How To Archive and Move All Email Messages in Gmail Inbox To Another Folder For Storage

Keeping your Gmail inbox organized is crucial for productivity. A cluttered inbox filled with old emails makes it difficult to find important messages and wastes time. Fortunately, Gmail provides easy ways to archive emails to get them out of your inbox while still keeping them accessible for later reference. You can also move emails between folders for customized organization. Here’s how to archive and move Gmail messages for a clean, efficient inbox.

Archiving Emails in Gmail

Archiving emails removes them from your inbox while still retaining them in your account under the “All Mail” section. Here are the main ways to archive Gmail messages:

Archive Individual Emails

  • Open the email message
  • Click the Archive button at the top of the message (folder icon with down arrow)
  • The message disappears from your inbox but is now located in All Mail

Archive Multiple Email Messages

  • Check the boxes next to each message you want to archive
  • Click the Archive button at the top of your inbox
  • All selected messages will be archived

Undo Archiving

If you accidentally archive an email, click Undo at the bottom of the inbox right after archiving. The message will reappear in your inbox.

Find Archived Messages

To access your archived emails:

  • Click All Mail on the left sidebar
  • Use Gmail search to find archived messages just like regular emails
  • You can also move archived messages back to your inbox

Moving Messages Between Gmail Folders

Gmail uses labels instead of traditional folders, but they function similarly. Here’s how to move messages between folders/labels:

Move Individual Emails

  • Open the email
  • Click the Move to drop-down menu at the top
  • Select the destination folder or create a new one
  • The message will now only show under that folder/label

Move Multiple Emails

  • Check the boxes for the emails you want to move
  • Click the Move to drop-down menu at the top of your inbox
  • Choose the destination folder/label
  • The selected messages will now reside in that folder/label

Create Filters to Auto-Sort Emails

You can create filters that automatically apply labels to incoming mail based on sender, subject, content, etc. This keeps your inbox organized without daily effort.

  • Click the filter icon next to Gmail search bar
  • Define your filter criteria
  • Choose the label to automatically apply
  • Enable the filter

Best Practices for Gmail Inbox Management

Utilize these tips for optimal Gmail organization:

Use Labels Extensively

Take advantage of labels to tag emails for easy searching/filtering. For example, create labels for projects, clients, task types, senders, etc.

Archive Early and Often

Don’t let messages pile up in your inbox. Archive them once you’ve read/addressed them.

Unsubscribe from Unneeded Emails

Reduce inbox clutter by unsubscribing from newsletters or notifications you don’t need.

Set Up Filters

Automate your workflow by setting up filters that auto-label, archive, or delete certain messages.

Check All Mail Frequently

Stay on top of archived messages by regularly checking your All Mail label. Follow up if needed.

Move Messages Out of Your Inbox

Get messages out of sight by moving them to appropriate labels, but keep them accessible.

Use Search Operators

Leverage advanced Gmail search operators like “has:attachment”, “larger:2M”, etc. to quickly find messages.

Limit Label Usage

Too many labels can be counterproductive. Try to limit yourself to under 500 labels.

Delete Truly Unneeded Messages

If a message is totally useless, delete it completely rather than just archiving.

Clean Out Old Messages

Do an annual “spring cleaning” to purge really old messages that just take up space.

Moving All Messages to a Storage Label

If you want to archive your entire Gmail inbox for storage and start fresh, you can move all messages via filters:

  • Create a new Gmail label called “Storage”
  • Click the filter icon next to search box
  • Choose Has Words > From
  • Enter your email address
  • Select Also apply filter to ### conversations below
  • Apply label “Storage”
  • Click Create Filter button

This will automatically move all existing inbox messages and new incoming mail to your Storage label for archival. You can access the messages anytime under that label.


By leveraging Gmail’s archive feature and labels for customized organization, you can keep your inbox clean and efficient. Set up filters to automate message sorting so you don’t have to do manual filing. Archive messages once addressed, and move emails between labels to keep relevant conversations handy while getting them out of your inbox. Practice regular inbox maintenance for productivity.