HomeWinBuzzer TipsHow to Find Archived Emails in Gmail and Archive or Unarchive Emails

How to Find Archived Emails in Gmail and Archive or Unarchive Emails

We show you how to access archived Gmail emails and how to unarchive those archived emails if needed.


Archiving emails in is a strategic approach to manage your inbox efficiently, ensuring that your inbox remains organized without permanently losing important conversations. This process involves moving selected emails out of the immediate view in your inbox to the archived section, where they can be easily accessed when needed. The primary benefit of archiving is to declutter your inbox while keeping all your emails intact and searchable for future reference.

Finding archived emails in Gmail is straightforward. You can either use the “All Mail” label, which shows all your emails including the archived ones, or leverage Gmail's powerful search functionality to pinpoint specific emails based on keywords, sender, or other relevant criteria. This ensures that even though an email is out of sight, it is never out of reach and can be retrieved with just a few clicks.

What is an Archived Gmail Email?

The distinction between archiving and deleting is crucial in email management. Unlike deleted emails, which are moved to the Trash and eventually permanently removed, archived emails remain in your account, ensuring that you don't lose any important information. Furthermore, Gmail offers flexibility in managing archived emails, allowing users to easily move them back to the inbox or any other folder if needed, maintaining a seamless flow of email organization and retrieval.

How to Find Archived Emails in Your Gmail Account

This method focuses on retrieving emails that have been archived, effectively removing them from the inbox without deletion. It's particularly useful for decluttering your inbox while keeping important emails accessible for future reference.

  1. Access “All Mail”
    Sign into your Gmail account and locate the “More” option in the sidebar to expand your list of labels.
    Windows 11 - Gmail - More
  2. Select “All Mail”
    Click on “All Mail” to view every email in your account, inclusive of those archived.
    Windows 11 - Gmail - More - All Mail
  3. Utilizing Advanced Search
    In the search bar, enter any keyword followed by “(NOT label:inbox)” to filter out emails currently in the inbox, highlighting only archived or other non-inbox emails.
    Windows 11 - Gmail - All Mail - Search Email

  4. Review emails
    The result will show all the emails in your Gmail account that are not labeled “inbox“, including archived emails.
    Windows 11 - Gmail - All Mail - Search Email - Result

How to Archive Your Emails in Your Gmail Account

Archiving emails is a great strategy to keep your inbox tidy without permanently deleting emails. It's particularly useful for emails that you want to keep for future reference but don't need immediate action.

  1. Quick Archiving Individual Emails
    Easily archive an email directly from your inbox by clicking the “Archive” icon, instantly moving it out of your inbox view.
    Windows 11 - Archive Email 1

  2. Archiving from an Open Email
    When reading an email, you can archive it by clicking the “Archive” button, removing it from the inbox.
    Windows 11 - Archive Email 2
  3. Bulk Archiving

    Select multiple emails and archive them simultaneously using the “Archive” icon, efficiently managing inbox clutter.
    Windows 11 - Archive Email 3

‍How to Unarchive an Email in Your Gmail Account

Sometimes, you may need to revisit archived emails for additional follow-up or reference. This method guides you on how to unarchive these emails, bringing them back to the inbox for easy access.

  1. Finding the Archived Email
    Locate the email you wish to unarchive by navigating to “All Mail” or using Gmail's search function.
    Windows 11 - Gmail - More - All Mail
  2. Unarchiving the Email
    Unarchive the email by clicking the “Unarchive” icon, which will move the email back to your inbox.
    Windows 11 - Archive Email 3 

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About Archived Emails in Gmail

Can I archive emails directly from Gmail's mobile app?

Yes, in the Gmail mobile app, you can archive an email by swiping it left or right from the inbox list, depending on your settings.

How can I quickly unarchive an email if I don't remember specific details about it?

Browse the “All Mail” label to skim through all emails, including archived ones, or try broad search terms related to content you might remember.

Are archived emails included in Gmail's space quota?

Yes, archived emails count towards your Gmail storage quota since they are still stored in your account, just not visible in your inbox.

How do I prevent important emails from being archived automatically by Gmail's filters?

Review and adjust your filter settings to ensure important emails are not automatically archived, especially if you use filters to manage incoming emails.

Can I archive emails that are in the Spam or Trash folders?

Emails in Spam or Trash can't be archived directly; they need to be moved back to the Inbox or another label first before archiving.

What's the easiest way to find archived emails without any labels?

Use the search query “has:nouserlabels -(in:inbox OR in:sent OR in:draft OR in:chat)” in the search bar to find archived emails that haven't been labeled.

Is it possible to automatically archive all read emails in Gmail?

While Gmail doesn't have a direct feature for this, you can create a filter to archive emails that match certain criteria, like “is:read“, but it requires manual setup and may not be practical for all read emails.

How do I make sure I don't miss important emails after archiving them?

Regularly check your “All Mail” and use labels to organize emails before archiving, so important emails are easily identifiable and accessible.

Can I undo the archiving of an email immediately after I've archived it?

Right after archiving an email, Gmail provides an “Undo” option that appears briefly at the bottom of the screen, allowing you to revert the action.

Is there a limit to how many emails I can archive in Gmail?

There's no specific limit to the number of emails you can archive; the only limitation is your account's overall storage capacity.

How does Gmail's search differentiate between archived and non-archived emails?

Gmail's search function does not differentiate between archived and non-archived emails unless you specifically use search operators like “-label:inbox” to exclude inbox emails.

Can archived emails be accessed offline in Gmail?

Archived emails can be accessed offline if you've enabled offline mail in your Gmail settings and the emails have been synced to your device before going offline.

What should I do if I can't find an archived email in Gmail?

Double-check your search queries for accuracy, ensure you're searching within “All Mail“, and consider broadening your search terms if you're using specific filters.

How can I archive an email thread with multiple messages in Gmail?

Archiving any message in a conversation thread will archive the entire thread; all associated messages will be removed from the inbox.

Can I set Gmail to automatically archive all emails from a specific sender?

Yes, create a filter for emails from the specific sender, and select “Skip the Inbox (Archive it)” in the filter options to automatically archive future emails from that sender.

Related: How to Create Folders in Gmail

Folders are an often underutilized part of Gmail that can aid in the organization of your communications. Moving emails into distinct categories helps you to find them quickly in the future and collate ones of a similar subject. In our other tutorial we show you how to create folders in Gmail so you can try this for yourself.
  Featured - How to create folders in Gmail

Related: How to Use Email Signatures in Gmail

Email signatures help you to sign off professionally and include important supplementary information such as your phone number, website, and position. In our other tutorial we show you how to add a signature in Gmail so that you can make use of these benefits.
  Featured - How to add a signature in Gmail

Related: How to Bulk Delete (All) Emails on Gmail

Whether your Gmail account is overflowing or you want to clean it out, knowing how to delete all emails from your Gmail inbox will enable you to start again. Free webmail services do not have the same storage capacity limitations as they did initially. It may be helpful to empty your Gmail inbox for various reasons.
Featured - How to delete all emails on Gmail


Last Updated on April 21, 2024 3:37 pm CEST

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.
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