New to Windows Phone ecosystem? How to archive emails in — like Gmail

For many people, the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X will be their first experience with Windows Phone. Upon starting a Windows Phone device for the first time, you are presented with log in options for a Microsoft account. If you already have a Hotmail, Live, or account you can log in with those credentials. If you’ve never owned a Microsoft email address or account then now would be the time you need to create one. This account is used for gaming via Xbox Live, Zune Music Pass, Windows Phone Store (apps), SkyDrive, and of course a new email account. This step needs to be done to take full advantage of your Windows Phone experience that will also tie-in with your Windows 8 PC.

You don’t have to use this email address, but if you go to and check out the new interface — you might want to.

In my opinion, the experience for the average email user is very good. Hardcore Gmail enthusiasts might have a hard time switching over but with a few tweaks the transition can be easy. I haven’t completely broken free from Gmail, but I am using my email account more and more. The interface is much faster and cleaner, and little known to many people — there are filters, folders, and categories (similar to Gmail labels) available to help keep things organized. But what about the simple act of Archiving your email — just like Gmail? That’s where this tutorial comes in.

How to ‘Archive’ email in just like Gmail

Some of you might like the simplicity of Gmail in terms of archiving email and searching for it later, if needed. The archive function is there by default in Gmail, allowing you to keep messages forever instead of trashing them (deletion). Unfortunately email service doesn’t have a out-of-the-box solution for this, but with a custom folder, filter, and archive button (instant action) — it is possible.

1. Create a new folder called “Archive”.

Now you can simply drag conversations to this folder when you’re done reading them but don’t want to delete them. The next step places an Archive button (instant action) in the toolbar just like Gmail.

2. Creating the instant action button is fairly simple and you might even find this part handy for other folders you often use. Go to Settings – Customizing Outlook and look for Instant Actions. Click Add Action then select Move To. Here you can specify the folder that the button will move messages to. Select the Archives folder that we created in the first step.

Simple as that.

Now you have the Archive function in your Hotmail, Live, and account just like in Gmail. If you decide to leave Gmail or simply want to start using the new as an alternate address, you won’t be missing this feature. This email wasn’t really meant to help with your phone but it should help with your overall experience if you decide to jump into the Microsoft ecosystem.

This method was first published by Paul Thurrott of Supersite for Windows. I am passing on the information and pointing you to his tutorial for more screenshots and detailed instructions. Be sure to bookmark his site if you are a Windows PC and Windows Phone user. His tips and tutorials make life much easier.

And for those wondering how Gmail works on Windows Phone — the answer is GREAT! Conversations view and all.

Let us know if you have any other questions or tutorials that you’d like to see.