What Does It Mean to Filter Emails on Gmail?

by Avery Martin

Filtering emails in Gmail allows you to redirect emails as the arrive, thereby saving the trouble of having to sort and manage some messages manually. For instance, you might want to direct all emails from friends to a folder designated specifically for friends, or family emails to a folder for your family. You can also use filters to send emails from a specific address directly to the trash. Filtering in Gmail is also good for forwarding specific emails, applying the same filter to several senders, designate label colors for better organization or mark certain emails with importance markers.

Create Labels

1

Log in to your Gmail account.

2

Click the "More" link in the sidebar and select "Create a Label" if you don't already have labels (which act as folders) for the filters you want to create. You may have to hover over the links in the sidebar to expand the menu with the More option.

3

Enter a label name in the "Please Enter a New Label Name" text field. Optionally, select "Nest Label Under" and choose a folder from the drop-down list to place all messages with your new label in (or below) an existing folder. Click "Create."

4

Locate your new label in the sidebar. If you created it within another folder, hover over the folder name to show the label. Click the drop-down arrow next to the label and select a color from the available options.

Filter Current Message

1

Access an email message in your Gmail account.

2

Click the "More" drop-down arrow next to the "Reply" arrow in the email message.

3

Click the "Filter Messages Like This" option. Fill in any additional parameters for the filter, such as recipient, subject, or specific words within the body of the email.

4

Click the "Create Filter With This Search" link.

5

Select one or more available options to create the filter. For instance, if you want all messages matching the criteria to be labeled with a color, select the "Apply Label" check box and choose your label. Click "Create Filter."

Create Filters for Multiple Messages

1

Log in to your Gmail account.

2

Click the "Gear" icon and select "Settings" from the drop-down menu.

3

Click the "Filters" tab and select "Create a New Filter."

4

Enter the details for the email address you want to filter. You can enter a sender ("From") or recipient ("To") email address, as well as subject text, or filter emails with specific wording. You can also select the option to filter only emails that have an attachment by checking the "Has Attachment" check box.

5

Click "Create Filter With This Search" and check the box for each action you want the filter to perform.

6

Click "Create Filter." You can also select the option to also apply the filter to matching conversations if you want to filter existing messages that meet the parameters of the new filter.

About the Author

Avery Martin holds a Bachelor of Music in opera performance and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies. As a professional writer, she has written for Education.com, Samsung and IBM. Martin contributed English translations for a collection of Japanese poems by Misuzu Kaneko. She has worked as an educator in Japan, and she runs a private voice studio out of her home. She writes about education, music and travel.

Photo Credits

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