One of the most sought-after features offered by Gmail is that of its filters. It can add loads of functionality to your Gmail account, enhancing the user experience immensely.

Gmail allows you to manage your incoming emails using its filters to send an email to a label, or archive, delete, star, or forward it automatically.

Gmail filters help you save time and effort and rid your inbox of unwanted emails from time to time.

Here, we look at the various ways by which you can make the best use of this convenient feature.

How to Use Gmail Filters

Creating a filter

  1. Open your Gmail account and in the search box at the top, click the down arrow.

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2. Now enter your search criteria. If you want to check if your search worked correctly, see what emails show up after you’ve clicked on “Search“.

3. At the bottom of the search window, select “Create filter“.

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4. Choose how you would like the filter to work.

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5. Now click “Create filter“.

Note: When you create a filter to forward your emails, it will apply only to the new emails.

Further, when someone replies to an email that’s been filtered, the reply will be filtered only if its search criteria are the same as the first email.

Using a particular email to create a filter

You can also create a filter for emails similar to the one you’re reading. Follow these steps to create a filter from within an email:

  1. Head over to the drop-down menu next to Reply.
  2. Select Filter messages like this.

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  1. Enter your desired filter criteria in the appropriate field(s).

Although you are free to create an unlimited number of filters, only 20 of them can be forwarded to other addresses at a time. Thus, combining several filters can be a useful way to maximize your filtered forwarding.

Applying the same filter to multiple senders

A particular filter can be used to manage emails from a number of different email addresses. Proceed as follows:

  1. Go to your Gmail account and click Create a filter at the top of any Gmail page.
  2. Enter each sender’s address in the From: field by adding parentheses around everything listed in the field.

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  1. Enter the other filter criteria in the appropriate fields, and then click Next Step.
  2. Check the box next to the action of your preference.

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5. Finally click Create Filter.

Editing or deleting filters

  1. Navigate to the top right of your Gmail account.
  2. Click Settings > See all settings.

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3. Select Filters and Blocked Addresses and then choose the filter you want to change.

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  1. Click Edit or Delete to remove the filter.

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5. Then click Update filter or OK.

Exporting or importing filters

If you have a great filter system in your account, you may want to use it in other accounts or share it with people. Here’s how to do it:

Export a filter

  1. Go to your Gmail account and at the top right, click Settings > See all settings.
  2. Now select Filters and Blocked Addresses.

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  1. Check the box next to the filter.
  2. At the bottom of the page, choose Export.

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  1. You will now get a .xml document, which can be edited in a text editor.

Import a filter

  1. Follow the first three steps from the previous section.
  2. At the bottom of the page, choose Import filters.

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  1. Now select the file with the filter you wish to import.
  2. Click Open file > Create filters.


Given above are the various ways by which you can make the best use of this convenient feature. These will really help you keep your inbox organized.

We always welcome any questions from you. Cheers!

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