Email, Messaging, & Video Calls Email How to Create Rules in Gmail for (Almost) Anything Get your Gmail email organized and keep it that way Share Pin Email Print Email Gmail Yahoo! Mail By Scott Orgera Writer Scott Orgera is a former writer who covering tech since 2007. He has 25+ years experience as a programmer and QA leader, and holds several Microsoft certifications. our editorial process Facebook Twitter Scott Orgera Updated November 11, 2019 76 76 people found this article helpful Apply filters to your Gmail account to control how emails are labeled, to automatically archive or delete messages, or to mark messages with a star. You can even create filters that forward emails to another address or move messages with attached files to a specified folder. There are two ways to create rules that automatically filter email. Create a rule from scratch and enter all the requested information. Or, select one or more emails that meet the criteria for the rule and create a filter based on the header or content details. How to Create a Gmail Rule From Scratch To create a Gmail rule from scratch: Open Gmail in a web browser. Select the Search mail dropdown arrow. In the Search mail screen, select one or more criteria for the new rule: From: Select email from one or more specific senders.To: Specify email sent to one or more specific recipients.Subject: Specify partial or complete text in the message subject line. Has the words: Filter messages based on specific words found in the body of the email.Doesn't have: Filter messages based on specific words that are not found in the body.Size: Filter messages based on size, either greater than or less than a specific baseline measurement.Date within: Filter messages based on when they were sent. Several predefined intervals are available.Search: Limit the filter to specific folders or labels, or specify a search on all mail.Has attachment: Apply the rule only to messages that contain attached files.Don't include chats: Apply the rule to emails only; not to chat conversations. Choose Create filter. To show the list of messages that meet the rule criteria, select Search. Select the check box next to the options that specify the behavior you want to apply to this rule. For example, select the Skip the Inbox (Archive it) check box to automatically archive messages that meet the specified criteria. Select Create filter to activate the new rule. How to Create a Gmail Rule From Existing Emails When you receive an email that you want to automatically move to another folder, mark as read, or delete, create a rule from the selected message. To create a rule from an existing email: Open Gmail in a web browser. Select the check box next to the message that meets the criteria for your new rule. Select More (the three vertically aligned dots on the Gmail toolbar). Choose Filter messages like these. Select or correct the criteria to apply to the new rule. Some options may be pre-populated with details from the selected message. Select Create filter. To show which messages meet the specified criteria, select Search. Select the check box next to the options that specify the behavior you want to apply to the rule. Options include Skip the Inbox (Archive it), Mark as read, Star it, and Delete it. Select Create filter to activate the new rule. How to Manage Rules in Gmail After you create a set of rules, modify or delete rules as your needs change. To manage your Gmail filters: Open Gmail in a web browser. Select Settings (the gear icon). Select Settings. In the Settings screen, choose Filters and Blocked Addresses. To make changes to a rule, select edit. To remove a rule so that it no longer filters your email, select delete. Other Gmail Rules That Help You Stay Organized One of Gmail's features is the ability to construct multiple aliases associated with your primary email address. This can be done with either a plus sign or a period. In either case, email addressed to these aliases is sent to your primary Gmail account. To filter messages from a specified alias, create a rule with the alias as the criteria, then assign behaviors to the rule. To use the plus sign (+): Place it after the main portion of your email address followed by the additional text you want. For example, an alias of email@example.com that is modified to firstname.lastname@example.org can be provided to anyone who wants information about Lifewire articles. You don't need to register this alias with Gmail because Google only uses the characters located before the plus sign to route the message to your inbox.To use a period (.): Place it anywhere in your Gmail address before the @ symbol. Periods are ignored by Google. For example, valid aliases of email@example.com are firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional characters cannot be added.