Is there a way to create a rule in Gmail to automatically make a "COPY" of an incoming e-mail and move that copy to a different label/folder while leaving the original in my main inbox.

That way I can read and delete the original e-mail but have a copy in an appropriate folder without having to look through all of my folders for new messages.

I just read and delete from my main inbox and a copy of important e-mails is automatically already in the proper folder for later use if needed.

  • 3
    The entire point of Gmail is that there is one copy of the email message and it can have multiple labels. "Inbox" is just a label on the message. "Archiving" a message just means to remove the label "Inbox". Jan 14, 2015 at 16:36
  • So are you saying that if I create a rule that all incoming mail from xyz company get marked with the xyz label, then the e-mail will show in both my main inbox as well as in the xyz label? Furthermore that email will remain in the xyz label even after I read it in my main inbox and then delete it from that location?
    – charger
    Jan 14, 2015 at 16:51
  • 1
    That is correct until the end. You should read it in the main inbox and then "archive" it instead of delete it. This will remove it from the Inbox and it will only exist in the xyz label. (And All Mail.) Jan 14, 2015 at 16:56
  • Perfect. Thank you very much William!!!
    – charger
    Jan 14, 2015 at 17:12
  • 2
    @WilliamJackson Maybe you could post your comment as an answer? The question and answer could be useful to other people new to Gmail. Jan 14, 2015 at 19:59

1 Answer 1


No, Gmail only has 1 copy of each email and it is only in one place no matter how many labels it has so if you delete it from one view you are deleting the one and only copy of that email.

How Gmail stores your email:

In GMail, to remove a message from the Inbox, you remove the Inbox label - just select or open the message and click the Archive button to do that. Or you can do it manually by opening the message and clicking the "x" next to the Inbox label in the message heading.

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