Archive messages in Gmail

You can remove messages from your Gmail inbox but keep them in the All mail tab by archiving. It’s like moving messages into a filing cabinet instead of putting them in the trash can.

When someone replies to a message you've archived, the email thread including that message will show up again in your inbox.

How to archive

Archive individual messages

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Open the message or select the checkbox next to it.
  3. Click the Archive button Archive .

Archive lots of messages at once

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Find a group of messages you want to archive, like ones that match a specific search.
  3. In the toolbar at the top, check the checkbox. That will select all messages that you can see on the page.
  4. Optional: To archive all messages, instead of just the ones you can see, look for this sentence above your messages:

    "All 20 conversations on this page are selected. Select all conversations that match this search."

    Then click that link.

  5. Click the Archive button Archive.
Find & move archived messages

The easiest way to find archived messages is to search. For advanced searches, click the small arrow in the search box to fill in extra information. Learn more about Gmail search.

Look in labels or All Mail

If you’ve labeled your message, click your label on the left side of Gmail.

All messages you've archived are also in All Mail. To look through All Mail, follow these steps:

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. On the left side under the Compose button, hover your mouse over the label list.
  3. At the bottom of your label list, click More . You might need to scroll down.
  4. Click All Mail. If you don’t see All Mail under More , look for All Mail towards the top of your label list.

Move archived messages back to your inbox

  1. After you find the message, check the checkbox next to it.
  2. In the toolbar at the top, click the Move to icon Move to.
  3. Click Inbox.
Android 4.0+
Archive & delete actions

Are you more likely to archive or delete a message? This setting makes your preferred remove action visible while viewing messages and notifications.

  1. In the Gmail app, touch the menu Menu.
  2. Touch Settings.
  3. Select General settings.
  4. Touch Archive & delete actions.

When you choose to see archive, see delete, or see both, you'll be able to:

  • See the icon(s) when you view mail.
  • Choose the action (archive or delete) from interactive notifications (Android 4.1+).
  • Swipe to archive or delete (make sure the box for the swipe setting is checked).

Tip: Additional actions are in the menu Menu, so you can always delete or archive messages.

Confirm before archiving

To avoid accidentally archiving an important message, you can turn on these settings:

  1. In the Gmail app, touch the menu Menu.
  2. Touch Settings.
  3. Select General settings.
  4. Check Confirm before deleting, Confirm before archiving, or both.
Find archived messages

Here are a few ways to locate messages:

  • Search: Touch the Search icon Search icon while viewing your inbox or other list of conversations.
  • Labels: If you previously applied a label to a message, you can find the message by touching the menu Menu and selecting the label.
  • All Mail: All archived messages are in All Mail. Touch the menu Menu and select All Mail.
Move archived messages back to your Inbox
  1. Find the archived message.
  2. Open or select the message.
  3. Touch the "Move to" icon Move to icon. (If you don’t see the icon, touch the menu Menu then touch Move to.)
  4. Choose a label.
Android 2.3

To archive a conversation, follow one of the options below:

  • While viewing a list of conversations, touch & hold a conversation and touch Archive in the menu that opens.
  • Check one or more conversations in your Inbox or other conversation list and touch Archive.
  • When reading a message, touch Archive at the bottom of the screen.

Learn more about Gmail

Vivian is a Gmail expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback about this help page.

Was this article helpful?