I recently moved my domain email over to Google Apps for Domains. So far I have been very happy with it and all my family have been set up with accounts, and all is working well for them to. I decided to move my old mail archive into GMail so that I have the messages available for searching from whatever machine I happen to be on.
The only problem was that I now had an awful lot of messages in my inbox that I didn't really want to see - also because I use IMAP to connect my mail clients up to GMail I didn't want them to download all that mail again.
It took me a while to figure out how to archive all the old mails, so I am logging it here for future reference. I exclude stared mail as I will flag a message in my email clients that I might want to respond to later and unflag when I am finished with it. The exclusion means that I won't archive the flagged messages which isn't so important this time round but will be handy if I use the query again to prune my inbox Hope it may also be helpful to you.
To archive old mails in Gmail:
- In the search box type "in:inbox -is:starred before:2011/06/01" where the date is in yyyy/mm/dd format.
- Press the Select All link. When you press this link, but you have more than a page of results a new link will appear that says "Select all conversations that match this search" - press that
- In the Action drop down, select Archive.
The old mails will now be available when you search, and when you look in the "All Mails" folder - but will not be included in your inbox.