How to Find Archived Emails in Gmail

Because there isn’t a dedicated archive folder, a lot of people don’t know how to find archived emails in Gmail. Learn how to use the archive function and where to find the archive in Gmail once you mark messages.

How to Archive an Email in Gmail

When you read a message and no longer need it, you delete it so that it’s removed from your inbox. However, there are times when you may want to remove a message from your inbox but don’t want to remove it permanently just yet.

Luckily, this is why most email providers offer the option to archive emails — it provides a way to “tuck away” unwanted messages without fully deleting them (just yet).

Before you can find archived messages in Gmail, you need to learn how the Gmail archive feature works and how to archive emails in Gmail.

On computer

  1. Open your web browser to Gmail.
  2. After you log in to your account, locate a message you want to archive.
  3. Right-click on the message.
  4. When the menu appears, choose Archive.
  5. Alternatively, you can select the desired messages and click the Archive button on the top action bar.
  6. How to archive email in Gmail
  7. The message or messages will now move into your archive folder.

💡 Tip: If you have enabled Gmail keyboard shortcuts, you can simply press E on your keyboard after the message is selected to archive it.

Unfortunately, you can only archive a limited number of messages at a time with this method. With the Clean Email app, you can actually archive many messages at once or even set up automatic archiving. We explain how to do this later on in the article.

On Android

  1. Open your Gmail app.
  2. Find a message you want to archive.
  3. Long press the message to select it.
  4. Tap Archive in the top menu bar.

If you don’t have the option to archive a message in Gmail on your Android device, check out our guide on how to archive emails in Gmail for more troubleshooting suggestions.

On iPhone/iPad

  1. Open the Gmail app.
  2. Tap to open the message you want to archive.
  3. Choose Archive from the available menu options.

For more information, check out our guide on how to archive email on iPhone. Similarly, if you use Apple Mail to read your Gmail messages, you can use our guide on Mac mail archiving to learn how to archive messages from there.

Find Messages You Archived

What happens when you use the Gmail archive feature but need one of the archived emails? You may wonder, “Where do archived emails go?”, especially since it isn’t apparent. In fact, the Gmail archive folder isn’t in the main folder list on the left side of your inbox when you access Gmail in your web browser.

Thankfully, you can learn how to see archived emails in Gmail, both from All Mail and through using the Search function.

How to find archived emails in Gmail

If you are looking for messages that aren’t in the Gmail archive folder, you may need to learn how to find unread emails in Gmail or the steps to find old emails on Gmail.

All Mail

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Press More in the left folder menu.
  3. Once the additional options populate, find and click on All Mail.
  4. This will now display all emails in your Gmail account, including ones in your Gmail archive.

💡 Note: Choosing All Mail will display all messages in your Gmail account, including those in folders besides your inbox. If you have a lot of messages, this can make locating specific archived emails tricky. Clean Email offers advanced search tools that can make it easier to find archived messages.


As mentioned, simply skimming through All Mail can make it hard to find archived emails in Gmail. Depending on how many emails you have in your Gmail account, it may be easier to search for the archived message you’re looking for.

However, there isn’t a search feature that just shows messages in your Gmail archive folder. Instead, you can learn how to view archived emails in Gmail through a search by taking these steps:

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. In the search bar at the top, type in any criteria about the message you can remember, such as the subject line, the sender, or any labels you applied to the message.
  3. How to search in GmailHow to search in Gmail
  4. Look through the search results to find the message you’re looking for.

Move archived emails back to your Inbox

Once you know how to access archived Gmail messages, you may decide to move these emails back into your inbox or another folder instead of archiving them. But, without an Archive Gmail folder, you can’t just go and quickly move archived messages back to your inbox.

On computer

  1. Open your web browser to Gmail.
  2. Go to All Mail or use the Search feature to find the archived email.
  3. Right-click the message.
  4. Select Move to Inbox from the menu options.

On Android

  1. Open your Gmail App.
  2. Find the archived email.
  3. Tap to open the message.
  4. Tap on the three dots in the upper right corner.
  5. Choose Move to Inbox.

On iPhone/iPad

  1. Open your Gmail App.
  2. Find the archived email.
  3. Tap to open the message.
  4. Tap on the three dots in the upper right corner.
  5. Choose Move to Inbox.

How to delete archived messages in Gmail

Even when you archive an email, it isn’t removed from your mailbox. Therefore, if you want to delete an archived message in Gmail, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Click on All Mail.
  3. Select the messages you wish to delete.
  4. Press Delete (trash can) in the top menu bar.

Archive vs Mute

When you archive an email, it disappears from your inbox. However, when someone replies to the original thread, the message will reappear in your inbox.

If you don’t want the message to ever reappear in your inbox, an alternative would be to mute the message. When you mute a message in Gmail, even the replies stay out of your inbox. You have to search for the message thread to see or read any replies.

Archive vs Delete

When you archive Gmail messages, it doesn’t delete them — it simply removes them from your inbox. You can still find these messages in All Mail or by searching for them. In other words, archiving is a way to set an email out of the way without removing it forever.

Inversely, when you delete an email in Gmail, it goes to your Trash folder. Although this doesn’t permanently remove it from your account, it does remove the message from your inbox. You also will not see deleted emails when you search. Finally, deleted messages are removed from Trash and permanently deleted after 30 days.

For more information, you can check out this guide on Gmail archive vs delete.

How to automatically archive emails in Gmail

Although archived messages reappear in your inbox when someone replies, you can change this so that emails automatically archive when someone replies. To do this, simply:

  1. Open Gmail in your web browser.
  2. Click Settings, then See all Settings.
  3. Click Settings, then See all SettingsClick Settings, then See all Settings
  4. Click on the General tab.
  5. Go to the Send and Archive section.
  6. Click on the Show "Send & Archive" Button in Reply.
  7. Click on Save.

Clean Email Can Archive And More

Although the Gmail archive function works fairly well, it isn’t easy to archive or find archived emails where there’s more than one. Luckily, mailbox management apps like Clean Email offer email archiving solutions along with many other handy tools.

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

Unlike Gmail, Clean Email makes it easy to automatically archive messages. This is thanks to the Auto Clean feature — it lets you automate routine email tasks, like archiving messages based on age, sender, or subject.

Auto Clean feature in Clean EmailAuto Clean feature in Clean Email

For instance, imagine you want to automatically archive emails older than six months to reduce clutter. You could set up an Auto Clean rule to do just that. Alternatively, if you receive a lot of newsletters, you might want to archive them after a month, keeping your Inbox focused on more critical messages.

To set up automatic archiving in Clean Email:

  1. Open the Clean Email app at
  2. Log in to your Gmail account.
  3. Once you go to Inbox, select any email that meets the criteria you want to archive messages.
  4. Click on Create Rule in the menu bar. In the pop-up window, select Archive for the Apply Action section.
  5. Archive emails automatically with Clean EmailArchive emails automatically with Clean Email
  6. Finish selecting other options, then click Create Rule.

If you wish to automatically archive emails that are older than a specific time period, simply click on the Old Mail filter located above the search bar, and select the desired time frame for your search (e.g., emails older than one year). Afterward, follow the steps outlined in the previous guide.

Archive old emails with Clean Email automaticallyArchive old emails with Clean Email automatically

Now messages that meet the criteria you set, such as those older than one year, will be archived.

In addition to the Auto Clean feature, Clean Email offers numerous other tools that make it easy to find, sort, and organize your inbox.

For example, you can benefit from the Smart Folders that group similar emails together for easy access; or, leverage the Unsubscriber feature to easily opt out of unwanted subscriptions.

Unsubscribe from emails with Clean EmailUnsubscribe from emails with Clean Email

For a full list of features and more information, visit

Where To Find Archived Emails In Gmail - FAQS

Where do archived emails go in Gmail?

When you open an email message in Gmail and click the archive button, the message is immediately moved from your inbox to a label called All Mail, where it stays until you either manually move it back to your inbox or receive a reply to it.

How do I find archived emails in the Gmail app?

Although there’s no archive folder in Gmail, there are two ways you can find archived emails in your Gmail app. You can either use the hamburger menu icon to select All Mail, or you can search for a specific message using the search bar.

How to find archived emails in Gmail using the Clean Email app?

In order to find archived emails in Clean Email, you just need to click the “Archive” folder in the “Mailbox” section on the left sidebar.

How to search archived emails in Gmail?

If you’re trying to figure out how to access archived Gmail messages, you just need to use the Search feature to locate the message. You can enter criteria like the sender’s address, subject line, date, size, or keywords within the email.

How to retrieve archived emails in Gmail?

You need to know where is an archive in Gmail before you can find these messages. To retrieve them, open the archived message and choose Move to Inbox from the toolbar. This will remove the “Archive” label and, you’ve guessed it, move the message to the inbox.

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