How Can I Prevent Clean Email from Deleting My Starred Messages or Messages That Are in Folders?

Clean Email provides tools that are very powerful and flexible to help you manage your email account. Because Clean Email can do so much, it can be helpful to understand how these tools work before you use them.

Applying Filters in Smart Folders

By default, Clean Email shows you all messages in your mailbox, regardless of the messages’ labels or folders. Therefore, you can see both starred and unstarred messages from any folder or label in your account.

📌 Note: Messages marked as spam are never included in Clean Email.

Before you take any action on a group of messages, use the Filters button in the Smart Folder to exclude the messages you want to keep. That way, the only messages displayed will be ones that you actually want to remove or delete.

For example, to exclude starred messages from your current view, click FiltersStarWithout Star.

Exclude starred messages from your current view

To ensure that messages in certain folders or labels are not included in the view, click FiltersNot Labeled → and then select the folders or labels that you do not want to see or act upon.

Ensure that messages in certain folders are not included in the view

You can click the Filters button more than once to apply more than one filter at the same time. In the illustration above, the Without star filter is already applied, and the Not Labeled filter is being added; since both filters are applied, neither messages with the selected label(s) nor any message with a star will be included in the view.

For more information about using filters in Clean Email, please see Searching and Filtering.

Applying Filters when Creating an Auto Clean Rule

The Auto Clean feature lets you create rules that automatically clean incoming email messages before they ever reach your inbox. This includes functions such as automatically archiving, trashing, or deleting unwanted messages; adding or removing stars or flags; or delivering the messages to a different folder or label other than your inbox.

Since Auto Clean works primarily on future incoming messages, by default it would not affect starred or flagged messages, nor messages in a specific folder or label. However, when you create an Auto Clean rule, you have the option to apply the rule to existing messages that match the rule’s criteria.

You have the option to apply the rule to existing messages

It is important to use caution when creating an Auto Clean rule, to ensure that the rule only applies to messages you want to affect. If you plan to enable the toggle to apply the new rule to existing messages, there are a couple of precautions to be aware of.

First, the topmost drop-down in the Auto Clean rule dialog lets you choose the Smart Folder to which the Auto Clean rule will be applied.

The Auto Clean rule dialog lets you choose the Smart Folder

However, if you use email services such as Gmail, you can apply more than one label to each message. Therefore, even messages with the “inbox” label may have other labels applied as well. It is possible that if you select the Inbox Smart Folder folder, some messages with other labels may be affected when you apply the Auto Clean rule to existing messages.

Also, it may be a good idea to click the Filters button and apply one or more filters to the rule.

Apply one or more filters to the rule

For example, you might click the Star drop-down and select Without Star to prevent the rule from being applied to messages that you have starred or flagged.

For more information about Auto Clean rules, please see Creating Auto Clean Rules.

Do you have more questions?

Please contact us and we will be happy to help.