How to Make Gmail Labels

Create custom email folders to group messages by category

What to Know

  • In the message window, select the Labels icon, then select Create New. Enter a name for your label, then select Create.
  • To add a label to multiple messages, select the emails in the reading pane, and then select the Labels icon from the menu bar.
  • To undo a label, select the Labels icon, then uncheck the label. Delete a label: Go to Settings > See all Settings > Labels and select Remove.

This article explains how to add, search for, and remove labels for Gmail messages. Gmail labels act as category subfolders so you can keep your email messages organized.

Gmail Label Making Instructions

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 making a new label in Gmail the easiest way: from the email itself.

You can also label a message you're currently writing by selecting 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.

  1. Open a Gmail message and select the Labels icon.

    Gmail message with Labels icon highlighted
  2. Select Create new.

    Gmail label option box with Create New highlighted
  3. Enter a label name, then select Create.

    Label create box with name field and "Create" highlighted

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

Assigning a Label to Multiple Emails

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

Select the Messages

Gmail messages checked with Labels icon highlighted

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, select Labels 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

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.

Searching Gmail for emails to label with Security highlighted in the search field

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

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

Gmail message with checked label highlighted

How to Delete a Gmail Label

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, open the Labels settings via the Gmail menu (Settings > See all Settings > Labels), and then select 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.

Gmail label settings with Remove highlighted above a label
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