Take the 2-minute tour ×
Web Applications Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How do we search for all our archived messages in Gmail?

Non-archived messages should not be displayed,

Only the archived messages should be shown.

share|improve this question
1  
How do you define simplest? I don't think there's a one-click command for that. –  R.K. Jun 3 '11 at 11:03
7  
Padding out your question with words complaining about the quality standards that SE impose does NOT make your question any better. Asking quality questions will improve the site as a whole and improve your chances of getting a quality answer. –  Barry Jun 3 '11 at 11:21
    
Out of curiosity, why would you ever want to do that? –  Lohoris Jan 20 '12 at 11:30
    
@Barry, yes edited. –  Pacerier Mar 2 '13 at 3:47
    
@Lohoris, to clear archived emails at regular intervals. –  Pacerier Mar 2 '13 at 3:51

4 Answers 4

up vote 18 down vote accepted

In the Gmail search box, type

-label:inbox -label:sent -label:drafts -label:notes

and press enter. That should give you all your archived messages. Once there, select All and then click Select all conversations that match this search to ensure that all messages are selected. Click Delete.

They'd still go the the Trash though so you'd have to empty the Trash as a final step.

share|improve this answer
6  
The dash is really a "minus" sign. So it means stuff that doesn't have this. It's a general google syntax: google.com/support/websearch/bin/answer.py?answer=136861 –  ford Jun 3 '11 at 16:06
    
R.K.'s suggestion has a potentially disastrous side effect: If you have emails that have other labels (i.e. "Emails from Mom"), those emails will be selected (and trashed) as well. In addition, when you go to the trash to remove them, they will have all of their custom labels skipped. (I'm sorry, I tried to leave this as a comment but can't find or don't have that option) –  Samophlange Aug 18 '12 at 18:56
2  
I wouldn't call it a side effect. He did ask for a way to find all archived emails. Whether or not it has other labels is irrelevant. It is still archived. At least according to his question. –  R.K. Aug 19 '12 at 3:02
    
I'd say the answer is fine. If you added a label to a message and don't remove it from the inbox, then it won't be deleted. Otherwise, it's archived. Anyway, the answer gives an excellent idea on what to do if you want to keep those tags! Just add -label:Mom to the query! :) –  Shaamaan Oct 4 '12 at 7:37
    
@Pacerier it's user unfriendly because you are not supposed to do that: it makes no sense. –  Lohoris Mar 2 '13 at 9:33

You can also type in:archive in the search box, that will show you all archived message then you can select which you want deleted.

share|improve this answer
6  
Sure about that? It's not working for me. All I'm seeing is messages (and docs) with "archive" in the content. –  Al E. Feb 28 '13 at 20:28
    
-1 There isn't such search operator. –  Rubén May 1 at 3:15

Our company's email is hosted by Google Apps, and I asked Google Enterprise Support the same question. They answered that the search syntax for archived messages is:

has:nouserlabels -in:Sent -in:Chat -in:Draft -in:Inbox

Here's the reference documentation for Gmail's search: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/7190?hl=en

share|improve this answer
    
This does not show archived messages that has user labels.... –  Pacerier Dec 18 '13 at 6:11
1  
OT: is has:nouserlabels new? I searched for such a thing ~1 year ago and it wasn't there! Or is it exclusive to Google Apps? edit: I tried, and it works on standard gmail too. Great! –  Lohoris Dec 18 '13 at 10:06
1  
The search suggested will not return messages with labels as @Pacerier mentioned. –  Rubén May 1 at 19:36
    
@Rubén, Looks like "Google Enterprise Support" needs more staff training. –  Pacerier May 24 at 23:41

In the Gmail Help lingo context, archive a message means removing it from Inbox, without asigning any label, but in a broadsense archived messages could means messages that moved from the Inbox to some place where it could be found later.

Type in:anywhere in the Gmail search box and hit enter. If the Conversation view is enabled this will return all the conversations in the current Gmail account mailbox including those messages indidually marked as Spam, deleted if the still are in Trash and the conversations in Inbox.

To find messages that are not in Inbox, nor in Spam nor in Trash type -in:inbox.

Reference
Archive messages - Gmail Help
Advanced Search - Gmail Help

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.