How to Filter Emails in Gmail

Are you suffering from email overload? Some of its symptoms include a seemingly unstoppable barrage of marketing emails, the inability to distinguish legitimate messages from spam, and insufficient free inbox storage space. If so, this article is here to help you declutter your inbox with Gmail email filters and Clean Email, a powerful bulk inbox organizer compatible with all main email service providers.

Why Are Gmail Email Filters Important?

With Gmail, a free email service developed by Google, you get 15 GB of storage for free, but there’s a flip side to having so much storage available for your messages. Most people never delete old emails, and you might be surprised just how quickly they add up. An average message is about 75KB in size, but that’s not counting pictures, attachments, and complex formatting.

What’s worse, Gmail storage space is shared among all Google applications, including Google Drive and Google Photos. That’s right. If you upload 10,000 pictures, each 1 MB large, to Google Photos, you’re left with only 5 GB of storage for your messages and files.

You could, of course, pay Google for extra storage space, but there’s a better solution how to get more storage space: Gmail email filters.

Simply put, Gmail email filters are Gmail rules that are automatically applied to new emails. Gmail filter emails may go straight to your email archive, they may be labeled, categorized, or even deleted. When you mark an email as spam, you actually create a Gmail email filter that is executed every time a new message from the same sender arrives.

Now that you know what they are, you’re probably anxious to know how to automatically filter emails in Gmail, and that’s exactly what the following chapter is all about.

How to Filter Out Emails in Gmail

There’s a native way how to filter out emails in Gmail, but it requires some explaining. To create a filter in Gmail:

  1. Go to your mailbox account.
  2. Click the Show Search Options sliders on the right side of the search bar.
How to filter emails in Gmail webHow to filter emails in Gmail web
  1. Specify your filter criteria.
  1. Click the Create filter button.
  2. Filter created in Gmail

If you prefer to use Gmail on your mobile device instead, follow the steps below to learn how to filter emails in Gmail on Android and iOS:

  1. Open a web browser on your mobile device.
  2. Visit the HTML version of Gmail:
  3. Scroll down until you reach the bottom and switch to the desktop version.
  4. Select the Create a filter option next to the search bar.
  5. Specify the criteria you would like to use for determining what do with a message when it arrives.
  6. You can test your filter if you want to, or you can move to the next step straight away.
  7. Select the action you would like to take on messages that match your search criteria.
  8. Click Create Filter.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that Gmail developers are planning to introduce support for filters in the Gmail mobile app anytime soon, making third-party solutions the only way to make the process of creating filters in Gmail on mobile devices a bit easier.

How to Remove Filters in Gmail

Here’s what you need to if you ever decide to remove a filter in Gmail on desktop:

  1. Go to your Gmail account.
  2. Click the Settings icon in Gmail and select the See all settings option.
  3. See all settings in Gmail
  4. Click Filters and Blocked Addresses.
  5. Find the filter you want to remove and click the Delete button next to it.

Here’s how to do the same on a mobile device:

  1. Open a web browser on your mobile device.
  2. Visit the HTML version of Gmail:
  3. Scroll down until you reach the bottom and switch to the desktop version.
  4. Click Settings in the top-right corner.
  5. Switch to the Filters tab.
  6. Find the filter you want to remove and click the Delete button next to it.

As you can see, it’s a lot of work to learn how to work with filters in Gmail, and their capabilities are quite limited. Fortunately, there’s Clean Email, and easy-to-use bulk email cleaner with sophisticated automation features that makes native Gmail filters look clunky and outdated.

Benefits of Using Clean Email

Clean Email takes Gmail email filters and inbox management to another level with its smart algorithms and powerful automation features. When you give Clean Email the permission to analyze your Gmail inbox (don’t worry its algorithms only analyze email headers that contain subject line, sender and recipient information, dates, message size, and similar metadata), it groups similar messages into easy-to-review bundles (so-called Smart Folders) that you can then remove, archive, move, label, and more with a simple click.

Clean Email can create Smart Folders for seasonal sales, online shopping emails, messages where you are copied, miscellaneous notifications, your Top senders, messages to yourself, finance and insurance emails, social notifications and notifications from productivity tools, travel emails, and more.

Smart Folders feature in Clean EmailSmart Folders feature in Clean Email

With the app's Auto Clean feature, you get the option to create rules to automate your routine email tasks. You can, for example, automatically move all emails from Facebook to a different folder or block all the upcoming messages from the unwanted domain you no longer want to receive. All you need is to specify the rule's criteria, choose an action to be applied to these messages, and confirm to create the rule.

Automatically block emails with Auto Clean featureAutomatically block emails with Auto Clean feature

Thanks to its intuitive user interface, which makes all of Gmail's features easy to understand, learning how to filter unread emails in Gmail or how to filter incoming emails in Gmail using Clean Email is effortless. Best of all, you can try Clean Email for free to test all premium features, and it works with all IMAP-based email services, including Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud, Fastmail, AOL, Office 365, and others.

Clean Email works with all service providersClean Email works with all service providers

Follow our guide on how to filter emails in Yahoo or how to use filters in Outlook.


You don’t want your inbox to turn into a pile of spam and advertising, with a few legitimate messages worth reading buried somewhere deep down. To prevent this from happening, you must step up your email management game and learn how to take full advantage of Gmail email filters. If you don’t have time to learn how they work, you should do yourself a favor and use Clean Email instead. With it, you can set up automatic email filters with just a few clicks and clean up your inbox beyond recognition.

How to Filter Emails in Gmail - FAQs

Why use Gmail filters?

Gmail filters can help you significantly reduce the amount of time you spend handling incoming messages. For example, you can create Gmail filters to automatically label all work-related emails accordingly, mark all emails from certain senders as spam, or forward emails from a specified contact to someone else. In fact, we would go as far as to say that there’s no reason to not use filters since their benefits are so great.

How are Gmail filters different from labels?

Gmail filters and labels serve two completely different purposes. The purpose of filters is to automatically manage incoming email messages. For example, Gmail filters can be used to archive or delete emails that meet certain criteria. On the other hand, you can think of labels in Gmail as a more versatile alternative to folders. They help you keep your inbox organized by allowing you to categorize your emails so that you don’t always have to go through your entire inbox when you want to open a specific message.

How to filter emails in Gmail?

Filtering emails in Gmail is relatively easy once you’re familiar with the process:
1. Click the Down arrow in the search box at the top.
2. Enter your search criteria.
3. Click Create filter at the bottom.
4. Specify what you want your filter to do.
5. Click Create filter again to create the filter.

Where are my Gmail filters?

Gmail filters can be found in the Filters and Blocked Addresses section of Settings. Here’s what you need to do to access them:
1. Click the Settings icon in Gmail.
2. Select the See all settings option.
3. Click Filters and Blocked Addresses.

How to filter emails in Gmail using Clean Email?

Many Gmail users who use filters on a regular basis sooner or later start looking for a more efficient way to create and manage them. One solution that allows creating filters with a simple click is called Clean Email, and here’s how you can use its Smart Folders to quickly organize your inbox:
1. Go to: and sign in to your mailbox.
3. Select the desired Smart Folder in the left pane.
4. Choose any email sender or all of the messages in this Smart Folder group. Click Create Rule at the action panel and specify the rule's criteria for how to filter incoming messages matching the rule. Click Create Rule again and the filter is set.

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