The Ultimate Guide to Creating Rules in Gmail and Automating Your Email Workflow

It is estimated that billions of people use email daily to communicate for personal and professional purposes, but they don’t know how to create rules in Gmail and always have struggle with cluttered mail in their account.

Consequently, a disorganized inbox can become unwieldy and make even the simplest tasks seem impossible.

Furthermore, if this sounds familiar, it’s time to start using Gmail rules to organize your inbox.

In fact, Gmail’s powerful rules feature lets you automatically sort incoming emails so you always know where to find what you’re looking for.

  • Firstly, open Gmail and enter your desired search criteria in the search bar.
  • Secondly, click show search options (down arrow in the search bar).
  • Next, refine your search criteria using the additional options available.
  • Then, click create filter at the bottom of the search options window.
  • After that, follow steps 4 and 5 in option 1 to choose actions for filtered emails and create the filter.

By creating custom filters based on criteria like senders, subject lines, attachments, and more, you can ensure the right emails end up in the most important folders.

Consequently, follow the methods mentioned in the sections below to create rules in Gmail.  

How to create Gmail rules from scratch ?

There are several easy methods to customize how your emails are handled through Gmail Rules.

To begin, one approach is to create new rules from scratch. Furthermore, follow below mentioned steps to create a Gmail rule from scratch.  

  • Firstly, open Gmail in a web browser and click the Settings gear icon at the top right. Furthermore, from the drop-down menu, click See all settings.
open settings to create rules in Gmail
  • Secondly, click the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab, and then click Create a New Filter.
  • Subsequently, specify your criteria for the rule, such as sender, subject, words, size, date, etc. You can also use a particular message to create a filter by selecting it and clicking More > Filter messages like these.
  • Then, click Create filter with this search and choose the desired actions for emails that match your criteria, such as tag, archive, delete, star, or forward.
specify your preferred criteria for rules to create rules in Gmail then click create filter
  • Next, click Create Filter to activate the new rule. You can also apply the filter to existing messages by checking the Also apply filter to matching conversations box.
  • Following that, you can edit or delete your filters by going to the Filters & Blocked Addresses tab and clicking Edit or Delete next to the filter you want to change.
you can edit your rules from the options and click create filter to activate rules in Gmail
  • Additionally, you can also export or import filters from this tab by clicking Export or Import Filters at the bottom of the page.

Note: Forward filters apply only to new messages. Therefore, if someone replies to a filtered message, the filter will consequently work on the response only if it matches the same criteria.

Also Check: How to mark all as read in Gmail ?

How to create Gmail rules from existing Emails ?

In addition to having the option to proactively create new Gmail rules from scratch by defining your own search criteria, Gmail also subsequently allows users to generate filters directly using emails that have already arrived and consequently been stored in their inbox.

Follow below mentioned steps to create Gmail rules from existing Emails:

  • First, open Gmail in a web browser and select the checkbox next to the message that meets the criteria for your new rule.
select the checkbox for the email you want to create rules in gmail
  • Then, click more (the three vertically aligned dots on the Gmail toolbar) and choose Filter messages like these.
Click on three dot icon and choose filter like these to create new rules in Gmail
  • Next, review and adjust the rule criteria, such as sender, subject, words, size, date, etc.
  •  Moreover, you can also use the Search Mail drop-down arrow to enter more advanced criteria.
  • Subsequently, click Create Filter and select the desired actions for emails that match your criteria, such as tag, archive, delete, star, or forward.
select desired actions for rules and click on create
  • Finally, click Create Filter again to activate the new rule. You can also apply the filter to existing messages by checking the Also apply filter to matching conversations box.
click Create Filter again to activate the new rule

Also check: How to delete all unread emails in Gmail ?

How to manage your Gmail Rules effectively ?

Gmail Rules are a powerful feature that allows you to automate your email workflow and keep your inbox organized.

Furthermore, after you create your Gmail rules, you need to manage them. Whether you want to modify, delete, or simply check the Gmail rules that apply to your inbox, you can do so easily.

However, managing your Gmail rules can be complicated if you have too many or if they conflict with each other.

Consequently, follow below mentioned methods to manage your Gmail rule effectively:

Edit or delete filters

  • First, open the email that you want to use as the basis for the new filter.
  • Next, select the checkbox next to the email so that it is highlighted.
  • Then, click the “More” menu icon at the top of the email.
  • Afterwards, choose “Filter messages like this” from the drop-down options.
  • Subsequently, this will automatically populate the filter criteria fields with details of the selected email.
  • Then, review the criteria and modify the fields as necessary.
  • Following that, select the desired action for emails that match the criteria, such as “Archive.”
  • Finally, click “Create Filter” to save the new rule using the example email parameters.

Export or import filters

In addition to creating and managing filters within your Gmail account, you also subsequently have the option to backup your existing filters by exporting them or restore filters to a new account by importing a backup.

To export filters

  • First, open Gmail and go to Settings > See all settings.
  • Next, select “Filters and blocked addresses“.
  • Then, Select “Export Filters” from the bottom of the page.
  • Finally, save the .csv file for your records.

To import filters

  • First, sign in to the Gmail account where you want to restore filters.
  • Next, go to Settings > See all settings > Filters and blocked addresses
  • Then, click “Import Filters“.
  • Afterwards, select the .csv file containing your exported filters.
  • In last, your filters will now be restored to that account.

Also Check: How to fix Gmail filters not working ?

What are some other Gmail tricks to stay organized ?

Gmail is more than just an email service. It also offers many features and shortcuts that can help you manage your inbox and increase your productivity.

Follow below mentioned methods to know more tricks to stay organized your mail:


Use labels liberally: Instead of relying solely on folders, create labels for different categories of emails (e.g. work, personal, finance, receipts).

Color Coded Labels: Assign different colors to your labels for easier visual identification.

Nested Tags: Create nested tags to further categorize your emails within broader categories.

Automatically apply labels: Use rules to automatically apply labels based on specific criteria (for example, sender, subject).


Highlight important emails: Mark important emails with stars for quick access.

Create star-based search filters: Quickly find all featured emails using search filters.


Snooze Emails: Snooze emails for later if you can’t attend to them right away.

Snooze Options: Choose to snooze emails for specific times or to the next day, weekend, or month.


Mark all as read: Quickly clear the unread badge by marking all emails as read.

Focus on unread: Use the “Unread first” option to prioritize unread emails in your inbox.


Gmail rules are a great way to automate your email workflow and keep your inbox organized.

Furthermore, you can create Gmail rules from scratch or from existing emails and customize them to suit your needs.

For example, you can create a rule to automatically tag and archive all the newsletters you receive or to forward important messages from your boss to your phone.

Consequently, by using Gmail rules, you can save time, reduce stress, and focus on what’s most important.


Frequently Asked Question’s (FAQ’s)

How to create rules in Gmail App ?

Unfortunately, the Gmail app on both iPhone and Android currently does not offer a built-in feature to create and manage filters directly within the app.

How do I make certain emails go directly into a folder in Gmail ?

Create a filter to automatically move emails that match specific criteria to a folder.
Apply a label to individual emails to move them to a designated folder.

How do I automatically move emails to a folder in Gmail app ?

Unfortunately, the Gmail app lacks automatic email movement features. Set up rules in the desktop version of Gmail to apply labels and automate sorting across platforms, or explore third-party apps like Spark or Mailbox that offer built-in rules functionality for mobile devices.

Content Writer

Smith Ron, the writer at Assistme360. He has extensive experience in crafting straightforward, step-by-step guides for technical issues. His broad knowledge ensures accurate solutions. Kindly spare a moment to drop a comment down and express your opinions. Your feedback can be valuable in assisting others who may come across similar problems.

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