Removing Old Mail from the Inbox in GMail


I recently moved my domain email over to Google Apps for Domains. So far I have been very happy with it and all my family have been set up with accounts, and all is working well for them to. I decided to move my old mail archive into GMail so that I have the messages available for searching from whatever machine I happen to be on.

To do this, I used the Google Email Uploader, and it worked well (but did take a long time to complete against my rather large Outlook archive dating back to 2001).

The only problem was that I now had an awful lot of messages in my inbox that I didn't really want to see - also because I use IMAP to connect my mail clients up to GMail I didn't want them to download all that mail again.

It took me a while to figure out how to archive all the old mails, so I am logging it here for future reference. I exclude stared mail as I will flag a message in my email clients that I might want to respond to later and unflag when I am finished with it. The exclusion means that I won't archive the flagged messages which isn't so important this time round but will be handy if I use the query again to prune my inbox Hope it may also be helpful to you.

To archive old mails in Gmail:

  1. In the search box type "in:inbox -is:starred before:2008/06/01" where the date is in yyyy/mm/dd format.
  2. Press the Select All link. When you press this link, but you have more than a page of results a new link will appear that says "Select all conversations that match this search" - press that
  3. In the Action drop down, select Archive.

The old mails will now be available when you search, and when you look in the "All Mails" folder - but will not be included in your inbox.



This is an excellent write-up on using Excel as a TFS reporting client, thanks! I should say, though, that there's an inherent problem with Excel-based reporting: security. Let me explain:

Once your administrator gives you the permissions to access the warehouse, you get access to data from ALL team projects, and there's no easy way to restrict access to a single project. This might be OK for small shops or even large companies that do not need to pass any security-related certifications.

But imagine a big services firm developing software for a number of customers, or a firm developing software for the healthcare vertical - in such cases, inability to restrict warehouse access to a specific project really becomes an issue. Unfortunately, this issue affects my employer as well, so we had to ditch Excel-based reporting, even though it would have saved us some custom reports development.

This is a fantastic write-up. I can tell that this helps give me a leg up into creating reports!


Thanks for this excellent work around. A pity you can't find such a solution on the Google site. I searched for ages after dropping my Gmail account since I didn't want copies of old emails out there. Your solution works perfectly.


Thanks, exactly what I needed!



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