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Managing Your Mail

Is your inbox becoming unmanageable? Are you unsure where a message is? The instructions below will provide valuable information on managing your inbox and locating email in the Google environment.

Inbox Management
If it feels as though your inbox has ballooned out of control, there are a number of steps you can take to lessen the amount of email you need to deal with on a daily basis and quickly organize communications.

Filters - If you have subscribed to industry email, newsletters, or other promotional subscriptions, you may not want these in your inbox commingled among other more-important communications. Our recommended best practice is to set up a filter to route those messages into a separate folder immediately and automatically upon receipt. This saves you time, and keeps the messages somewhere easily found so you can read them when you have time. 

In addition, you can also use filters to automatically label and/or star messages without removing them from your inbox. For example, if you are working with a high-priority client, you can set up a filter to apply a color-coded label to all emails from that client as soon as they come in. This will save you having to do it manually at a later date.

For details on setting up filters, please click here:

Importance - As you may have noticed, Google automatically categorizes the importance of messages. If you wish this to work more closely with how you do business, you can manually mark messages important or unimportant. As you do this, Google will learn your habits and you will see the importance flags begin to more closely mirror your preferences. Once you have established this, you can make better use of Google's Priority Inbox -

Spam - If you are seeing mail in your inbox that you consider spam (i.e. you did not subscribe to it, and it is not a genuine email), use the report spam button. 
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We promise that this button truly works, and Google will begin routing messages from that sender to spam. Please note that it may take a few reporting instances until Google "learns" to consistently perform that action.

Finding Email
Are you having difficulty locating an email that you remember reading, but can no longer locate? Did someone send you an email that you do not believe you have received? Here are some steps you should always take prior to contacting the help desk.

All Mail - Look or search in All Mail for the message. The quickest way to do this is to use the search bar. Either type in the sender's name/email address or the subject of the email. The default search automatically searches in All Mail and if received, the message will be found here, including those you may have inadvertently archived.

Spam - Look in your spam folder. If you aren't sure where it is, scroll down to the bottom of your labels and click More: Inline image 1
Scroll down slightly to see the expanded items:
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If the message is there, it is very important that you tag it and and click the Not Spam button:
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This will teach Google to never route messages from that sender to spam. Please note, like reporting spam, it may take more than one report to teach Google this behavior.

Trash - Check to make sure the message is not in your trash folder. The All Mail search does not include trash, but if there are messages that matched it, you will see this at the bottom:
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If you click the view them link, it will take you directly to those messages. If you accidentally deleted it, and wish to restore it, you can tag the message and click Inline image 6.

Delivery Issues
Have you performed the steps above and still cannot locate an email someone sent you, and therefore believe you may have never received it? Is a client reporting that an email you sent was never received? Here are steps you should always take prior to contacting the help desk. If you receive a "bounce back" email indicating your message was not delivered, check the following:
  • Was the recipient's email address mistyped? Check and make sure it is correct.
  • Make sure the email was sent, and is not still in Drafts.
  • Ask the recipient to check his/her junk or spam folder, as emails without subject lines, little or no content and/or containing words that trigger an automated filter may wind up there.
  • You may have exceeded the limit of the number of emails you can send (2,000 per day, 500 unique per day)
After going through the steps above, if you eliminate all of them as possibilities, please contact the Help Desk (800-499-8820) with (1) the date and time the email was sent, (2) email address it was sent to, and (3) the subject line of the email. Our Help Desk will route to our Messaging Solutions team who will confirm whether it was sent from our server. Once that has been confirmed, there is no more Guardian can do to troubleshoot, as that is confirmation the email left our environment and the problem lies somewhere on the recipient's end. Contact should then be made with the recipient and/or their mail provider to track the email's whereabouts. 

Mail Management
Google has a strict quota on mailbox size - you are limited to 25 GB and there are no exceptions. If you are getting messages that you are close to your quota, you must delete mail. Here are some tips to finding mail that can likely be deleted.

Trash - Any deleted mail resides in your trash for 30 days, after which time it is automatically deleted. If you have recently removed a large quantity of mail, those deletes will not be reflected in your quota count until they are permanently removed from your trash. Find your trash folder and click the Empty trash now link to free up space.

Newsletters, Marketing, Subscription Mail  - if you subscribe to daily, weekly, or monthly missives, and you have a large quantity of these saved to read at some point in the future, consider deleting any that are older than one month, regardless of whether you have read them or not.

Older Mail - if you have any mail that is older than seven years, it should be deleted. In addition, if you have older mail that is no longer needed, determine the best way to search for it (e.g. by label and date greater than) and delete it.

Large Emails - While Google does not give you the ability to delete attachments, you should consider deleting large emails that may be consuming an inordinate amount of your quota. See this link for instructions on how to search for these: