How to Make Gmail Labels

Hands searching through file folders with personal finance documents

 

Elenathewis/Getty Images 

Gmail uses labels to organize mail. When you label an email in Gmail, you're telling Gmail to display the message in a specific folder-like section of your account.

Making your own Gmail label is very easy. You can do so while filtering messages or via the label option in Gmail's settings. However, below, we'll look at how to make a new label in Gmail the easiest way: from the email itself.

Gmail Label Making Instructions

  1. Open the message you want to label.

  2. Click the Labels icon in the toolbar (the button second to the far right, next to the three-dotted menu).

    Gmail label button screenshot
    Jon Fisher 
  3. Click Create new.

    Make new Gmail label
    Jon Fisher
  4. Name the new Gmail label in the first text box.

    New label name in Gmail
    Jon Fisher 

    If you want to put the label within another label for better organization, you can enable Nest label under and choose another label.

  5. Click Create.

You can also label a message you're currently writing by clicking the menu button in the lower right-hand corner of the message. Access the Label submenu to see the current labels and the option to make a new one.

Assigning a Label to Multiple Emails

There are a couple quick methods for labeling multiple emails at once.

Select the Messages

Label multiple Gmail messages
Jon Fisher 

One method for labeling multiple emails at once is to select each one by putting a check in the box off to the left. Then, click the Labels button in the menu at the top of Gmail, and check the boxes next to each label those messages to have. Or, use Create new to assign a new label to the emails.

Search for the Emails

Searching Gmail for emails to label
Jon Fisher 

You can also use the search function to pull up a list of messages you'd like to label. This is especially handy if you have a large number of emails that you want to collect under a specific label.

For example, you might search subject:order so that you can gather online orders into your own Online Purchases label. Then, with all of those emails listed, you can use the Select button on the left side of the menu to highlight all of them. Applying one or more labels is as easy as going through the Labels button.

If you have a very large number of messages, not all of them will appear in the displayed list. To highlight all of them, click Select all conversations that match this search, displayed below the menu and above the emails.

How to Undo a Gmail Label

Screenshot showing how to remove a Gmail label from an email
Jon Fisher

Removing a label from an email is as simple as using the Label button to uncheck the label. Or, you can click the small x next to the label at the top of the email.

How to Delete a Gmail Label

Delete multiple Gmail labels
Jon Fisher

It's good practice to delete unused and unneeded labels. Labels are a great organization tool, but having too many will clutter your left pane menu and can make Gmail run slowly.

To delete Gmail labels, just open the Labels settings via the Gmail menu (Settings > Labels), and then click remove next to the labels.

Deleting a Gmail label won't delete the messages that were using it but it will delete the label itself, so you won't be able to assign emails that label unless you re-create it.