How To Find Archived Emails In Gmail

Last updated Monday, October 17, 2022

Archiving emails is key to keeping Gmail organized, but it can be scary at first.

Don't worry, nothing has been deleted! The email has simply been moved out of your inbox.

Where to find archived emails in Gmail

  1. Log into Gmail
  2. Look at Gmail's left hand menu
  3. Find the "All Mail" section (you might have to click "More" first)
  4. Or, just do a search. All searches include archived emails.

Or on Gmail Mobile

  1. Log into Gmail
  2. Click the menu icon in the top left.
  3. Find the "All Emails" link
  4. Or, start searching from the top bar. Gmail always searches all email, including archived ones.
Bonus: 3 simple steps to organizing Gmail

If you're an exec with tons of emails, this will 10x your speed through Gmail.

  1. Prioritize your inbox with time management folders
  2. Fly through folders faster by sorting them
  3. Know who you need a reply from, and if you've got it, with a Waiting folder
Organize Gmail: the Ultimate Guide

Learn how pro's use folders

Got more question? Let us answer!

Why archive emails in Gmail?

Because when your inbox is piled high with everything, it's impossible to find what you need.

We wrote the ultimate guide on organizing your Gmail inbox. It shows you how to track emails that are tasks - or need to be Read Later - then archive them to feel breezy that you've seen everything and you're in control.

It's the path to Inbox Zero: make a decision about every email in your inbox, move it to a safe place to be tracked as a task, calendar event or Read Later, then archive it out of your inbox.

Why clear your inbox? Because it clears your mind. It removes all anxiety that you've not seen something, or you've forgotten something.

Archiving vs deleting in Gmail

Google themselves advocate archiving instead of deleting, because you have so much storage space, and Gmail's superior search lets you easily retrieve emails when you need them.

Benefit Delete Email Archive Email
Retention Gmail keeps deleted emails for 30 days. You can go into your trash folder (from Gmail's sidebar) and fully delete them sooner, if you wish. Archived emails last forever. They're just removed from your inbox.
Can browse For a while. In Gmail's Trash (available from the sidebar), the email stays for 30 days. Then it's gone forever. Always. Just go to Gmail's All Mail view from the sidebar.
Searchable Before it's deleted (after 30 days), you can use the search term in:trash. Just search normally, all archived emails are included. (To exclude them, add in:inbox to your search.)

How to unarchive emails (aka move them to the inbox)

If you decide you no longer want the email archived, you can move it back to your inbox.

  • Log into Gmail
  • Find the email by looking at Gmail's sidebar, and clicking All Mail.
  • Or you can search for it - archived emails always appear in search
  • When you find it, right click the email and select Move to Inbox

To unarchive emails on mobile (iPhone or Android)

  • Tap the menu icon in the top left of the screen
  • Find All Mail and tap it
  • Find the email, and tap to open it.
  • In the top right, tap the 3 dot menu icon.
  • Tap 'Move to inbox'

How to delete archived emails in Gmail

It's just like deleting any other email!

  • Log into Gmail
  • Find the email by clicking All Mail in Gmail's sidebar
  • Or you can search for it (search results always include archived emails)
  • Right click the email, and choose Delete

To delete archived emails on mobile (iPhone / Android)

  • Tap the menu icon in the top left, and tap All Mail
  • Find your email. You can also search for it.
  • Select it by tapping the circular icon (or open it).
  • Tap the trash can icon at the top.