How to have Emails Skip the Inbox (Archive)

Email can be a wonderful tool, but it can also be a source of stress, particularly if you have an inbox overflowing with messages that aren't necessarily important. Luckily we have a few tools at our disposal to give us the flexibility to manage our inboxes effectively so they become a tool of efficiency rather than a pit of anxiety.

Here we'll talk about getting emails to skip the inbox in Gmail.

Why Skip the Inbox / Archive?

The most obvious reason for email management is to reduce clutter and help manage priorities. With Gmail, you can set filters to automatically label and move specific emails, skipping the inbox altogether. For many, this means you'll save time and energy by archiving non-urgent or unimportant emails and focusing on the ones that require your immediate attention.

It might not seem like a lof of time-saving by auto-archiving an email, but if you consider that the average person receives over 100 emails per day, that can add up to a lot of time saved.

Note: "Skipping the inbox" is the same as "archiving", which will remove the "inbox" label from the email, but not send it to the trash. You can access them at any time in your "All Mail" view or via search.

How to Skip the Inbox with Gmail Filters

So how do we actually get emails to skip the inbox?

When you're in Gmail, do the followig:

  1. At the top of your screen, click on the search options icon on the right side of the search bar.
  1. Enter the search criteria for the emails you want to filter and click "Create filter".
  1. Select the "Skip the inbox (Archive it)" option and then click "Create filter".

Let's say, for example, that you want all emails from a specific newsletter to be marked as read and archived. You would enter the newsletter email or subject in the search criteria, then choose "Skip the Inbox (Archive it)" and "Mark as read" in the options.

That's it! Now, those emails will bypass your inbox and be marked as read in your archive.

How to Skip the Inbox with Block Sender

While Gmail's filter system works for many use-cases, there are also limitations to it, like a lack of advanced blocking criteria and having to recreate the filter for every account you own.

With Block Sender, you can use advanced criteria (like IP addresses, headers, domain extensions, wildcards, etc) to match emails, as well as share these archiving rules with all of your connected accounts.

Once you've signed up for an account and linked your email, do the following:

  1. Go to the Blocks page in the dashboard.
  2. Click the "New Blocking Rule" button.
  1. Enter the criteria, select "Archive", and click "Create".

Common Issues

Although this feature is usually pretty straight-forward, it's possible that some issues can arise from time-to-time.

When using the Gmail filter method, you may notice that the emails still show up in your inbox. This can sometimes be due to a setting on your account. To fix it, do the following:

  1. Go to the Settings page by clicking on the gear icon and then "See all settings".
  1. Click on the "Inbox" tab and scroll down to the bottom.
  2. Selec the "Don't override filters" option.
  3. Click "Save Changes"

If Gmail is allowed to override filters, then you may see emails in your inbox when you don't expect to.

Another possibility is that you have conflicting filters or blocking rules. This is when you have two filters/blocks that both match the same email, but have different settings on where the email should go. Unfortunately with Gmail you can't set filter priority, so the next best option is to either update your filters to be more specific or remove the conflicting filter altogether.

The final possibility is that your filter/block criteria is incorrect and doesn't actually match the email you're trying to archive / skip the inbox. In this case, you'll just need to review the criteria to make sure it is correct.


In this article we took a look a few methods for getting emails to skip the inbox / archive, both decluttering your inbox and saving you the time of having to do it yourself.

This can be very useful for, among other things, unimportant emails that you still want to keep around for later use. By using Gmail's filters or Block Sender's blocking rules, you can easily set up rules to automatically archive these emails and keep your inbox clean and organized.

Last Updated: April 26th, 2024
Was this article helpful?

Better email blocking for Gmail.

Sign up for free, no credit card required, upgrade or downgrade at any time.