What is archiving emails

Archiving Emails : Everything You Need to Know

Email archiving makes organizing and accessing email data for a business more effective. With an email archiving solution, employees can quickly search for and retrieve important emails, making locating critical information or correspondence easier. 


Last updated: March 20, 2023

7 mins read

 Email archiving not only helps professionals to bring their inbox down to zero, but it also helps with storing and safeguarding email data so that you never misplace an essential item.

Archiving emails is the process of removing older or less important emails from your primary inbox and transferring them to an accessible folder. It can be done manually by moving emails to a designated folder or automatically based on the settings of the email client you are using.

Archiving can help you manage your inbox by staying organized and making it easier to find essential emails while preserving necessary attachments and other information. You can quickly locate specific emails by searching the archived emails by date, contact, or keyword.

In a nutshell: an email archiving solution is a valuable tool for organizing your inbox and ensuring that important messages are safely stored for future reference.

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So, let’s get started to understand how you can archive emails in your inbox and what are the benefits of doing it.

How to archive email in Gmail? 

Email archiving is essential for decluttering your account and making it look cleaner. Check the steps you can follow to archive your emails.

To archive emails in Gmail, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open your Gmail account to archive the selected emails.
  2. Take the cursor near the message. You will see 4 icons in the right corner. One of them is for “Archive”.
  3. The archived emails will be moved out of your inbox and into the “All Mail” label. You can access your archived emails by clicking the “All Mail” label from the left-hand menu.
  4. To automatically archive emails in Gmail, you can create a filter that will apply the archive label to specific types of emails. To do this, click “Settings” in the top-right corner of the screen.
  5. Select the “Filters messages like this” tab and click on create a new filter.
  6. Enter the criteria.
  7. Click on “Create filter.”

Emails meeting your specified criteria will now be automatically archived in Gmail. You can also manually archive emails by selecting them and clicking on the “Archive” folder.

How to archive email in Outlook?

If you use Outlook, here is how you can practice email archiving in Outlook:

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Go to Files > Info > Cleanup tool > Archive.
  3. Click on the Archive folder and all the subfolders options.
  4. Under Archive items older than, enter a suitable date.
  5. You can create multiple .pst files if you want to archive different folders with varied settings. For example, you might want to keep items in your Inbox folder longer than emails in your sent folder.
  6. Select the include items with “Do not Auto Archive” check box to archive individual items that aren’t included in the automatic archiving process. (This option doesn’t remove the exclusion from the folders but instead ignores the “Do not Archive” setting for a particular archive only).
  7. Click on “Okay”

Your emails will now be archived according to the settings you specified. You can access your archived emails by opening the Outlook Data File (.pst) you created in the selected location. That’s it! Email archiving is that easy with Outlook.

How to archive email in Yahoo?

To archive emails in Yahoo Mail, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open your Yahoo Mail account to archive the selected emails.
  2. Look for the “Archive” button at the top of the page. Click the “Move” button and select “Archive” from the drop-down menu.
  3. The archived emails will be moved from your inbox to the “Archive” folder.
  4. To automatically archive emails in Yahoo Mail, you can create a filter that will move specific types of emails to the archive folder.
  5. To do this, click on the gear icon in the top-right corner of the screen for “More Settings.”
  6. Click on the “Filters” tab and “Add new filters.”
  7. Enter specific criteria for the emails you want to archive, like sender or subject line.
  8. Under “Then move the message to this folder,” select “Archive.”
  9. Click on “Save” to create the filter.

Emails with specified criteria will now be automatically archived in Yahoo Mail. You can also manually archive emails by selecting them, clicking the “Archive” button, or moving them to the “Archive” folder.

How does archiving emails help a business? 

Here are the things the email archive feature helps with:

  1. Compliance

When handling documents containing sensitive information, federal authorities frequently impose guidelines on enterprises. An email archiving solution can assist in achieving compliance goals for redundant, breach-proof email storage. It is essential in fields where email usage is strictly regulated.

  1. Litigation and E-discovery

In the event of a legal dispute or investigation, organizations can be required to produce emails as evidence. This process is known as e-discovery, which refers to the identification, collection, review, and production of electronically stored information (ESI) that may be relevant to a legal case or investigation.

  1. Server storage management

With the number of emails coming in everyday—the storage could get filled easily. Email archiving will help reduce a server’s storage capacity. This may speed up email delivery. Also, it makes it simpler for IT professionals to safeguard emails containing crucial and important data.

  1. Restoration

Email archiving tools can expedite the process whenever you need to restore data. This is because archived mail requires less storage. In addition, because it reduces the mail server’s data burden, recovering non-archived emails becomes quicker and simpler.

  1. Information management

Archiving can help employees email clients, and organizations track essential information in emails, such as contracts, agreements, and other documents—without having to lose them.

Email archiving solutions can assist people and businesses in upholding compliance and enhancing information management. It also helps lower the danger of negative legal and financial repercussions.

What happens when you archive an email?

There’s deleting emails and then there’s archiving emails. But what does email archiving mean?

Simply said, email archiving systems for emails is nothing but an alternative to deleting emails. Archiving an email means transferring it from your inbox to an archive folder for future use. The email will disappear from your inbox and list but will still be available in the archive folder.

With the email archiving feature, you are able to declutter your primary inbox. With that being said, you must delete emails that need to be deleted. For example, brand promotions can be deleted. On the other hand, important documents that may be needed in the future but are not needed right now can be archived.

What is the purpose of email archiving? 

The purpose of email archiving is to provide a means of storing and retrieving emails for future reference. Email archiving can help people and businesses manage the growing number of messages they send and receive daily.

Here are some of the reasons why email archiving is essential:

  • Email archiving can help users manage their email better by keeping their inboxes organized, making it easier to find important messages.
  • With the help of email archiving, individuals can quickly search for, retrieve, and examine emails as needed without interfering with their regular email activity.
  • Email archiving can be useful for legal and compliance purposes. Laws often require organizations to retain certain types of emails for a set period, and archiving can help ensure that these emails are easily accessible when needed.

In general, the goal of email archiving is to assist end users in managing their email more efficiently, save emails for future reference, and, if necessary, fulfill legal and compliance obligations.

Do archived emails get deleted?

Archived emails do not get deleted automatically. When you archive an email, you move it from your inbox to an “archive” folder, but it remains accessible for future reference. However, it is crucial to remember that just because an email is archived does not mean that it will remain accessible indefinitely.

Email providers often have rules regarding how long they will keep archived emails. So, when practicing email archiving, it is essential to check the retention policy of your email service provider to ensure that your emails are kept for the appropriate length of time. If you have archived emails that are no longer necessary, it is best to delete them.

How long does an email stay in the archive?

Depending on the email provider, the time an archived email remains in the archive can vary. Unless you manually delete them or your email provider has particular guidelines for how long they will keep archived emails, emails can remain in the archive for as long as you like.

For instance, Gmail users can archive emails, which stay in the “All Mail” folder until they are erased or automatically deleted due to inactivity. Although the precise time is not made public, Google may also have procedures to delete stored emails after a specific time.

Where do archived emails go?

Usually, your email account has a dedicated folder for email archiving. Depending on your email service provider, an “Archive” or “All Mail” folder will store your archived messages and mail.

Is it better to archive or delete emails?

Archiving or deleting emails depends on your personal preference and organizational needs. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks.

Email archiving can be a smart alternative if you want to maintain a record of essential emails to refer to later because you can always retrieve archived emails. It will help you to remove the message from your primary inbox. It is still easily searchable and available in the designated folder or label. Email archiving can also be useful for quickly locating an old email or retaining a record of significant correspondence. You can archive emails for several reasons:

  • To lower the risk and liabilities that can arise from poor record management
  • To stay on top of federal and industry-specific regulations
  • To protect your business from potential legal actions
  • To save server space
  • To easily access all business records at any given time

On the other hand, if you receive several unnecessary emails, deleting them can keep your inbox tidy and organized. This can help you focus on important emails.

An email archiving solution might help you free up space in your email account, which is advantageous if you have limited storage.


In conclusion, the right email archiving solution is critical for individuals and businesses to safeguard and manage their email over time. Archiving involves storing email messages in a separate location, such as an archive folder or mail server, for future reference or retrieval.

Email archiving also makes organizing and accessing email data for a business more effective. With an email archiving solution, employees can quickly search for and retrieve important emails, making locating critical information or correspondence easier.

Moreover, with the rise of remote work, having a centralized, email management and email archiving solution can be particularly useful, allowing employees to access archived emails from anywhere at any time.


Sanjana Sankhyan is a freelance writer who specializes in delivering data-driven blog posts for B2B SaaS brands. She helps businesses attract more audience and sales with her writing. If not writing, you’ll find her helping other freelancers improve their work. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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