Working with remote and in-office colleagues? Learn how to thrive in hybrid work environments.

Get started with Gmail

Organize your inbox

Want to get more out of Google apps at work or school?  Sign up for a free Google Workspace trial


Manage email with labels and filters and move email out of your inbox.

In this section:

1 Switch to labels from folders
2 Create labels
3 Apply labels
4 Add filters
5 Star important email
6 Snooze email
7 Archive or delete email messages 

1 Switch to labels from folders


In other email programs, you might have stored email in folders. In Gmail, you use labels to categorize your email. Labels are like folders, but with a twist—you can apply several labels to an email, then later find the email by clicking any of its labels from the left panel. You can also search by label.

You can use labels to:

  • Track the status of people's tasks. For example, create the labels Laura: In Progress and Laura: Done to indicate email that Laura is working on or has completed.
  • Organize email by nesting labels like subfolders. For example, create the label Tasks. Under Tasks, create nested labels by person.
  • Identify email that needs follow-up.
  • Identify email that can be read later.

Access labels on the left

2 Create labels


1 Create a label:

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. At the top right, click Settings ""and thenSee all settings.
  3. Click the Labels tab.
  4. Scroll to the Labels section and click Create new label.
  5. Enter the label name and click Create.
    • Gmail label names can be up to 225 characters long.
    • You can also create nested labels, which are like subfolders.

2 Create a label from an email:

  1. From an email, click LabelsLabeland thenCreate new.
  2. Enter the label name and click Create.
  3. (Optional) Click Nest label under and choose an existing label to place it under.

    The new label automatically applies to your email.

Create a label from email

3 Apply labels


1 Apply labels to email:
  1. In your inbox, check the boxes next to the email you want to apply a label to.
  2. Click Labels Label.
  3. Check the boxes next to the labels you want to add and click Apply.
2 Apply a color to a label:
  1. In the left panel, point to a label and click More More.
  2. Point to Label color and choose a color. Or, click Add custom color.

    The change instantly applies to all email with that label.

  3. (Optional) To remove a label color, point to Label color and click Remove color.
  4. (Optional) To see all email with a particular label, in the left panel, click the label’s name.
3 Move email from your inbox to a label:
  1. In your inbox, check the boxes next to the email you want to move into a label.
  2. Click Move to Move to.
  3. Click the label you want to move your email to.
Apply, color-code, and move email to labels

4 Add filters


Manage your incoming email automatically with Gmail’s filters.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. In the search box at the top, click Show search options "".
  3. Enter your search criteria. If you want to check that your search worked correctly, see what emails show up by clicking Search.
  4. At the bottom of the search window, click Create filter.
  5. Choose what you’d like the filter to do.
  6. Click Create filter.

For tips on applying common filters, see Gmail filter ideas.

Click arrow to create a filter

5 Star important email


Want to flag an important email? Click Star Star next to an email in your inbox or an email within a conversation.

To see all your starred email, in the left sidebar, click Starred.

Flag email with a star

6 Snooze email


Postpone email to a future date or time that's more convenient for you.

  1. Open Gmail and point to an email.
  2. On the right, click Snooze Snooze.
  3. Under Snooze until, choose a time.

    The email automatically snoozes and moves out of your inbox. You will get a reminder about the snoozed email after the specified time.

  4. (Optional) To see all snoozed email, click Snoozed in the left sidebar.
Put email in Snoozed section and set a reminder to open it later

7 Archive or delete email messages


Archived email messages move out of your inbox but stay under All mail, so that you can find them later. Deleted email messages move to the Trash and get permanently deleted after 30 days.

To archive or delete email, select one or more email. At the top, click ArchiveArchiveor DeleteDelete. Or, you can point to a single email and click ArchiveArchiveor DeleteDelete.

Emails are selected, and archive and delete features appear highlighted

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center