If I delete an email thread, it also removes all of the emails from my sent folder. Maybe it makes sense for that to happen but I wanted to see if there was a way to remove an email thread from my inbox but still keep my sent emails in the sent folder.

Any suggestions?

  • 8 years later I can confirm this is still true and no, this does not make sense and is utter insanity.
    – Madbreaks
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 16:31

3 Answers 3


I wanted to see if there way a way to remove an email thread from my inbox but still keep my sent emails in the sent folder.

The best way to do this is to use the strength of the gmail labels and archiving system.

Use labels to attach key phrases to the conversation. Each message/conversation can have multiple labels. The conversations in your inbox have the "Inbox" label. Clicking the archive button, removes the "Inbox" label. The conversation still has the "All Mail label, plus what ever other labels you have attached to the conversation. The conversations that include a message you sent can be found under the "Sent Mail" label.

The list of labels on the left side of the window allows you to quickly show only those conversations with that label. You can also use In:labelx or label:labelx in a search string to find a conversation with that label.


AFAIK there is no way to do this with threaded Gmail conversations. This is because the entire email "conversation" is connected to every other message, thus your sent messages will be removed.

Why does Archiving the email not work? Archiving will preserve all of the email threads in your account, remove it from the inbox view, and allow you to access things using the "All Mail" link in the left-nav. This will also preserve all of your Sent mail.

An alternative if you don't want to Archive email is to un-thread your email conversations. This will remove Gmail's threading functionality, making email behave more like Outlook where every email is treated as its own message. The upside is that you should be able to save sent mail separately from the entire email thread. The downside here is that it will no longer be able to group replies and forwards to the original email, making things more complicated.

To disable threading, just go to Settings > Conversation View > Conversation View Off > Save

  • in outlook 2010 i have threaded conversations and my sent mail still stays in tact. I don't want to remove threading.
    – leora
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 13:55
  • @leora: You can delete individual messages from a conversation thread, but that's probably more trouble than it's worth.
    – ale
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 14:15

As a work around, I send the sent messages that I want to keep to my inbox, open them, remove the label and save them into whatever folder I want to save them into. Hopefully, gmail will come up for a solution for this problem because it can be a real pain in business applications to not be able to simply click a save icon with sent messages. The other option is to forward all your gmail emails into another application like "outlook", where functionality for saving is much better.

  • 2
    You seem to be using labels as folders.
    – ale
    Commented Sep 6, 2013 at 14:05

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