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2. Organize your inbox

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

In this section:

2.1 Switch to labels from folders
2.2 Create labels
2.3 Apply labels
2.4 Add filters
2.5 Star important email
2.6 Snooze email
2.7 Archive or delete email

2.1 Switch to labels from folders

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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:

  • Open a label in the left sidebar to see all email with that label.
  • Nest labels within labels.
  • Search for all email with a label.
  • Set up your inbox as you prefer:
    • See labels on email in your inbox to quickly identify different types of email.
    • Auto-archive email to route it away from your inbox, as you did with rules and folders.

Access labels on the left

2.2 Create labels

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1 Create a label:

  1. In the top right, click SettingsSettingsand select Settings.
  2. Click the Labels tab.
  3. Scroll to the Labels section and click Create new label.
  4. Enter the label name and click Create.

    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

2.3 Apply labels

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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 LabelsLabel.
  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 MoreMore.
  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

2.4 Add filters

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Manage your incoming email automatically with Gmail’s filters.

  1. In the search box at the top, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
  2. Enter your search criteria.
  3. At the bottom of the search window, click Create filter.
  4. Choose what you’d like the filter to do.
  5. Click Create filter.

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

Click arrow to create a filter

2.5 Star important email

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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

2.6 Snooze email

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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 SnoozeSnooze.
  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

2.7 Archive or delete email

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Archived email move out of your inbox but stay under All mail, so that you can find them later. Deleted email 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

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