We've got several accounts running on Gmail / Google Apps for Business—these accounts have been alive for about 10–12 years (running on a different email provider). Because they've been around for so long they are on tons of mailing lists, and junk lists.

I’ve unsubscribed from a load of lists using unroll.me but we still get loads of junk messages through, which go to the spam / junk folder.

The only problem with this is that some proper email goes to the junk folder, which we don’t look through as there is so much in there. I don't mind proper emails being in there (although it’s not ideal), my main concern is I heard Gmail auto deletes the spam / junk every 30 days so we would have no record of the proper emails in there, which we really need. Is there any way to stop Gmail auto deleting the spam?

3 Answers 3


Yes! Gmail will automatically delete messages in the Spam folder after they have been sitting there for 30 days:


  • 5
    Is there any way to stop this happening ?
    – sam
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 16:26
  • Also is there a difference between the junk folder and the spam folder - checking the junk folder dosnt seem to have the message above it
    – sam
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 16:27
  • 2
    Gmail uses the spam folder with its spam filter. If you have a folder named junk, it would have been created via IMAP or your email client software (assuming you access your email outside of the Gmail website).
    – iglvzx
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 17:52
  • @sam - for the purpose of retaining all past email for a proper email archive (even though this does not stop auto-deletions from the Spam label/folder): webapps.stackexchange.com/a/164380/89937 Commented May 4, 2022 at 18:10

If you want to keep Gmail from ever marking messages as spam, you can accomplish that with a filter.

For the value of To:, enter * (asterisk). Then, choose the "Never send to spam" option.

This should match on every message (you can adjust your match if you want) and should keep any of them as being marked as spam.

  • 3
    Asker asked if there was a way to prevent Gmail from marking spam, so that's all I was answering. I don't necessarily think it's a great idea. I find Gmail's spam filters to be top-notch.
    – ale
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 19:50

For the purpose of permanently retaining all, past received email (in Gmail) and thus creating a reliable historical archive (of email):

Gmail as of May 2022 has an All Mail label/folder/feature that appears to save all past emails even after the Spam label/folder messages are auto-deleted (apparently only from the Spam label/folder) after 30 days.

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