Archive is an unsung Gmail feature that’s useful for organizing your inbox. It helps you tidy your inbox when you are not ready to delete emails. Whether you archived an email intentionally or accidentally, you may need to get it back in your inbox. Accessing those emails can be challenging (let alone unarchiving them) as there is no archive folder in Gmail.
Luckily, the archived emails are still within reach. So, where do archived emails go, and how can you unarchive them? Read on to get these answers.
Where Do Archived Emails Go?
Archive emails go to the All Mail folder until you manually unarchive or delete them. Besides, it is possible to find an email and read it without unarchiving it whether you are using a phone or computer:
Method 1: Finding Archived Emails on a Computer
Step 1: Open your Gmail and click more
Go to the Gmail menu; on the left sidebar, click more to expand the menu.
Step 2: Click All Mail
Click the All Mail folder to open the emails here. This folder contains all emails in that account.
Step 3: Look for the email on the archive
You can find an archived email using the search bar. Direct the cursor in the search bar, and type the keywords and the subject of the archived email. You can select a particular email among the results that show up.
Method 2: Finding Archived Emails on a Phone
Follow these steps.
Step 1: Open your Gmail app and click the hamburger menu
Open the Gmail menu by clicking the three lines in the top left corner.
Step 2: Select All Mail
Open the All Mail folder to open all the emails in that Gmail account.
Step 3: Find your archived email
Scroll through the list of emails as you look for your archived email. It is easier to identify if you remember the email’s date or subject.
How to Unarchive Emails
Archived emails are automatically restored to the main inbox after you receive an email on the exact string. However, you don’t have to wait until the sender sends a follow-up email to unarchive it. You can access the archived email and unarchive it with the steps below.
Method 1: Unarchive an Email on a Computer
You can unarchive an email through the All Mail folder or the search bar. The search bar folder is best used if you remember the subject of the email you want to unarchive or another keyword in the email.
#1. Through the All Mail Folder
Step 1: Open and click more on the left panel
Select more below to expand the Gmail menu
Step 2: Select All Mail in the menu
Click All Mail to access all emails regardless of their folder.
Step 3: Select the emails to unarchive
Scroll through the emails and click on the box in front of the sender’s name to select the one you want to unarchive.
**Step 4: Right-click to open a menu (GOOD)**
Open a menu with functions you can perform on the email by right-clicking on the email.
Step 5: Select move to restore the email
Click Move To will open a list of options to which you can send the email.
Step 6: Select inbox to unarchive the email*****
You can also use a shortcut to move the email back to your inbox by clicking on the move to inbox icon on Gmail’s top icon after selecting the email.
You will now have successfully unarchived the email and sent it back to your inbox. The email will take a position based on the date it was sent.
#2. Through the Search Bar
Step 1: Open the search bar and find the email
You can search for the sender’s name or any other detail you remember about the email.
Step 2: Open the email
Look for the email you wish to unarchive in the search results.
Step 3: Select the move to inbox icon at the top panel
After the email opens, click the move to inbox icon at the top menu to send the email back to the inbox.
Method 2: Unarchive Email on your Phone
Whether you use an iPhone or an Android phone, you can unarchive an email on your phone. Besides, you can unarchive through All Mail or the search bar.
#1. Through All Mail
Step 1: Open the Gmail app and click the three lines at the top left to open a menu
Open the Gmail menu using the three lines at the top left corner of the screen.
Step 2: Select All Mail folder
On the menu, scroll down to the All Mail folder to get a list of all emails.
Step 3: Select the email you want to unarchive
Identify the email you want to unarchive and select it by long pressing on the profile icon.
Step 4: Click the three dots at the top right corner
Open the menu by clicking on the three dots at the top right to get a list of options.
Step 5: On the menu, select move to inbox
You will successfully send the archived email back to the inbox.
#2. Through the Search Bar
Step 1: Open your Gmail app and click the search icon at the top right corner
Click on the search icon at the top right to open a field where you can search for the email.
Step 2: Enter keywords that can help you get the archived email
Try using the email subject to ease the search. Otherwise, you can use any vital keyword in the email. The more specific you are in your search, the better the results.
Step 3: Open the email
You get a list of emails related to the search you made. Scroll through them and click the one you need to open it.
Step 4: Click the three dots to open a menu
Click the three dots at the top right corner of the screen to open a list of functions you can do on the email.
Step 5: Select move to inbox
Tap Move to Inbox to send the emails currently opened to inbox. This will unarchive the email and get it back to its original folder.
In the following video, Woggle Guides demonstrates how to find and unarchive emails in Gmail.
How to Stop Google from Automatically Archiving Your Emails
If you miss emails in your inbox but find them in the All Mail folder, Gmail may have automatically archived them. This happens if your auto-archive feature is on. You can turn off this feature to stop Google from auto-archiving your emails. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Open your Gmail account and click the settings icon
Click on the settings icon at the top right corner of the screen.
Step 2: Select see all settings
From the settings, click on the blue link that says see all settings to expand the list of settings.
Step 3: Under settings, select general
Step 4: Scroll down to send and archive
Search through the settings in the general tab until you get Send and Archive.
Step 5: Select Hide “Send & Archive” button in reply
With this setting, your emails will remain unarchived until you manually archive them.
How to Stop Accidentally Archiving an Email
Accidentally archiving an email mainly happens when using a Gmail app on the phone. You can archive the email by swiping it to the left or right. If this feature is annoying, you can disable it using the following steps.
Step 1: Open Gmail and click the three lines at the top left
Click the three lines at the top left to get a list of options and access settings.
Step 2: Scroll down and click settings
Scroll down through the list of options and click settings.
Step 3: Select general settings
Step 4: Tap action confirmations
Under general settings, scroll down to action confirmations, where you get a list of actions to check.
Step 5: Check the right boxes
This setting will prompt you to confirm whether you want to archive an email when you swipe left or right to prevent accidental archiving.
Gmail’s archiving feature is a fantastic tool for managing your inbox. It helps you organize your inbox by hiding the emails you don’t need now. You can revert emails to your inbox from the All Mail folder.
Alternatively, use a keyword for the email and look for it in the search bar. Gmail automatically unarchives the email if the sender sends you an email on the exact string.