How to create email rules via filtering in Gmail


Gmail is one of the most powerful third-party email clients by far; even many Apple device users have Gmail accounts.

One of the useful things you can do right from Gmail is create rules via filters, and this lets you do all sorts of things with your email inbox for customizing your experience. We’ll show you how to do that in this tutorial.

Why to create a rule via filter in Gmail

Creating rules via filters allows certain things to happen in an automated fashion without you needing to babysit your email inbox all the time. For example, you can do all of the following things based on certain filter criteria:

  • Automatically archive messages
  • Automatically mark messages as read
  • Automatically star messages
  • Automatically apply labels to messages
  • Automatically forward messages
  • Automatically delete messages
  • Never send similar messages to the spam folder
  • Automatically categorize messages

As you can see, the list is quite extensive. One of my favorite reasons to use rules via filters in Gmail is to automatically delete messages from annoying people so I don’t have to later on.

How to do it

If any of the above functions look appealing to you, then you’re probably itching to know how to do it. Here are the steps:

1) Log into Gmail from your favorite web browser and open your inbox.

2) In the search bar, click on the drop-down arrow.

Gmail Drop Down Arrow

3) Now enter your search criteria to filter by:

Gmail Search Criteria

It’s typically good to filter by a specific email address, but you can also filter by any of the following:

  • Who an email is from
  • Who an email is to
  • The subject of a message
  • Contains a certain set of words
  • Doesn’t contain a certain set of words
  • Contains an attachment
  • Excluding chats
  • By certain storage size
  • Creation date

4) Once satisfied with what you’re filtering by, click on the blue Magnifying Glass button at the bottom left.

5) Now you will have to choose what happens to emails that meet your filter criteria. This is known as setting rules:

Filter Type Gmail

6) Make your rule selection based on what you want to do, then click on the blue Create Filter button at the bottom left.

Now any time you send or receive emails that meet your filter criteria, your rules will be applied to those email messages.

Even if you’re using Apple’s Mail app instead of the Gmail app or website on your device, your rules will be applied before they even hit your inbox in the Mail app, so this is an incredibly useful feature to know.

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Will you be setting up any rules via filters for your Gmail inbox? Share in the comments!