Archiving vs Deleting

Understanding how your faculty and staff manage their email will help you to optimize their email clients and mobile devices to work with U-M Google. Google Mail behaves differently than previous campus email systems in how it "archives" messages by default. For this reason, CAEN suggests putting your users into two categories, defined below:

  • Archivers tend to keep every email message they ever receive, possibly organizing them into folders, and they may have many years' worth of email stored in multiple places.
  • Deleters generally read and reply to an email message before deleting it; this can include moving messages to a Deleted Items or Trash folder that they empty regularly.
In order to make using Google as smooth as possible for your users, we are providing instructions for configuring several common email clients based on "Archivers and Deleters" under the Configs that Work with Google section of this website. Your users probably already know which category they fall into, so it will be best to communicate with them before devising a plan to configure their email clients.

Archiving in U-M Google

Archiving messages allows a user to clear up their Inbox without ever deleting anything. An archived message in Google Mail is any message that doesn't have a "Label" (new messages automatically have the "Inbox" Label by default). Archived messages still exist in the mailbox for safekeeping, but are only visible as part of Google's All Mail. All Mail includes all messages regardless of whether or not it has a Label, except for messages stored in Spam or Trash.

Deleting in U-M Google

There are two options for deleting messages in Google Mail: Move the message to Trash, or immediately expunge the message forever. Messages moved to the Trash are automatically expunged permanently after 30 days.

Note: Google data is stored exclusively on Google servers. The University does not maintain any copies or backups of this data, and Google cannot restore any email once it is permanently expunged. Once an email message is deleted, it cannot be recovered. Once a message has been removed from Trash after 30 days, it also cannot be recovered. This is why CAEN recommends adopting an Archiver configuration.

Related Google Support Links