Help Needed: How to Archive GMAIL

Hi all,

I could use a bit of help: I am trying to archive Gmail on Apple Mail…

Currently I have my Gmail account Active in Apple Mail. My goal is to create an archive folder “on my Mac” locally called GmailArchive.

I was under the impression that if I was to drag a piece of mail from Gmail inbox to Local = GmailArchive - then it would move it permanently to GmailArchive and REMOVE it Gmail.

The problem I’m having is that this does work sometimes and does not work other times.

It will always create the version in the local folder= GmailArchive

  • however quite often it does not remove it permanently from Gmail (which I want it to).

  • it seems as though - part of the issue is if the mail has other labels attached to it - then it may remove it from the inbox - but it will remain under its own label.

Do I have to first remove the extra labels or something?

Q: Can anybody help explain how to get the mail moved permanently from Gmail to a local apple mail folder and completely remove it from the Gmail Account?

When you drag an email, Mail copies the message. To move the message, Right Click, select Move To, and select a destination.

The safest way, IMO, is to download a complete copy of your email from Then after you make a backup or two, import those messages into Mail, and delete all your messages from Gmail using webmail.

You can also make a copy of any email folder by Right Clicking on the folder and selecting Export Mailbox. This will also create an MBOX file that can be imported back into

1 Like

Verify that you have set the server settings set to Archive… See the attached screenshot.

1 Like

thanks for the idea - yes I do have this set to archive.

Also I was under the impression that dragging does Move rather than Copy? Can anyone confirm whether dragging moves or copies?

(I did try also with right clicking copy and move also)

Gmail is a different protocol that doesn’t really work 100% like imap. Strange things happen.
The best way to make bulk changes in Google hosted email i.e. Gmail or Google Workspace (formally G-suite). It to use the web interface and allow the changes to sync back to your mail client like Apple Mail.

1 Like

I find this is the case with messages that Gmail marks as spam no matter how many times one uses Apple Mail to mark them as not spam Gmail reclassifies. Requires logging in to Gmail and setting it expressly to mark the messages as not spam.

Correct. Gmail was introduced as webmail only. IMAP (which is now almost 40 years old) wasn’t added for another three years. Today, AFAIK, Google still uses a proprietary protocol to communicate with its servers and iOS/Android clients.

From what I’ve read Microsoft still uses MAPI or Extended MAPI, as their primary protocol for their servers and email clients.