Email stinks. OK, it’s not that bad, but I’d much rather get things done in person, in a video meeting or over chat. My rule of thumb: If we get into an email back and forth, I’m calling you instead.

That said, email has its place and you might as well make your inbox as useful as it can be. For me, that starts with my annual ritual: Clearing out all the old mail from the year before. Give it a try.


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The trick is simple: Archive your inbox

You’ll be surprised at how effective this is at giving you back some digital headspace.

So, what is email archiving? Basically, this keeps a record of everything you’ve sent and received — so you’ll always have a copy of any of your messages and attachments — but they won’t be sitting in your inbox.

Sure, you can file all your emails away into carefully sorted folders, but what are the chances you’re actually going to keep up with that level of organization? Archiving is a great gift to give yourself going into the new year. Plus, it’s an easy New Year’s Resolution to keep. Just click a few buttons, and your life is already easier!

Follow these steps to archive in Gmail

Gmail will take some time to process your request. Be patient. You may have to do this step a few times to get everything.


Once you’ve archived a message, you can hit All Mail to the left, right under Inbox and your other email folders to find it. Your best bet is to search by a term you know was in the email or by the sender.

Using Apple Mail? Here’s what to do

When you need to find those emails again, just click on that ‘Archive’ folder anytime. All your archived emails are there, ready when you are.

How to archive emails in Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook doesn’t put archived messages into a separate folder. Instead, they’ll go straight to a data file you can access whenever you want.

You’ll see emails disappear from your inbox and subfolders. Now they’ll be under the Archives heading.


Your inbox should be clean as a whistle

Now that you know my secret, your inbox is sure to look a whole lot cleaner to start the new year. Worried you missed something? Here’s my tip: If it’s really important, that person will email you again.

As a side note, remember that even if you archive emails, they can be subpoenaed for legal cases. We don’t give legal advice, so it’s best to consult a lawyer if you have any questions about this. 

Use Yahoo? I have steps for archiving here on the website.

Keep your tech-know going 

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.

PODCAST PICK: Billionaire doomsday preppers, p*rn copyright trolls & nasty Amazon scam

Plus, my 2024 tech resolutions and ways to have AI help you craft yours. California bans this ultra-weird product from Amazon — and yes, it involves donkeys. Peloton tablet goes obsolete, and I’ve got five tech holiday road trip tips.

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