Deleting emails from your Gmail account is final. They are lost forever once you empty your trash folder. If you want to hide the emails, rather than delete them, you can archive the messages instead. This allows you to search and retrieve emails at a later date.
How to archive emails in Gmail
To archive an email in Gmail, simply select an email (or multiple emails), then click the Archive button.
When you select emails on the Gmail website, the “Archive” button appears in the menu directly above your email list.
Any email you archive will disappear from your main Gmail inbox, including any of the targeted categories you may have.
However, you can still view them in a separate folder that you create using Gmail labels.
Using the label of all messages to find emails archived in Gmail
As we mentioned, archived emails disappear from the classic Gmail view. One option to search for emails archived in Gmail is to switch to the “All Messages” folder view.
This will list all of your Gmail emails in a long list, including priority emails, as well as all emails that have been automatically classified. You can consult this list by clicking on “All messages” see the label from the Gmail menu on the left of the Gmail website.
To do this, in the Gmail app, tap the hamburger menu icon in the upper left corner. From there, scroll down and tap on the “All Messages” label.
There is an obvious downside to this, especially if you have a large number of emails – the sheer number of emails you will have to scan. This option is great if you’ve recently archived an email, but you may need to use the Gmail search bar to specifically locate archived emails instead.
Searching for emails archived in Gmail using the search bar
Unfortunately, there is no “archive” label that you can use to search when you use the Gmail search bar at the top of the Gmail website or in the Gmail app.
You need to know the subject, sender or subject of your archived email to find it manually. You can also use advanced Gmail search filters to find emails that are not in typical folders such as your inbox folder, sent folder, and draft folder.
In many cases, this should list your archived emails. To do this, type “-in: Sent -in: Draft -in: Inbox” in the search bar. You can do this in the Gmail app or on the Gmail website.
You can also add the “has: nouserlabels” to your Gmail search query to delete all emails that already have a category label. If they are filed, you can view the email in your labeled folder, even if they have been archived.
This method is not foolproof, but it should help you refine your archived emails if you are having trouble finding them using a basic search or in the “All Messages” folder.