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Create rules to filter your emails

You can manage your incoming mail using Gmail’s filters to send email to a label, or archive, delete, star, or automatically forward your mail. 

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

Note: When you create a filter to forward messages, only new messages will be affected. ​Additionally, when someone replies to a message you've filtered, the reply will only be filtered if it meets the same search criteria. 

Use a particular message to create a filter

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Check the checkbox next to the email you want. 
  3. Click More.
  4. Click Filter messages like these.
  5. Enter your filter criteria.
Edit or delete filters
  1. Open Gmail.
  2. At the top right, click Settings Settings.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click Filters and Blocked Addresses.
  5. Find the filter you'd like to change.
  6. Click edit or delete to remove the filter. If you’re editing the filter, click Continue when you’re done editing.
  7. Click Update filter.

You can create as many filters as you like, but only 20 filters can forward to other addresses. 

Export or import filters

If you're a filter pro and have a great filter system that you want to use in another account or share with a friend, you can export and import filters.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. At the top right, click Settings Settings.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click Filters and Blocked Addresses.
  5. Check the box next to the filter. 

Export a filter

  1. At the bottom of the page, click Export
  2. This will give you a .xml file, which you can edit in a text editor if you'd like.

Import a filter

  1. At the bottom of the page, click Import filters
  2. Choose the file with the filter you'd like to import.
  3. Click Open file.
  4. Click Create filters

Vivian is a Gmail expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback about this help page.

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