Gmail Archived Mail: What It Is and How to Use It

Need to save that email? Try archiving it

Gmail archived mail

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We live in a world of seemingly endless emails; many of us send and receive a ton of emails every day. Whether it be for professional or personal purposes, our inboxes can eventually become a cluttered repository of disarray.

While many of these emails are disposable, there are some you may want to keep for future reference. No matter the motive, storing everything in your inbox can become problematic for a number of reasons.

What is the Gmail Archive?

Rather than deleting an email and losing it for good, you can choose to archive it instead. As soon as a message is placed in the Gmail archive, it is removed from your inbox and tagged with the label "All Mail." These messages remain within your Gmail account and can be easily retrieved at a later time, but for now they are out of sight and out of mind.

Note: If someone replies to an archived message, it's automatically returned to your inbox.  

How to Archive Email

Sending a message to your Gmail archive is very easy, so much so that many people often mistakenly archive emails by clicking on or tapping the wrong option. For more information on how to retrieve archived messages, visit our step-by-step tutorial.

Archiving Emails on a Computer

Archive gmail on computer
Screenshot from Windows
  1. To archive a message on a computer, first access the Gmail interface via your preferred web browser (Google Chrome is recommended). 
  2. Select the email or emails that you wish to archive by clicking on their accompanying checkbox(es) so that each of them becomes highlighted.
  3. Click the Archive button, represented by a folder with a down arrow in the foreground and circled in the accompanying screenshot above.
  4. Your message(s) will now be archived, and a confirmation message should appear along with a link labeled Undo – which will revert this change if clicked on.

Archiving Emails on an Android or iOS Device

Moving messages into your archive is even easier on smartphones or tablets when using the Gmail app. Simply swipe from right to left on a message in your inbox or other folder and it will instantly be archived, assuming that your swiping settings have not been previously modified.

To validate your Gmail swiping settings beforehand, take the steps below.

Android users: From the menu button, take the following path: Settings > General Settings > Gmail default action and ensure that Archive is selected.

iOS users: From the menu button, take the following path: Settings > "account name" > When removing messages, I prefer to...and ensure that Archive is selected.

Muting Gmail Messages

In addition to archiving individual emails, Google offers a similar feature with one key difference. While messages are still moved to the "All Mail" repository when muted, they are not automatically returned to your inbox when someone replies. To mute a message, take the following steps.

Muting Messages on a Computer

gmail mute on computer
Screenshot from Windows
  1. To mute a message on a computer, first access the Gmail interface via your preferred web browser (Google Chrome is recommended). 
  2. Select the email or emails that you wish to mute by clicking on their accompanying checkbox(es) so that each of them becomes highlighted.
  3. Click the More button, found in Gmail's main toolbar.
  4. When the drop-down menu appears, select the Mute option.
  5. A confirmation message should now be displayed, letting you know that the conversation has been muted. Click the Undo button to revert this setting.

Muting Messages on Android or iOS Devices

  1. To mute a message within the Gmail app on a smartphone or tablet, first select the conversation in question.
  2. Next, tap the menu button - represented by three vertical dots and located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  3. When the pop-out menu appears, select Mute.