Gmail Labels and Filters

Image: Gmail icon


Use Gmail labels and filters to help organize your emails. Follow the instructions below to create a label, apply a label to your email, and set up a filter to automatically apply your label to emails with conditions that you set.



Like many computer applications, there are multiple ways to do things depending on your system platform (Mac or PC) and the browser you’re using (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.). Here is a simple way to create a label, and then filter your emails to automatically apply the label.


Folders vs. Labels

In a folder-based mail client like Outlook you can move an email from your Inbox folder to, for example, a MATH-101 folder. When you do, it disappears from the Inbox. Much like a physical object it can’t be in two places at once.

But in a label-based client like Gmail you can put any number of labels on your physical object or email, including a Gmail conversation. (Google also calls labels mailboxes.) You can assign the MATH-101 label to an email and it will appear in both MATH-101 and the Inbox, and you can have sub-labels just as you can have subfolders. And, your email can have multiple labels at a time.

You can also set up an automatic filter so that certain emails will automatically get a specific label.

NOTE: These instructions work best if you’re on a computer or laptop, and not a mobile device.



Create Your Label

Image: Create new label screen


  1. In the left sidebar list of your mailboxes, scroll all the way to the bottom and select [⌵ More]
  2. Scroll down again and select [+Create new label].




  1. In the pop-up window, type in what you want to name your label, such as the name of your class.
  2. Click on the [Create] button and you should now see your new label in the sidebar.






Attach a Label to an Email

Image: Dragging a gmail label to an email


  1. Scroll down your list of labels/mailboxes in the left sidebar until you can see the label you want to attach.
  2. Click and drag the label to the title of your email. Notice that the email still has the label “Inbox”.

Image: Inbox X to deleteIf you want to remove a label, just click on the X on that label to remove it.






Set Up an Automatic Filter

Image: Gear icon and Settings selection


  1. Click on the [Gear] icon in the upper right corner and go to [Settings]







  1. Click on the [Filters and Blocked Addresses] tab.

Image: manue showing Filters and Blocked Addresses tab





In the following example, I want all emails from to bypass the Inbox, and automatically get a "How To" label.

Image: entering some filtering parameters


  1. In the pop-up window, enter the Sender’s email address in the [From] section, and then click the [Create filter] link at the bottom of the pop-up box.

You can filter for more than one item at time.





Now you can decide what you want to do with all emails from that address.

Image: Gmail filter setup parameters


  1. In the pop-up box, click in one or more boxes to select the option(s) you prefer.

In this example, I want to Skip the Inbox and using the drop down list, Apply the label "How To".

  1. Click the blue [Create filter] button.


You’ll now be sent back to the Filters and Blocked Addresses page where you’ll see your new filter listed.




You can now go back to your Inbox and all of your future emails will be filtered. The emails with the conditions that you set will automatically have your label applied.

In your list of labels/mailboxes, you can tell if you have a new email with that label by the name of label/mailbox being in bold, and a number beside it.

In this example, my label "How To" now has been applied to one (1) new email.Image: Gmail mailbox with 1 new email





If you are having difficulty or you have unanswered questions, please contact the Help Desk via email, through the ITS Service Catalog or call (518) 388-6400.





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Article ID: 89170
Fri 10/11/19 3:47 PM
Mon 10/14/19 10:21 AM