What Exactly are Labels?

A Gmail label is a custom tag that you can add to any email you send or receive. Labels are used to keep your inbox in order. The difference between a label and a folder is that you can apply more than one label to a specific message.

Creating a Label in Gmail

Any gmail user can create labels in the mail app. There are two ways to create a label.

  1. “Create a new label” button in the sidebar. It is located at the bottom of the sidebar. To get to it you will click “more”

  1. When you select an email from your inbox, there is a tag icon at the top, just below the search bar. Once you click on it, a drop-down menu will appear where you can add a current label, manage such labels or create a new one.

After you create and/or add a label, you will be able to access from the label list in your left sidebar. You can select multiple labels for each email and can be accessed under different labels.


Moving an Email to a Label


You may want a certain email out of your inbox and only have it appear in under a label. For simplicity, Gmail allows you to drag that email and drop it into one of the label lists you have included in your left sidebar.


An email that only has a label applied will still stay in the primary inbox, but by dragging and dropping the email, it will be moved outside of your primary inbox, but still easily accessible.

Managing Labels

Gmail has a sub label feature, called “nested labels” that are…well, nested under a parent label.


For example, you can create a top level label for “Project Management” and have nested labels for everyone in your team under it.


Creating Nested Labels

Image result for nest label under gmail

You can create a new nest label by clicking “create new label” in the side bar, then nest it under an existing label.




You can click on the little arrow button next to the label name, click “add sub label” from the drop menu that appears.


If you want to change an existing label into a sub label

-click on the same small arrow button

-click “edit” from the drop down menu

-then choose which label you want it nested under.


You can rename a label the same way!

Click “edit” then and a pop-up menu will allow you to edit the name of that label.

Removing a label from an email

If your label is no longer needed, you can remove it just as easily as you applied it.

You can either click the tag icon below the search bar and uncheck the labels for that particular email, or simply by clicking the “X” button next to the name of the label.


Removing Labels in Bulk

  1. Select a label from the left side bar
  2. Check the emails you want the label removed from
  3. Click “remove label” icon



Color Coding Labels

  1. Click the small arrow next to the label
  2. Click “label color” from the drop down menu
  3. Select whatever color you like for the label


Deleting a Label

If your label list is getting a little out of hand, you may want to clean up a bit. Go to your gmail settings by clicking the gear in the top right corner and visit the “Labels” tab


Deleting labels DOES NOT delete messages


How to Automatically Label Emails


Say you want a dedicated label from emails from a specific team member that is Top Priority


  1. Create a new label
  2. Go to your settings in Gmail
  3. Open “Filters and Blocked Addresses
  4. Click “Create new filter
  5. You will want to set a certain criteria for a filter. In this situation, you can add the email address of that specific team member in the “from” field.
  6. Once you are finished, click “create filter”
  7. Once the filter is created you will be prompted to select an action for when the emails arrive.
  8. Click “apply label”


Set Up Filters That Skip Your Inbox


  1. In Gmail, put the keyword or email address you’d like to filter out in the search bar up top. Click enter.
  2. Click the grey drop down menu to the right of the search bar
  3. When the menu drops down, you can refine your search. You can then define what you want the filter to do
  4. Select the appropriate label
  5. Check the box next to “Skip Inbox” (which means archive)
  6. Click “Create Filter” at the bottom


Here is a picture for reference: