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Helpful Gmail filters
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Tech tips

Bring order to your inbox chaos by setting up these Gmail filters

Are you organizing your inbox with Gmail filters? If not, you should be.

If you dread your inbox clutter, Gmail filters can help you cull the mess and save anything important for later. It keeps your primary inbox free and clear of clutter, enabling you to focus on what you need to accomplish and stay as productive as possible.

Anybody who’s ever wasted time digging through email, new and old, needs to check out Gmail filters. It takes minutes to organize your inbox, and you’ll save tons of time from here on out. Thank us later.

How to use Gmail filters

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

RELATED: Gmail tips and tricks: 10 buried settings and features to try

There are a couple of ways you can set up filters in Gmail. One is right from your inbox. Hit the Show search options icon in the search bar at the top. A filter menu will open immediately that allows to you specify all of the following smart filters:

  • The sender and recipient.
  • The subject’s contents.
  • Keyword inclusions within the body of the email.
  • The size of the email.
  • The date it was sent or received.
  • Whether the email has an attachment.

Here are the exact steps to create a filter:

  • Open Gmail.
  • In the search box at the top, click Show search options. (PssT! Show search options is the icon on the right side of the search bar in your Gmail inbox.)
  • Enter your search criteria. If you want to check that your search worked correctly, see what emails show up by clicking Search. 
  • At the bottom of the search window, click Create filter.
  • Choose what you’d like the filter to do.
  • Click Create filter.

(Note: Only new messages will be impacted when you create a filter to forward messages. ​Also, when someone responds to a message you’ve filtered, the reply will only be filtered if it meets the same search criteria.)

If you’re the victim of endless spam, app emails, and other annoying messages, this is the perfect way to beat the spammers to the punch. With the right filters in place, you won’t have to deal with unnecessary and distracting nonsense.

Your most important messages will all be found in their rightful places, away from the stuff you don’t need to see.

How to create a Gmail filter within a message

The next way to create a filter is from within an email you’ve already received. Here’s how:

  • Open Gmail.
  • Check the checkbox next to the email you want. 
  • Click More.
  • Click Filter messages like these.
  • Enter your filter criteria.
  • Click Create filter.

Gmail filter ideas

What’s the best way to use Google filters? We can think of a few:

  • Prioritizing messages from your most important colleagues.
  • Effortlessly ridding your inbox of unwanted spam and other time-wasting annoyances.
  • You can save all of your receipts, bills, and payment confirmations in one place.
  • You can automatically Star important things to archive — order numbers, tracking numbers, and other things to keep safe.
  • Forwarding messages automatically takes no time out of your day, as does answering messages automatically with a custom, pre-written template.
  • They let you set important reminders.
  • You can arrange different inboxes using different variations of your Gmail address, which can be especially useful for people like small business owners and freelancers.

When stuff that can wait gets archived or relegated to an out-of-sight folder, you’ve got much more energy to expend on the things that matter. Chances are, your inbox is exhausting. Filters are one of the best solutions for productivity and peace of mind.

How to edit or delete Gmail filters

If you don’t like a filter you’ve set up, you can edit or delete it. Here’s how:

  • Open Gmail.
  • At the top right, click Settings See all settings.
  • Click Filters and Blocked Addresses.
  • Find the filter you’d like to change.
  • Click Edit or Delete to remove the filter. If you’re editing the filter, click Continue when you’re done editing.
  • Click Update filter or OK.

You may also like: 10 hidden Gmail features you should be using

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