HomeTechnologyNewsHow to Automatically Archive or Delete Old Emails in Gmail

How to Automatically Archive or Delete Old Emails in Gmail

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You can automatically delete or archive old emails in Gmail by creating a filter. Enter your filter search criteria, complete with time frame, into the search box. Click the “Show search options” button and then “Create filter”. Choose Archive or Delete and then click “Create Filter” to save and apply it.

Keeping your Gmail inbox clean can be a difficult task these days. Instead of manually searching for old emails that you want to delete or archive, you can set up a filter to do it automatically based on a selected time period. We’ll show you how.

Automatically archive or delete old emails

To get started, head over to the Gmail website and sign in with your Google account. Go to the search box at the top of Gmail and enter the criteria you want to use.

For example, to archive or delete only emails in your inbox, you’d use label:inbox either in:inbox before the deadline. Then add older_than: followed by the time period, using “d” for days, “w” for weeks, or “y” for years.

As an example, to search for emails that are more than 90 days old, you would use the following:

label:inbox older_than:90d

Or, to view messages older than two years, you would use:

label:inbox older_than:2y

After entering the criteria, press Enter or Return and you will see the emails in your inbox that match.

Gmail Find emails older than 2 years

Next, select the “Show search options” icon, located on the far right of the search box.

When the window opens, you will still see your criteria in the search box. Go to the field Has the words and enter only the time period.

Using our previous examples, you would enter older_than:90d either older_than:2y .

Time period in the field Has the words

Select “Search. You should see the same emails listed. Click the “Show Search Options” button again, and this time, choose “Create Filter.”

Create filter for search criteria

You’ll see a warning that the terms you’re using won’t match incoming emails. However, you know this because you are looking for old emails, not new ones.

Click “OK” to continue.

Confirm filter creation

In the next box, you will choose whether you want to archive or delete the emails. To archive them, check the “Skip Inbox (archive)” box. To remove them, check the “Remove it” box.

RELATED: What is the difference between archiving and deleting emails?

Optionally, you can check the box at the bottom of the list to apply the filter to any matching conversations in your inbox.

When finished, select “Create Filter” to save and apply the filter.

Check the box to archive or delete the emails

You can locate your archived emails or review deleted emails at any time if you want.

Optional: Confirm that the filter works

If you checked the box to apply the filter to existing conversations in your inbox, you can immediately verify that the filter did its job.

Go back to your inbox and enter the search criteria you used to create your filter in the search box. Press Enter or Return. You should see a message that no emails match your search.

Message that no email matches the search

Edit or delete auto file or remove filter

Once you set up the filter, you no longer have to worry about manually selecting and archiving or deleting emails from your inbox. The filter handles it all for you. But if you want to edit or remove the filter, you certainly can.

RELATED: How to automatically forward specific emails in Gmail

Select the gear icon at the top right of Gmail and choose “See all settings” in the sidebar.

Select the “Filters and blocked addresses” tab. You will see your filter listed with any others you have created. To change the filter, select “Edit” on the right side.

Edit and delete options for a filter

Make your changes in the pop-up window and select “Update Filter”.

Update filter for a modified filter

To remove the filter completely, select “Remove” on the right side, and then confirm that you want to remove the filter by clicking “OK”.

Confirmation to delete a filter

Save time by automatically archiving or deleting your emails in Gmail. Then you can keep your inbox clean and spend your time on more important things.

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