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How to Automatically Move Emails to Folder in Gmail?

We all got so many emails it's difficult to keep up with. It is helpful to organize them into folders rather than to let them accumulate in the inbox. If you are looking for a solution to your overflowing inbox, here are helpful instructions for how to automatically move emails to a folder in Gmail.

Whether for personal use or at work, this Gmail trick is a super helpful organizational tool that will help you clear out the clutter and work your way to a cleaner email inbox.

Continue reading for step by step instructions on how to automatically move emails to folder in Gmail!

Step 1: Create a Filter

In order to automatically move emails to a folder in Gmail, you will need to create a filter.

In order to access the filters please use the follow instructions:

  1. Click on the Gear icon in the upper right

  2. Under the Quick Settings section, click on See all settings

  3. In the tabs across the top, click on Filters and Blocked Addresses

  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Create a new filter

Step 2: Choose the Filter Settings

There are various ways to set up your filter. As you can see in the screenshot below, you can choose from various options to create a filter. Once you've selected your filter criteria, you will click Create filter.

Here are some examples of different filter criteria that you can choose from as described in Google's help article:


Filter Criteria

Label or Action

Apply a label to email from anyone outside of your organization.




​Apply a label to email from anyone inside your organization.

From: *

Example: *


​Apply a label to meeting invitations and skip sending them to the inbox.

For more details, see Use filters to move Calendar responses out of your Gmail inbox.

Has the words:invite.ics

  • ​Calendar

  • Skip the Inbox

​Apply a label to promotional and other types of email and skip sending them to the inbox.

Has the words:

  • category:promotion

  • category:social

  • category:update

  • category:forum

  • ​Promotion

  • Social

  • Update

  • Skip the Inbox

​Apply a label to important email from your manager or anyone you don’t want to miss.





(If you list more than one email address, you must include OR.)



From: OR


​Apply a label to email notifications when someone shares a Drive file with you.

Drive Share

​Apply a label to email marked urgent.





Step 3: Automatically Send Filtered Emails to a Specific Folder

After clicking Create filter in the last step, you'll be prompted to select an action that you want to take with the emails that match the filter criteria.

There are many different options to choose from, but in order to get your emails automatically into a folder you will need to select the following options:

  1. Skip the inbox. This means that these specific emails will not be shown in your inbox at all. They will automatically be filed away in the folder (aka label) you select in the next step.

  2. Apply the label. Gmail does not use the term "folder" for emails. Instead, they use labels. This basically has the same function as a folder except were you to leave "Skip the inbox" unchecked, the email would simply have the label added and you would still get the email in your inbox. If you have not created the label yet, no worries. You simple click on the dropdown next to "Apply the label:" and select New label. You'll then be prompted to create a brand new label.

  3. Also apply filter to # matching messages. The filter will have already scanned your inbox for other messages that match. By checking this box, it will add the label to those messages you already have and move them out of the inbox.

When finished, click on Create filter. Depending on how many messages all ready exist which will be moved, it make take a few seconds for the action to be completed.

Now your emails will be automatically filtered to a folder/label without bogging down your inbox and driving you crazy.

Bonus Gmail Labels Tip

If you decided to leave Skip the inbox unchecked, you can have the label already added to emails that come into the inbox so that you can at least see them first before they are filed away.

Once you are done with the email, simply click the archive button and the email will be moved from the inbox and into that label/folder.

Here is what the archive button looks like:



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