How to Search in Gmail Labels

Use this shortcut to quickly view Gmail emails by any label

Macro of a vinyl colorful organizing case.

vasiliki/Getty Images

Gmail labels are like folders where your emails are organized. Since labels are treated as folders, you can search through the labels to quickly find emails that have already been categorized. There are a couple of ways to search through Gmail labels, one of which is a keyboard shortcut that pulls up labeled emails in seconds.

Instructions in this article apply to default labels and custom labels in Gmail that you've built. Learn how to make Gmail labels if you want more.

Keyboard Shortcut for Gmail Labels

Using the keyboard to open Gmail labels makes the whole process smooth and easy.

  1. Press g and then l (a lowercase L). The focus jumps to the search bar at the top of Gmail.

  2. Enter the name of the label.

    Typing the name of the label in Gmail search field
  3. Use Up and Down arrow keys to highlight the label you want to open.

  4. Press Enter to view the emails in that label.

  5. Press the Space Bar after the label name and enter the text that you want to search for within the label.

There are many ways to search for emails in Gmail. For example, use the subject: search operator to locate only the emails that have a certain word in the subject field.

Other Ways to Search Emails in Labels

Gmail lists labels on the left side of the screen. This makes opening them really easy, and searching is as straightforward as typing in the search box.

Locate the label you want to open from the left side of the screen, then select it to view the emails with that label.

Gmail label/tag clicked on web page

If you've nested labels within other labels, select the small arrow to the left of the parent label to see them. If the labels are hidden in Gmail, use the More option at the bottom of the sidebar to find the one you want.

You can also choose the search bar at the top of Gmail and type label:<name> to open the label. Replace <name> with a real name, like label:bank to open the Gmail label titled "Bank."

Gmail search bar with

Gmail labels can also be opened using their URL. For example, a label called "Deals" can be opened by visiting this page:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#label/deals
Chrome browser with

Gmail labels are not case sensitive. Typing bank or BANK finds the same emails.

Depending on the name of the label, Gmail might add characters to the name when you view the path in the search bar or as a URL. For example, a label called "Banks & Money" reads as "Banks+%26+Money" in URL form and "banks---money" in the search box.