I accidentally archived a certain number of emails and now I can't figure out where they are.

I understand that they get archived in All Mail but they were emails from months ago and I don't know the name of the senders (I book bands they were just unread emails that I wanted to make sure I looked at). So I can't find ANY way to find the emails I archived without knowing the sender's name. I get hundreds of emails, and wouldn't be able to recognise what I lost.

I tried to match up the dates with my Inbox and All Mail to see if I could find which ones were different, but the dates get all muddled with sending and receiving - there doesn't seem to be an easy way to just look at what you received on the day it was received.

HELP! These are so important but I'm stuck.


1 Answer 1


The after: and before: search operators act on messages that were sent or received after or before those dates respectively.

From Gmail Help - Advanced Search

after: before: older: newer:

Search for messages sent or received during a certain period of time (using the date format yyyy/mm/dd)

Example: after:2004/04/16 before:2004/04/18

Meaning: Messages sent between April 16, 2004 and April 18, 2004.*

*More precisely: Messages sent after 12:00 AM (or 00:00) April 16, 2004 and before April 18, 2004.

Unfortunately, there aren't any logs available to normal Gmail users. If you can't work out a date range or at least some unique words or phrases in the messages to search on, you're going to have to go through your messages painstakingly.

This is why there's an "undo" link when you archive messages, just in case. Obviously it's too late for that now.

  • Never archive without first attaching a label, knowing which labels apply can quickly make the search manageable. Commented Mar 4, 2013 at 20:21

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