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How to find archived emails in Gmail, and return them to your inbox

If you’re looking to clean up your Gmail inbox but don’t want to delete anything permanently, then choosing the archive option is your best bet. Whenever you archive an email, it is removed from your inbox folder but remains accessible. Here’s how to access any emails you have archived previously, as well as how to move such messages back to your regular inbox for fast access.

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Finding archived emails via the web

If you access Gmail via the web browser, it is a straightforward process to recall any emails you may have archived. For starters, if you choose to use the search bar at the top of the page, search results will include any archived emails. Alternatively, you can access all of your available mail, including archived pieces, under the All Mail option.

Step 1: Visit the Gmail website and sign in.
Step 2: On the left side of the screen, scroll down and select More.
Step 3: Select the All Mail option.
Step 4: On the right side of the screen, you may now browse your email; it will include all emails in your account, including archived content.

Finding archived emails via mobile apps

If you are using the Gmail mobile app on your iOS or Android device, you can also access archived content easily. As on the web, you can use the search bar displayed above your mail to initiate a search; it will include archived content. Otherwise, if you wish, you can access all of your available mail, including archived content, under the All Mail option.

Step 1: Open the Gmail app on your device.
Step 2: At the top of the screen, tap the Menu button; it is displayed as three horizontal lines.
Step 3: Scroll down if needed and select the All Mail option.
Step 4: Now, you may now browse your emails on-screen; it will include all emails in your account, including archived pieces.

Moving an archived email to the inbox via the web

If you change your mind, you can always move any archived content back to your inbox. Follow these steps to move archived email back into your inbox using the Gmail website:

Step 1: Visit the Gmail website and sign in.
Step 2: Locate the email you wish to relocate.
Step 3: To the left of the email, check the small box.
Step 4: At the top of the screen, select Move to Inbox.

Your archived email will then be moved back to the inbox for regular viewing. If you wish to return the piece of mail to archived, hover over the email once again and select the Archive button (pictured as a small box with a down arrow).

Moving an archived email to the inbox via mobile apps

You can also change your mind about archived emails while you are out and about using Gmail’s available mobile apps for iOS and Android. Follow these steps to move the archived email back into your inbox within Google’s official Gmail app:

Step 1: Open the Gmail app on your device.
Step 2: Locate the email you wish to relocate and tap on it.
Step 3: Tap the More button in the upper corner (shown as three vertical dots).
Step 4: Tap the Move to Inbox option.

Your archived email will then be moved back to the inbox for regular viewing. If you wish to return the piece of mail to archived, reopen the email and tap the Archive button (pictured as a small box with a down arrow).

Archiving an email vs. muting an email

You may have heard of the ability to mute an email and archive an email discussed under the same breathe. Both features will remove messages from your inbox to keep things tidy, but archived emails will return to your inbox if someone replies to them. On the other hand, muted messages will stay out of your inbox permanently. Follow these steps on either the web or mobile app if you wish to mute an email:

Step 1: Access your Gmail account.
Step 2: Open the email you wish to mute.
Step 3: Select the More button (shown as three vertical dots).
Step 4: Select the Mute option.

If you wish to Unmute an email conversation, follow the steps given above, but select the Unmute option in step 4. You can also search quickly for all muted conversations by typing is:mute into the Gmail search bar.

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