Clear out your inbox without losing mail

A reader is getting frustrated with Gmail:

“I’ve been using Gmail. What I find more frustrating is that if you go back and forth with someone and then want to delete the email from your inbox, it’s also automatically deleted from your sent file. Is there a way to delete it from inbox but keep in sent?”

If you want to hold onto a conversation, but not have it immediately visible in your inbox, your best bet is to move it to a folder. You could have either just a general save for later folder or one devoted to that particular topic or exchanges with that particular person.

Here’s how to do it. Start by clicking the Settings gear at the top right of your inbox and choosing See All Settings from the dropdown menu.

Go to the Labels tab. A label functions like a folder in Gmail.


Scroll down to Create new label and click on it.


Enter the name of the new label and click Create.


If I’m finished with an email, but think I might want to access the thread later, I can tick the box beside it.

Then select the Move to icon at the top.

Then select the new label.


You can add other labels under the main label. For example, I could create labels for contacts or subjects that go under the Save For Later label.  I just follow the same procedure to create a label and check Nest label under. Then choose the parent label from the drop-down menu.


I can find my labels in the left pane of my inbox and the messages will turn up if I search for them.


Another option is to Archive your conversation. It won’t be immediately visible from your inbox, but you can easily look it up. Just tick the box next to the email and click the Archive icon.


I prefer the label method because I just like to organize things methodically. 

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