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Using the Label feature to organize Google Mail

In most mail systems, emails can be organized by moving them to folders. You need to set up a folder system and then make decisions about where to place each email that you want to store. This type of system is fairly inflexible. It doesn’t take into account that sometimes you might want to store an email by who sent it, and other times by the topic.

Google Mail uses labels instead of folders, eliminating the need to store emails in just one place. You can assign as many labels to a given piece of email as you like. Then when you search on any label assigned to that message, it will come up in the search results. You can even create your own labels. A Nested Labels feature lets you create a topic hierarchy that may be useful to you in thinking about how you want to assign labels.

Note that the label feature is only available if you are using the browser-based version of Google Mail. It will not be available if you are accessing Google Mail via Outlook, MacMail, or other clients.

How to create labels

  • Open any message.
  • Click on the Label pull-down list Label icon above the message header. A list with your existing label options will appear: 
Pull-down Label list


  • Choose “Create new”. The following dialog box will appear:


Label creation dialog
  •  In the "Please enter a new label name:" field, type the name of the new label. If you want the label to be part of a hierarchy, check the “Nest label under:” box and choose the higher level label name from the pull-down list that appears.

  • Click the “Create” button.

How to add labels to a message

  • Open the message you want to label.

  • Click on the Label pull-down list Label icon above the message header. A list with your existing label options will appear: 
Pull-down Label list


  • Click the box next to each label that you want to assign. An “Apply” option will appear at the bottom of the list. Select this option when you are finished.

How to search for all emails that have a specific label assigned

  • In the Search field, type label: followed by the label name. For example, if you wanted to find all emails that had the label Important, you would type label:Important. Then perform the search as usual.

Your Input 

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If you wish to contact Google directly, we recommend using their accessibility feedback form or joining the Accessibility Google Group.

 

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