How To Move Emails Directly Into Folders Using Gmail

Sage Knows IT: Moving Emails from Inbox to Labels using Gmail

One of the most useful features of Microsoft Outlook was the ability to automatically route emails from your inbox into individual folders based on a set of parameters.  This was especially useful to me when sifting out a manager’s request from the sea of emails from clients.  As many people and organizations transition from off the self (OTS) products to cloud base solutions such as Gmail, some may find it difficult to apply similar features. 

The Difference Between Outlook Folders & Gmail Labels

Before we start organizing our emails, it is important to understand the subtle difference between Folders in Outlook and Labels in GMail.

In Outlook, folders act similar to the Windows Desktop environment.  They are a container that allows for the storage of emails, files and other attachments. Other than the .PST file, the content within the folder only resides in that folder.  The user has the ability to drag and drop emails from one location in the inbox to another or use automation through Rules.

In lieu of Folders, Google assigns Labels to each email.  By default when a Label is assigned to an email, the contents of the email remains in the Inbox.  Unlike Outlook, the user cannot drag and drop emails from the inbox into the labels.  However, through automation, it is possible to remove emails from the Inbox and assign them to Labels with the use of Filters.

YouTube: How to Move Emails Directly Into Folders Using Gmail Labels and Filters

Creating Filters in Gmail

If you are familiar with Outlook’s Rules, then you will be no stranger to Filters. Filters allow users to set parameters and allow automation.  In the example below, we will be filtering out all emails from the twitter domain (i.e. and assigning them a label called, Twitter.

Gmail: Filter Search Bar
  • In The Search Bar at the top, click Show Search Options
  • In the From section, type (or any domain you wish to use)
    • Please note, that if you use just twitter in the “Has the words” section, it will filter all emails that have twitter listed in them including unrelated emails with twitter social handles
  • Be sure that Search section shows All Mail then click on, Create Filter

The next screen will have a list of filter options.

Filter Options

Filter OptionAction
Skip The Inbox (Archive IT)Moves Emails from Inbox to Archive Folder; does not delete emails
Mark As ReadMarks Emails as Read
Star ItApplies a star to emails with designated parameters
Apply the Label:Applies existing or new labels to emails with designated parameters
Forward ItForwards Email to designated address
Delete ItDeletes Email
Never Send it to SpamDesignates all emails with parameters as not spam
Always Mark It As ImportantDesignates all emails fitting parameter as important; Similar to Star option
Never Mark It As ImportantDesignatesal emails with parameter as not important
Categorize as:Assigns emails to Google preset parameters
Also Apply Filter to Matching ConversationsApplies all actions elected above to existing emails; Similar to Outlook feature “Run Now”

Select The Following Options:

  • Skip the Inbox (Archive It)
  • Apply the label: Choose label
    • Using the drop down box, select New Label
    • Type a Label Name (i.e. Twitter), then click Create
  • Also apply filter to matching conversations
    • This option is important as it will apply the filter to existing emails.  With this unchecked, it will only apply to future emails.
  • Click Create Filter
Gmail: Filter Options

If you have a large inbox, it may take a few seconds for it to refresh.   All emails in your existing inbox will disappear and be tagged with the label you elected.  On the left hand side, you can click on your Label and all the emails will now be available with a count of unread emails, similar to Outlook.  

Changing the Label Color in Gmail

If you want to change the color of the Labels to make it more eye-popping, hover your mouse over the Label of choice (i.e. Twitter) and you should see three dots to the right.

  • Select the ellipsis (three vertical dots) next to the Label
  • Under Label color, select the color of choice
Gmail: Label Color options

How to Amend or Delete Existing Filters in Gmail

Should you make a mistake in your filter setup or want to delete the filter, Google makes it easy to implement changes.  

  • Click on the settings gear on the upper right portion of Gmail 
  • Select See All Settings and then go to Filters and Blocked Addresses tab
    • All filters created will be present here
    • Under, This following filters are applied to all incoming mail, choose edit to make changes to your existing filter or delete to remove the filter completely.

Filters and Labels in Gmail are an excellent way to keep your inbox free from clutter. For more helpful tips or to contribute to the community, be sure to join the YouTube community.

To support this blog, this post may contain affiliate links. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information.
Drawing on over two decades of experience in the Information Technology industry, I have acquired a diverse range of roles that have shaped my distinctive outlook. Through this journey, I have developed into an accomplished authority in risk management, catering to Fortune 500 companies and small businesses on a global scale. Over the past 12 years, my primary focus has centered on empowering small business owners and insurance professionals to comprehend the ramifications of cyber incidents and effectively mitigate the risks associated with potential data breaches. My passion for cybersecurity has inspired me to create the Sage Knows IT blog. Through this platform, I aim to help small business owners and aspiring IT professionals understand the roadmap of the IT industry based on my experiences. Information Technology and Information Security are crucial for our future, and I hope my blog will motivate those who are interested in joining this ever-evolving field.

Related Posts

Title Image: AI Security Realities: Rethinking PII as the Sole Indicator

AI Security Realities: Rethinking PII as the Sole Risk Indicator

During a client meeting, I addressed misconceptions about cybersecurity, especially the notion that absence of PII equates to no risk. I discussed how cyber threats extend beyond data theft to include system vulnerabilities that could disrupt operations and impact users, citing the SolarWinds and New York Times attacks as examples. I explained that comprehensive assessments are crucial for understanding broader cybersecurity risks, not just those involving PII. Additionally, I highlighted the importance of protecting AI models from poisoning, underscoring the need for robust security measures in AI development.

Exploring the Apple MacBook Air M2: Performance, Display, and Real User Insights

The Apple MacBook Air 15.3-inch (M2 Chip) has burst onto the scene as a true gem in Apple’s collection, boasting an enticing fusion of chic aesthetics, robust performance, and impressive features. With its expansive Liquid Retina display, potent M2 chip, and a host of standout attributes, this laptop demands attention

Client Confidence Crisis: How Neglecting Security Practices Can Drive Customers Away

In today’s digital landscape, establishing an Information Systems Security Program (ISSP) is no longer optional but a crucial necessity for organizations. This blog post explores the vital importance of implementing an ISSP early on and understanding the factors that influence its establishment and modification. Senior management’s role in championing ISSPs is emphasized, as their buy-in and recognition of its significance set the tone for organizational security practices.

However, misconceptions and flawed reasoning often hinder the adoption of robust security measures. From the belief that “it will never happen to us” to relying solely on insurance coverage, these notions can prove detrimental to an organization’s security posture. Furthermore, assumptions that clients don’t care about security or that the cloud provides ultimate protection are debunked, shedding light on the evolving expectations and regulations surrounding data protection.

The ugly truth emerges as we delve into the constant threat of internet vulnerability scans and the risks organizations face when vulnerabilities are discovered. This post aims to dismantle these flawed mindsets, highlighting the need for a comprehensive security approach beyond insurance coverage and the importance of addressing vulnerabilities proactively.

Stay tuned for the upcoming parts of this conversation, where we will explore additional influential factors and provide insights into developing effective ISSPs. Together, let’s navigate the complex world of system security and ensure the protection of your organization’s invaluable assets.

Maximizing Email Security: Understanding the Importance of DKIM, SPF, and DMARC

Email is a crucial part of our daily lives, but unfortunately, it’s also a popular target for cybercriminals who use various tactics like spam, phishing, and spoofing to scam people. The FTC recently issued a warning to users of MetaMask and PayPal about phishing scams that are currently circulating through fake emails. The scam claims that the user’s cryptocurrency wallet has been blocked and encourages them to click a link and update their wallet to prevent the loss of their crypto. To protect email users from these threats, authentication protocols like DKIM, SPF, and DMARC are strongly recommended.

Investigating the FAA Outage: Separating Fact from Fiction

On January 11th, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) experienced a nationwide outage that caused widespread delays and cancellations for flights across the United States. The outage was caused by a problem with the FAA’s NOTAM (Notice To Air Mission) system.

NOTAMs are messages issued by the FAA to provide pilots with important information about flight restrictions, hazards, and other critical information. The NOTAM system is a critical component of the FAA’s air traffic control infrastructure, and the outage caused a ripple effect throughout the entire aviation system.

Creating Your Wireless Workspace in 2023

As more and more of us work remotely or from home, having a wireless workspace has become increasingly important. Not only does it allow for greater flexibility and mobility, but it can also help declutter your desk and make your work environment more efficient.