What Does It Mean To Archive An Email?

In the last 20 to 30 years, our society has had to come to terms with the fact that everything has to be done online now, not via a physical copy.

The most obvious tool that pushed through this change was e-mails.

What does it mean to archive an email

E-mails meant that it was no longer necessary to send anything by post over days, when you could just type it out and send online in seconds.

As we’ve grown with e-mails, we’ve grown to love them, but that doesn’t mean we understand or know of all their facets.

One of the things that confuses people most about sending e-mails is archiving them. So, what does it mean to achieve an email?

Is it a good or a bad thing? And should I be doing it? Today, we seek to answer these questions, so you don’t have to.

What Does Archiving An Email Mean?

Archiving an email is just that, what it says it is. It is the movement of an email from the inbox of your email address to an area known as an archive.

The reason that people do this is not because the email itself isn’t important or that it may be but is no longer.

No, the reason that people archive emails is normally because of spring-cleaning.

Occasionally, your email address will become too cluttered, and a lot of people see this as an opportunity to sort through their emails.

Immediately important emails stay in the inbox, trash or e-mails that no longer have any value go into the junk folder or are just deleted, and then you are left with the rest.

The “rest” normally consists of emails that are not useful right now or were useful, but you can’t just delete them.

That is where the archive folder comes in. See, keeping these in your inbox can be a little confusing, as when you need them you may want them quick.

Since your inbox can be vast, that might not be the best place to get the information from, as it will take time.

Therefore, people put them in the archive folder to keep their entire email address nice and clutter-free.

A good example of an archive worthy email would be a boarding pass sent via e-mail by the airline.

You don’t need it yet, but as soon as it comes to the day when you need to board a plane, you don’t want to spend hours looking for it.

While the archived email is out of the inbox, that doesn’t mean that it is taken out of the inbox rotation.

If an email is sent addressing the archived email, it will appear with a little notification to let you know, thus helping you to keep all the information together.

Junk Folder And Archive Folder: What Is The Difference?

Due to both folders being used to remove emails from the inbox folder, a lot of confusion about what the two do is brought up.

However, these two folders are very different in function and purpose, and the only real similarities between the two are the fact that emails are moved into them from the inbox.

A trash or junk folder in an email is designed for completely deleting an email.

When an email is sent to a junk folder, it will be in that folder for 30 days from that point. Once that 30 days is up, the e-mail and all its attachments are deleted permanently from the e-mail address.

What does it mean to archive an email (1)

An archive is meant to keep an email safe for later use. When an email is sent to an archive folder, the e-mail will remain in that folder indefinitely, and it will only disappear from the folder at the request of the user.

You can do this by clicking the same icon you clicked to get it into the archive folder – this will move it back to the inbox – or by deleting it or moving it to the junk folder.

Where Is The Archive Folder?

The archive folder will appear under your folder tabs on the left-hand side when you go into your email address.

Normally, there will be a list running down. At the top, there is usually your inbox folder, followed by drafts, followed by sent, and so on.

Keep going down the list, and eventually you will find archives and junk next to one another (which does not help with the confusion).

Click on the archive folder, and you will see what emails you’ve already archived.

How Can I Archive An Email?

There are a couple of ways to archive an email, and a lot of different email providers have done things to make it easier as well.

The first thing you can do is to hover over the e-mail you want to archive with your mouse pointer.

When you do this, some little icons should appear over the e-mail. Normally, the one that is a little box is the archive button, but if you hover your mouse over each icon it should tell you what clicking on the icon will do.

Click on the archive button and then your email will be archived.

Alternatively, you can hover over the email you want to archive with your mouse pointer and right click with your mouse. This will cause a list to appear that you can click on to dictate an action.

Click on the archive button and once again your email should be archived.

These methods may change slightly with different email addresses, but the basic premise should be the same for each one. Simply, follow these, and you can easily archive an email.


Archiving an email basically means keeping it in a safe place in your emails for later, rather than in the inbox, which is cleaned regularly by most users, or in the junk folder which is emptied every 30 days.

In this way, you can keep emails safe and secure for as long as you use this email address.

Justin Shaw