How to Create Filters in Gmail

by Melissa Hincha-Ownby

Gmail, Google’s web-based email, is one of the most popular and robust web-based email programs on the Internet. Gmail users can customize their email in a variety of ways, but one of the most efficient tools that Gmail offers users is the filter tool. Here's how you create filters in Gmail.

Launch your web browser and go to the Gmail website. Log in to your Gmail account.

Click on the “Create a Filter” link which is next to the “Search the Web” button.

Enter the information that you would like to filter. You can filter by where or who an incoming email is from, which email address it is sent to, keywords in the subject, keywords in the text and if the email doesn’t have a filtered criteria.

Click on the “Test Search” button after entering your filter information. You will want to verify that the emails you were trying to filter show up in the test search. If they do not, you will need to tweak the filter options and perform another test search. After confirming that the emails are filtering properly, click on the “Next Step” button.

Choose the action that you would like Gmail to take on the email that fits the filter’s requirements. Your options are to have the email auto archive (which skips the inbox completely), mark the email as read, add a star to the email, apply a label to the email, forward the email to a specific address or delete the email.

Place a check mark in the box that will apply the filter to the emails that were identified in the test search if you would like Gmail to apply the filter to existing messages, as well as incoming messages.

Click on the “Create Filter” button and Gmail will apply the filter to new messages.


  • check Use the Gmail labels system to filter your emails into a group based on your specific filter options.
  • check If you use Gmail to access several different email accounts, consider using labels to filter the various emails for one click access to your various accounts.

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About the Author

Melissa Hincha-Ownby has been providing web content since 2006. Hincha-Ownby writes for a variety of online publications including the Mother Nature Network, Suite 101, and "Attachment Parenting International." Hincha-Ownby is entering her final semester in the Technical Communication program at Arizona State University.

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