I have dozens of filters which label my incoming mail and archive them, but I've begun to think that I would prefer it if the filters did not auto-archive, and instead just labelled the email and dropped them in the inbox, with the added extra that once they are read, they are then archived.

Is there any way to achieve this in GMail? Any labs features maybe?

  • your title says you need to archive them, but the content of your question says that you want to disable auto archive and leave them in the inbox. What do you want to do? Label and leave them in the inbox, or auto archive them?
    – thunderror
    Jul 15 '10 at 13:28
  • 2
    I believe the OP wants to label until read and then auto-archive after the email has been read. Pretty neat idea really, but as far as I know there is no way to do this.
    – drye
    Jul 15 '10 at 14:21

When you have an email open, there will be an Archive button. If you have keyboard shortcuts enabled, you can hit "e" or "y" to archive the email.

  • OK, based on drye's comment, and after a lot of looking around myself, it seems that there is no way to do this. I'm accepting your answer rchem because that's a neat feature that will probably become second nature now anyway, and will have the same end result (even if there is a keypress involved!). Cheers Jul 15 '10 at 16:38
  • Hmm I always use 'y' as shortcut for archiving...
    – mbrochh
    Jul 15 '10 at 20:27
  • Just tried - they both work. Edited my post. Weird! Jul 15 '10 at 20:43

This is pretty much what the Priority inbox feature does for you.
With this feature switched on, the first section of your inbox will show all unread mail (regardless of labels):

Screenshot of the Priority Inbox

Once you have read a message, it is removed from that section.

To switch on Priority inbox, click Gear icon → Settings → Inbox, find the Inbox type drop-down menu, and select Priority inbox. Screenshot showing the Inbox Type drop-down menu


You can use Google Script to write a piece of code that is going to check regularly (every 2 hours for instance) if an email has been read or not.

By doing so, you could write a rule which will archive all emails matching these criteria.

There is the Google Script official help: https://developers.google.com/apps-script/support

And here is my own post about auto-archiving process in Gmail: https://medium.com/@fw3d/auto-archive-emails-in-gmail-after-2-days-1ebf0e076b1c#.n6lmwlqjm

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