Gmail Tips and Tricks – How to view archive emails in Gmail?

Gmail offers a feature called Archive where one can move the unwanted emails and use it for feature. This is a great Gmail feature, instead of deleting a message, you can archive it and the email will move from your Inbox.

The emails moved to Archive are not visible in your Inbox or under any label. Gmail introduced a feature called All Mail, where you can view all the messages from your Inbox and Labels and from Archive.

Gmail counts the storage space used in Archive folder. When you do a search Gmail brings the files in Archive folder then you can decide to move to Inbox or label it.

So when you send an email to Archive, you can create a Label called Archives, this way when you click Archive Label, you can view all the emails in Archive folder.


  • Go to settings and click labels. you will find option SHOW / HIDE.
  • Click ALL MAIL to show.
  • Now you can see all the emails.

Note: You cannot create a Label called Archive but create Archives, and assign the label before you Archive.

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45 thoughts on “Gmail Tips and Tricks – How to view archive emails in Gmail?”

    1. Go to settings and click labels. you will find option SHOW / HIDE.

      click ALL MAIL to show.

      Now you can see all the emails.


  1. I use a lot of google apps and have a Droid, but I have to say…Google desperately needs to hire some decent UI designers. Every time I want to do something semi out of the ordinary (like view my Archive) I have to google for the super-secret hidden answer. Maybe it's their way of increasing ad revenue. This is true not just in Gmail, but in the browser, the Android OS, docs, everywhere!

  2. Like MHC says “Then new version does not allow you to view all mails.
    I clicked show for ALL MAIL and I do not see any of my archived emails.

  3. Sorry, got it. I was still on “inbox”. You have to click “All Mail” on the left side after you change the label settings to “show”.


  4. Not knowing I needed an addtional application I sent many e-mails to the button Archives. Where are they? Martha

  5. I just put a doc in Archive and can’t retrieve?
    How do I do this or is it gone forever, went in All mail, not there, rebooted, not there;
    So where did it go?

    1. I do not understand your question because you said, you have put a Doc in Archive.

      You can only Archive email or emails with attachment. If it is Google Docs you need to visit Google Docs page and see “All items” there.

      Let me know if this helps

  6. I put a really important file in the archive file by accent. I don`t know how to find the archive file and is there any way to delete what has been archived?

  7. I put a really important email in the archived file and i don’t know how to find it. Is there anyway to delete what is in the archived file?

    1. Yes, this posts explains how you can view that.

      Enable the Label ALL Mail first, then do a search. or search [ in:all mail ]

      You can delete what you want and delete it from trash for permanent deletion

  8. in the search field on the top write this:

    “label:all -label:inbox -label:sent -label:spam -label:chats”

    This displays all of the messages but excludes messages in your normal inbox, sent, spam and chats… What should be left should be purely your archived messages.

    You can also include this “-label:trash” to exclude messages that are in your recycle bin 🙂

  9. Why is it that Google doesn’t let one see one’s created folders? I have just spent an hour creating folders and putting emails into them according to the name of the folder. Why am I not able to click on something called “show all your created folders”? All I can do click on “show all mail.” What the hell good is it to create folders when you cannot see them?!?

    1. You cant create folders. You should have created Labels. To view all the labels, go to settings and click labels. There you will be provided with option to SHow, Hide or Edit… Let me know if that works

  10. Doesn’t work. Went to Settings. Went to Labels. Can see all my folder names. Can see that each folder name has all conversations I put there. How do I bring up ONLY a particular folder’s contents so I can see ONLY that? For me, I created a folder called “Work” (0 conversations), & underneath that is my created nested folder called “Education” (0 conversations)… underneath that are all the conversations I created nested folders for. Each folder does have the created name of the folder AND the number of conversations in it. I cannot get these folders to appear to the left of my email messages on the main Gmail page. I get Inbox, Starred, Important, Sent, etc. My folder called “Work”is there. But when I click on “Work”, I get a message saying “There are no conversations with this label.” When I click on the dropdown arrow next to “Work”, I get a menu box which allows me to check the options I want. I have check-marked “In Label List … Show” and “In Message List … Show.” So why don’t my sub-folders show up in the folder called “Work”? As for the options called Show, Hide, Edit, etc., I have everything as bolded black “Show.” Nothing is bolded black “Hide.” Do I have to start all over again, and click on each “conversation”** and give it a LABEL called “Work”? This is ridiculous.

    **(conversations? really? we have to call them “conversations” now? OMFG!).

  11. Yep. That’s what I had to do. I had to remove all “folder” names (which, fortunately, did not delete any “messages”) and then click on each “message” and give it a label name. Criminy! I am not pleased.

    1. If you mean deleting Label, I think you can’t do that and these are system labels.

      If you mean deleting the emails, then all the emails in your inbox and everywhere will get deleted and moved to trash.

  12. This isn’t a tip or a trick, but a PITA. There’s no reason not to have Archive available as a selection to choose for viewing without having to dig down.

    1. This is a tip because, once you click Archive your email will vanish from your inbox… so to access it you need a label or go to all mail. Also it is Pain for sure…

      1. can you help? I’ve tried all these tips (hide/show, search, etc) but I cannot find archived emails. I have no ‘all’ option on the left side of my screen anywhere. When I click ‘more’ under my folders there is nothing more. What am I missing?

  13. Familiarity is clearly an issue in judging an e-mail program. However, to suggest gmail is “intuitive” is laughable. I would best describe the interface as “cluttered”. I should be able to look at my archived mail. By that I mean I should be able to click on an archive icon OR word and see the items. The explanations/directions I have seen don’t help.

  14. If you are using Google apps for Business, Simply find a PC with outlook 2003 or 2007 and install the Google Sync connector for outlook.
    Login and you will have all of your Folders/labels. this includes the ARCHIVED hidden label.

    Gmail UI sucks…

  15. I click on All Mail and it only goes back a month or so. I want a email from late last year!?

    E-mail is getting worse and worse, even Hotmails change to Outlook, and latest Outlook app UI is terrible. I see like 5 email rows on mobile and like 7 on tablet, so much pointless space. Happy with no web/mobile email UI at the moment.

  16. i tried changing my all mail setting to show, but then also i can’t see my archieved messages.. Plz help me out…i really need those archieved messages asap….

  17. Here’s an easier method:

    1. Go to your Gmail settings.
    2. Go to Labs.
    3. Enable Quick Links.
    4. On the left hand side, click the three dots at the bottom to view the new Quick Links panel.
    5. In the search field, enter this: has:nouserlabels -in:Sent -in:Chat -in:Draft -in:Inbox
    6. Under Quick Links, click “Add Quick Link” and give it a title.
    7. ???
    8. Profit

  18. I can see that there are lengthy discussions on retrieving archived messages. I’ve tried all of the above and still can’t find the messages I archived. Suggestions?

  19. gmail is automatically archiving read emails from a certain sender into all mail after I read them. They are no longer in the inbox, but not archived in the label that they are filtered by. I have to search for them or click all mail. I am not archiving them myself. Gmail is.

  20. Setting up Your Business Signature:Now that you have created your
    Google Gmail account, let’s start by logging in with your email address and your password,
    we need to set up your business signature in Gmail settings, look in the upper right
    hand corner of your Gmail account for the settings link.
    The application is probably the best Mail app that I have used, however the convention of
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