What are you supposed to do with the email messages that you have already read? That is a question that baffles many people who are still new to email services. And that is the question we will be dealing with in this article: as we look at the options that are available to you, when it comes to dealing with email messages that you have already read.
Deleting the emails you have already read
If you have already read a particular email message, and you wish to do away with it completely (so that it doesn’t clutter your inbox), you can opt to delete it. However, if it is an email message that you may need in the future – for reference purposes, or for some other purpose – then deleting it may not be a very good idea. Once you delete an email, it is — theoretically at least — gone forever. You won’t be able to retrieve it, should you need it in the future. You therefore need to have made up your mind that you will never need a particular email in the future, before proceeding to delete it.
Should you decide that the best way to deal with a particular email message is to delete it, then the actual act of deleting the email shouldn’t be a challenging one. It is just a matter of opening the message (by clicking on its line in the inbox), and once the message is open, clicking on the ‘Delete’ icon, link or button. The said ‘Delete’ icon, link or button is usually to be found above or below the email message body. That is to say that if you open a particular email message, above or below the message body, you will find a series of icons, links or buttons that you can click on to perform various operations on the email message. Among those is the ‘Delete’ icon, link or button, which you can click on to obliterate the message completely.
In most email applications, you actually also have the option of deleting the message even without opening it. This is a question of going to the inbox, and selecting the email — by way of clicking on the ‘checkbox’ that is on the specific email’s message line. You then only need to click on the ‘Delete’ icon, link or button — from the row of icons, links or buttons that are found above or below the messages list in the inbox. The message is then deleted, without even being opened. So you go to the inbox, select the message you wish to delete (by clicking on its checkbox), and then you click on the ‘Delete’ icon, link or button to obliterate the message.
But if you have a feeling that the message in question is one that you may need for future reference purposes, it may be better to archive it, rather than deleting it.
Archiving the emails you have already read
If you have already read a particular email message, and you feel that you may need it for future reference purposes, it may be a good idea to archive it (rather than deleting it).
With some email services, one of the possibilities open to you is that of creating new folders or ‘labels’. You can create one such folder or label, and use it for archival purposes.
There are also some email services that come with an inbuilt ‘archive’ feature. With these email services, one of the operations that you can perform for any given email message is that of archiving it. Thus above the email message, in the row where various icons, links or buttons are (including the ‘Delete’, ‘Reply’ and ‘Forward’ icons, links or buttons) is an ‘Archive’ icon, link or button. With such an email service, you just need to select any given email message, and then click on the ‘Archive’ icon, link or button, in order to have the email message archived.
Simply leaving the emails you have already read in the inbox
Rather than deleting or archiving the emails you have already read, you can opt to be simply leaving them in the inbox. If you are using one those email services where the email storage space is very limited, you will soon run out of space if you opt to be simply leaving the messages in the inbox after reading them. But with modern email services, storage space is available in terms of gigabytes or even terabytes! This is especially the case with the free webmail services like Gmail and Yahoo Mail. With such services, you find that you are unlikely to ever run out of email storage space, even if you opt to be simply leaving all emails in the inbox after reading them.