What is Archiving vs Deleting in Google Mail?

Audience: Faculty, Staff and Students

This KB Article References: Google Mail
This Information is Intended for: Faculty, Staff, Students
Last Updated: June 05, 2018

When trying to wrangle your email, follow these tips for deciding when to delete vs archive an email. And if an email is truly spam or phishing, report it.


When you delete an email it is moved to your trash bin for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, the email is gone for good.

Use for: Email you know you will never need again


If you archive an email, it will be removed from your inbox, but you will always have it under All Mail. Archinging is a useful feature that allows you to unclutter your inbox but keep emails for future access. The archived email can be located under All Mail and any labels assigned to the email.

Use for: Email you want to remove from your inbox but keep in All Mail so you can search for it in the future.

Watch this short video Archiving vs. Deleting (YouTube 1:16).

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