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I will be away from my email for about 6 months. I don't want any of the emails in that time to be in my Inbox when I return. Is there a way to set up a filter that will send all incoming emails to a separate folder for a date-limited time? Thanks!

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No, you cannot setup a filter based on a time period.

You could setup a filter to send all of your mail to the Archive (and also label them if you want) but you would need to turn that filter off once you no longer want it active.

If you are interested in learning some scripting, you could solve this problem using Apps Script. Basically, you would write a script and store it in your Google Drive - maybe the script would scan your Inbox for new mail every hour and send it to the Archive - and schedule it to run every day, every hour, whatever, and put some sort of check into the script code to cause it to stop running after a certain date. You would need some scripting skills to do this (JavaScript), but the programming environment provided by Apps Script does make it very easy to do things like this.

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I would strongly suggest that the filter to label and archive would be the best option. In fact the label part of the solution would be the most important, that way all the emails during the period the filter was active can be easily found, if there was a desire to pick through them when the OP returns to using the account. –  mhoran_psprep Jan 30 '13 at 11:13
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Inbox Pause (inboxpauseDOTcom) will do that for you. The app is intended for more a more frequent pause/resume toggle. If you just want to take a 6-month break, the suggestion above to create a filter for all incoming email that skips the inbox and applies the label/folder you want is the right one.

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