How do I delete "All Mail" box on left (archived) without deleting other labels' content? Reason is a virus in Gmail archived messages which I cannot locate due to the large amount of archived messages. It is not in my labeled messages

  • 2
    The "All Mail" tag is special in that it literally contains all your email. Email that appears in "All Mail" and nowhere else simply does not have any other labels applied to it. You can hide the "All Mail" label/box on the left, but this literally just hides the label and nothing else and won't help you to find the lost emails, so I don't think this is what you want to do. If the email does not appear in one of your labels then the label has been removed from the email. The process of archiving an email simply removes the "inbox" label.
    – MrWhite
    Aug 28, 2012 at 16:23
  • Why are you not able to search for these messages? Gmail offers a reasonably fine grained control in how to search, with the ability to search within the From, To, Subject and Message, to include AND/OR exclude certain words and within a particular date range.
    – MrWhite
    Aug 29, 2012 at 7:09

3 Answers 3


I have found that the following search is pretty accurate in finding archived emails that only exist in All Mail. Maybe you need to add additional special conditions that isn't applicable for me.

has:nouserlabels !in:Inbox -label:sent -label:drafts
  • has:nouserlabels !in:Inbox !in:sent !in:drafts !in:chat
    – ncomputers
    Nov 12, 2016 at 22:22

"Archived" email are the messages that have the inbox label removed. Gmail doesn't have folders. All messages hove 0 to many labels.

An email with the label "labelx" can be found under the "all Mail" label, or the "labelx" label. If it hasn't been archived it can also be found under the "inbox" label.

I have found that hitting the archive button without first attaching a label is counter-productive. this means the message only exists under the "all mail" label. For this purpose I have created a hide label. These are emails that I don't expect to ever need to read again, and someday if I ever come close to the gmail limits I might delete them.

If you want to find this rogue email you will have to use the search tools.


You can use the ! not-indicator.

You will have to add it for every label you have. Just search for:

!in:inbox !in:label1 !in:label2

and so on. That will result in all messages without a label.

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