Gmail Filters Explained


Filters are one of the coolest and my favorite feature that Gmail has to offer. If you setup Filters properly, they can provide real ease in email management. Filters help you saving time and space when it comes to unwanted emails in your inbox, and introduce you to multi-functionality of Gmail. As per my understanding no other email service provides feature like Filters. Filter has two parts in first one you setup a query and in second part you decide what to do with mails that showed up as a result or even in future. Filters can be little frustrating if you don’t know how to make them work properly. In this article I will try to explain Filters, and how they can make your life easier by cutting many jobs to be done manually.


Click on Settings Link on top right corner of your Gmail account.

Click on Filters tab to open it, if you don’t setup any filters yet then it’s going to be a blank page.

Find yourself create a new filter link; click it to create a new filter.

You will be taken to next page; here you can see five input boxes labeled as From, To, Subject, Has the Words, Doesn’t have, one check box labeled as Has Attachment and three buttons labeled as Cancel, Test Search and Next Step.

This is it; now you have to build some query and test it to ensure its working properly.

From Field:

The From Field is to deal with mails you getting from one or more source. For instance if you are getting lots of forwarded mails from different email id(s), you can put those email id(s) in From Field and do whatever you want to do with them. You can assign Label, Archive or even delete without even looking at them.

To Field:

This field can be used for both incoming and outgoing mails. If you want to create a filter for mail addressing, this is a field where you have to add your id. If you want to handle outgoing mails to one or more ids you have to add that particular id here. When this step is done you can Label, Archive, Forward or even delete it.

Subject Field:

This field works as a search box, you can add word(s) or phrase and Gmail will keep a check on all mails.

Has the words and Doesn’t have Field:

You can add word(s) or phrase in this field and Gmail will search for given query in all mails.

Has Attachment Check box:

Click and you will be able to see only mails that have attachments with them.

When you have your query built simply click Test Search to see they are working right or not. When you are done click Next Step button to proceed. Now you need to indicate an action to be implemented on the results. Gmail offers you seven different actions that you can apply. Since these are checkboxes, you can have one or more actions applied to the searched results. Furthermore, the actions are executed not only on new incoming messages but also on older ones residing in your inbox.

Actions to be chosen for Gmail filters

* Skip the Inbox: archive the email message

* Mark as read: marks the email message as read – does not appear in bold in your Inbox

* Star it

* Apply the label: Select and apply a label to the email message

* Forward it to: forwards the email message to another account that you specify

* Delete it: deletes the email message

* Never send it to Spam

Final Words

If you are subscriber of any mailing list you can make filter of it in just one click. This is what you have to do, open that message, click on show detail button, their you can see option of mailing list. In front of it you can see a link Filter messages from this mailing list, click and you will directed to filter page, here you can test search and then you are done with it. Do remember you can create Labels for newly created filter right their.

You can have as many email filters as you want in Gmail. However, going overboard would be a waste of time and resources. Gmail filters are there to help you managing emails and be more productive so use them wisely.