A Step By Step Guide on How to Find Archived Emails in Gmail


Most of us know how fast our Gmail accounts can fill up with work emails, promotions, and spam. One of the best ways to free up space in our primary inbox is to archive emails. Sometimes, we may even archive important emails by accident. I created this guide to show you how to find archived emails in Gmail. Follow along for quick tips and a full step-by-step tutorial.

What Are Archived Emails?

In Gmail, archived emails are those that the recipient has marked to be placed in the service’s archive folder. Instead of deleting or leaving the email in the inbox, the archive tag keeps the email and other messages in the same folder. You can retrieve archived emails by selecting the All Mail icon and searching for the needed email using the sender’s information, delivery date, or subject line.

Users of Gmail can choose to archive emails immediately to clear up storage space.

The archive option is helpful for people with overflowing inboxes since it allows them to hide pointless or old emails rather than deleting them or placing them under other labels. Still, archived emails are immediately and easily searchable and accessible. You can preserve archived emails in protected folders for as long as you like.

Again, when emails are archived, they are stored on the Gmail server under the All Mail label for later retrieval.

The Difference Between Archiving and Deleting Emails

If you’re a little confused as to whether you should delete or archive emails, here are some Gmail tips to help you decide:

Default Behavior

After you archive an email in Gmail, it gets removed from the inbox. This happens because archiving the email removes the Inbox label from the specific email. So, it disappears from the Inbox but is still available under the All Mail label.

When you delete your email from Gmail, it removes the inbox label from that specific email. So, the deleted email goes into the Trash. You can still retrieve the email from the trash within a short period, but it will be permanently deleted if it sits in there for too long.

Email Retention

When an email is archived, it is retained in the All Mail label. Those emails stay there forever unless or until you delete those emails or create a Gmail filter for automatically deleting the emails.

After you delete an email, it goes in the Trash label. It stays there for thirty days. After this time, they are deleted permanently, making them impossible to recover. You can also manually empty your trash. You can do this anytime you want, and it will delete all your trashed emails permanently.

Gmail Filter to Find

You can use the in:All filter if you want to see all your archived emails. This will show you the archived emails and all emails in your Gmail account. You can also use other filters to find your archived specific email. If you wish to see all your deleted emails, simply use the in:Trash filter. This will show you all the emails you have trashed in the last 30 days.

Bulk Operation

You can bulk archive and bulk delete all your emails or one specific email. However, using the archive option will hide the emails from the inbox, so you should only delete emails when you are absolutely sure you won’t be needing them in the future. Otherwise, you can just archive them, and they will be gone from your view.

Looking to save more time with your inbox? We recently covered how to download all attachments in Gmail.

Why You May Want to Archive Emails

Gmail users can clean up their inboxes without destroying critical emails by using email archiving. Email management that includes archiving messages keeps your inbox organized and distinguishes communications you need right away from ones you might need later.

For instance, you could want to clear your inbox of the numerous emails connected to a project you recently finished. These emails can be archived to make room in your inbox. These kinds of messages are better off being archived than deleted because you never know when you might need to refer to them.

How to Archive an Email in Gmail

Before we take a look at the steps on how to find archived messages on Gmail, let’s take a look at how you can archive emails in Gmail. Here are the steps you need to follow to do so:

how to archive emails in Gmail
  1. Open Gmail and log in to your account.
  2. Click on the Inbox button on the left sidebar. This will take you to the list of your current unarchived emails in Gmail.
  3. To archive an email, right-click on the email. This will open a dropdown menu beside it.
  4. There, click on the Archive option.

Alternatively, click on the email and the Archive icon in the main toolbar. This will instantly archive your email without requiring you to follow the extra steps.

Related Reading: How to Attach an Email as an Email

How to Find Archived Email in Gmail

Here’s how to retrieve archived emails in Gmail on your computer:

  1. On your desktop, open Gmail and log in to your account.
Open the More menu in Gmail
  1. On the left panel, look for the More option.
  2. Choose the All Mail option. You will see all the emails you have in your Gmail account.
How to find archived emails in Gmail: Open the All Mail Folder in Gmail
  1. Here’s how to see archived emails Gmail: Check for the Inbox label in front of each email. If an email doesn’t have the Inbox label, or label from another sub-box, it is archived.
  2. If you wish to retrieve the email, click on the email and then click on Move to Inbox option.
  3. The mail will now have the Inbox label.
  4. Open your inbox to see your email.

How to Delete Archived Emails in Gmail

How to delete archived emails

Now that we know where to find archived emails in Gmail, let’s take a look at how to delete archived emails in Gmail:

  1. In the All Mail menu, you can right-click on the archived email, which will display several options towards the top part of your screen.
  2. There, click on the Trashcan symbol. This will move the email to the trash.

You can also select multiple emails to move to the trash by clicking on the Checkbox icon towards the left of the email. Once selected, you can click on the Trashcan symbol to delete the Gmail archive.

How to View Archived Emails in Gmail Mobile Apps

The Gmail client for mobile is essentially the same application whether you’re using an Android or an iOS device. This means that the steps we discuss below should work on both versions. However, there may be a few visual differences between the applications. The screenshots in this example are from the 2022.08.21 release for Gmail for Android.

Here’s how to view archived emails in Gmail for iOS and Android:

Archived emails in Gmail phone app
  1. Open your Gmail app on your mobile.
  2. On the top left corner, select the Menu option.
  3. Look for All Mail and click on it.
  4. Here you will see all emails in your Gmail account.
  5. Look for the Inbox label on the bottom right of each email.
  6. The emails that do not have an Inbox label are your archived emails.
  7. If you wish to send these emails to your inbox, click on the archived email, select the three vertical dots from the top right of your screen, and select the Move to Inbox option.

Now that we know how to access archived Gmail messages on your mobile let’s take a look at how to delete archived emails in Gmail on your mobile. To delete the emails, long-press on the email to select it. You can click on the profile picture icon. There, click on the Trashcan symbol. This will move the email to the trash.

Related Reading: How to Sign Out of Mail on an iPhone

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Do Archived Emails Go In Gmail? / Where Do You Find Archived Emails in Gmail?

All archived emails in your Gmail go to your All Mail. You will see all the emails from the inbox and archived emails in the All Mail option. So, accessing archived Gmail is as simple is switching from your main inbox. From there, you’re given the option to move them back to your inbox or you can delete them.

How Do I Find Archived Emails in Gmail Apps?

Open your Gmail account and click on the menu at the top left corner. Click on More, and select the All Mail option. Here you will see all your emails. Look for the Inbox label in front of all the emails. The emails that do not have an inbox label are your archived emails.

Wrapping Up How to Check Archived Emails on Gmail

By following this guide, you should now know how to find archived emails in Gmail. In short, it’s as simple as using the All Mail shortcut in the options on the left-hand side of your Gmail account after you sign in. My guide above gives you the full step-by-step instructions, too. I hope this helped you find your archived emails in Gmail. If you have any more technical questions about your email inbox, please let me know in the comments.

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