I archived w/o labeleling. Are my emails forver hidden?
March 12, 2009 2:54 PM   Subscribe

About a year ago, I accidentally archived a ton of old emails in my Gmail account, without putting any labels on any of them. (I thought I knew how archiving worked at the time, but obviously I was wrong)

Aside from just randomly searching for keywords every time I need to find one of those archived emails, is there any way to access them? Preferably en masse, so I can add labels to them once and for all.

I understand Gmails "great and wonderful" search ability, but I've found that a number of times, the obvious keywords aren't in the email I'm looking for, especially registration/sign-up confirmations/info, where the sender's email address isn't the same as the site I signed up with.
(I hope that makes sense... )

Maybe there's a Greasemonkey script out there somewhere I can use?
posted by hasna to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Click the link for "All Mail"? In the box on the left.
posted by GuyZero at 2:59 PM on March 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

Is there anything that distinguishes these emails from the other ones in your inbox? For instance, is the to: address different? If there's no piece of data that separates these archived emails from the other emails in your inbox, there's not much you can do.
posted by nitsuj at 3:03 PM on March 12, 2009

You can get only archived mail if you search for "-label:inbox -label:sent", without the quotes, in the search box that's right at the top.
posted by suncoursing at 3:04 PM on March 12, 2009

Yeah, if you want to exclude the inbox do what suncoursing says. Search operators include:


See the Gmail search help.
posted by GuyZero at 3:07 PM on March 12, 2009

type this into your search box:

-in:inbox before:2008-01-01
posted by bensherman at 3:07 PM on March 12, 2009

The simplest answer is GuyZero's. Archiving just removes them from the inbox - All Mail will get you what you need.
posted by kidsleepy at 3:23 PM on March 12, 2009

This is a greasemonkey script that sounds like it would do what you want.
posted by juv3nal at 6:57 PM on March 12, 2009

Best answer: In case the question is not as complicated as some are making it out to be, clicking "All Mail" in the top left corner will show you all the mail you have recieved (and not deleted). In Gmail, "Archiving" a piece of mail simply means that it is no longer labelled as "inbox."
posted by milestogo at 9:28 PM on March 12, 2009

To find archived messages with no label, search this:
"-label:inbox -label:blog -label:computer ..." and just keep adding your labels. If you do this once, you can bookmark it and get the same search back without having to retype all the -label:x
posted by soelo at 11:04 AM on March 13, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! The combination of everyone's answers helped me immensely. :)
posted by hasna at 1:00 PM on March 21, 2009

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