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Using the Filter feature to organize Google Mail

Anyone who receives a lot of emails knows that it can quickly get overwhelming to go through all of them and decide what to do with each one. The Google Filters feature helps by letting you set criteria for automatically handling certain types of messages. For example, it can mark messages from your instructors as Important or delete messages that you know are spam.

To set up filters

  • Click on the Settings icon.  From the pull-down list, choose “Settings.”

  • From the Settings menu   
    Menu with "Filters and Blocked Addresses" highlighted

    choose “Filters and Blocked Addresses.” The following screen will appear:
Filters and Blocked Addresses screen

  •  Click on “Create a new filter.” The following pop-up dialog will appear:
    New Filter dialog, with the following fields: From, To, Subject, Has the words, Doesn't have, Has attachment (checkbox), Don't include chats (checkbox), Size (two combo boxes and a text field)

  • Type in the criteria you want the filter to affect. For example, if you want to create a filter based on all email from sssegal@umich.edu, you would type “sssegal@umich.edu” into the From field.

  • As soon as you have entered a criterion, the “Create filter with this search” text will appear in blue in the bottom right corner of the dialog. When you have finished entering criteria, click on this “Create filter” text. The following pop-up dialog will appear:  
Create filter dialog with multiple checkbox options

  •  Let’s say you want all emails from this address marked as both Read and Important, so that you don’t have to handle them right away but can find them if you search for Important messages later. You would click on both the “Mark as read” and “Always mark it as important” checkboxes. If you wanted this filter applied to existing messages, you would click on the “Also apply filter to matching conversations” checkbox. Finally, you would click on the “Create filter” button.
  •  The next time you go into the Settings screens and choose Filters, the filter you just created automatically appears on your list:


Filter screen showing filter for handling email from sssegal

Note that there are options for editing or deleting the filter.

 

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