Managing Email

Managing Gmail accounts can seem overwhelming, but this free lesson can make it easier. Learn all about managing accounts here.

Creating filters

Filters can save you a lot of time by automatically performing actions like labeling or deleting messages as soon as they arrive in your inbox. You can create filters that look for a specific sender, recipient, subject, or specific words that are contained in the body of the email.

Watch the video below to learn how to create filters and search for an email message.

To create a filter:

  1. Open an email message. Ideally, this message should be similar to the emails you want to filter.
    Selecting a message
  2. Click the More actions button, then select Filter messages like these.
    Filtering similar messages
  3. In the box that appears, type one or more search criteria. One or more fields may already be filled in based on the email you opened, but you can edit the criteria if necessary. In this example, we're only looking for messages that are from Facebook. Click Create filter with this search to select actions you want to apply to the filter.
    Filtering messages by sender
  4. Place a check mark next to the desired action. If you want to apply a label, you'll need to choose the label from the drop-down menu.
  5. If you want to apply the filter to existing messages that meet the criteria, place a check mark next to Also apply filter to (x) conversations below.
  6. Click Create Filter. In this example, the Facebook label will be applied to any new messages you receive from Facebook, as well as all of the existing ones.
    Choosing an action and creating the filter

To edit or delete filters:

  1. In the top-right corner of the page, click the gear icon, then select Settings.
    Going to Settings
  2. Click Filters and Blocked Addresses at the top of the screen to view a list of filters that are currently active. You can then edit or delete the desired filters.
    Managing filters

Search mail

The search mail feature allows you to perform a Google search in your email. This means you can find any message, no matter how new or old. It searches every part of the message, so you can find a message even if you don't remember who sent it or if you never labeled it.

To search for a message:

  1. At the top of the page, type some search terms in the Gmail search box, then click the search button.
    Searching for a message
  2. Your inbox will display your search results. You can click an email to read it, or you can try a different search.
    Clicking on a search result

If you're still not finding what you're looking for, you can click Show search options to perform an advanced search.

Showing search options


For this challenge, you will need an email in your inbox. If you completed the previous lesson's challenges, you can use those emails. If not, send yourself an email by putting your email address as the recipient.

  1. Open an email you sent yourself, create a label, and name it Practice.
  2. Change the label color to purple.
  3. Create a filter to only show emails you have sent yourself.
  4. When you're finished, your inbox should look something like this:
    managing challenge
  5. Optional: Archive one of your emails.