:

  1. Launch your preferred web browser and go to: https://mail.google.com/
  2. Log in to your mail account.
  3. Go to the All Mail folder.
  4. Select any archived email.
  5. Click the Move to Inbox button.

Mobile

How to unarchive Gmail emails on mobile:

  1. Launch the app.
  2. Tap the hamburger menu icon.
  3. Go to the All Mail folder.
  4. Long-press any archived email.
  5. Tap the three vertical tops in the top-right corner.
  6. Select the Move to Inbox option.

How to Archive Gmail by Date

Unfortunately, Gmail doesn’t make it possible to automatically archive emails that are older than a certain date. That’s because Gmail filters act when the message is received. The best you can do is to display older messages using the instructions provided earlier in this article. Alternatively, you can explore third-party automatic email archiving solutions.

Such solutions can not only archive Gmail by date, but they can also automate other commonly performed inbox management actions, such as labeling emails, moving them to different folders, deleting them, and so on.

How to Use Clean Email for Gmail Archiving

One of the best automatic email archiving solutions currently available is Clean Email. With it, you can archive all emails that meet certain criteria (such as exceeding a certain age or belonging to a specific category) with a few simple clicks.

Clean up your inbox with Clean EmailClean up your inbox with Clean Email

Here’s how easy Clean Email makes it to archive all emails that are older than 6 months:

  1. Go to: https://app.clean.email/
  2. Log in with your Gmail email address and password.
  3. Select the “Emails older than 6 months” Smart View from the left pane.
Smart Views feature in Clean EmailSmart Views feature in Clean Email
  1. Select all matching emails.
  2. Click the Archive button.
Archive emails with Clean EmailArchive emails with Clean Email
  1. Choose to apply the same action to all future emails.

Thanks to Clean Email’s Smart Views and Auto Clean rules, you can just as easily archive other email messages.

Automate email tasks with Clean EmailAutomate email tasks with Clean Email

Clean Email can also quickly and easily block annoying senders, unsubscribe you from unwanted subscriptions even if they don’t come with an unsubscribe link, and more.

Unsubscribe from emails with Clean EmailUnsubscribe from emails with Clean Email

Because of its web-based nature and support for all major email services, Clean Email can be used for anything from Gmail archiving to Mac mail archiving to iPhone mail archive management, making it one of the best archiving solutions available.


Archive Emails in Gmail and Unarchive Gmail - FAQs

What happens when you archive an email in Gmail?

The message will disappear from your Inbox but not from your mail account. You can still find it by going to the All Mail folder.

Where is archive in Gmail app?

There’s actually no dedicated email archive in the Gmail app. Archived messages are all located alongside unarchived messages in the All Mail folder.

How do you unarchive an email in Gmail?

To unarchive an email in Gmail, all you need to do is select it and move it back to your Inbox. That said, we recommend you keep your Inbox as clean as possible so that you never miss important email messages.

How long do archived emails stay in Gmail?

By default, archived emails stay in Gmail indefinitely. Of course, you can use a third-party inbox organizer like Clean Email to delete them after a specific amount of time passes to free up valuable email storage space.

Does Gmail archive old emails?

This mail provider doesn’t automatically archive old emails. Messages simply keep piling up in the Inbox until you run out of email storage space. To prevent that from happening, we recommend you proactively store old emails using the built-in archive feature and third-party inbox cleaners.

David Morelo Updated on Aug 11, 2022
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