How to Search in Gmail Labels

Use this shortcut to quickly view emails by any label

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Gmail labels are like folders where your emails are organized. Since they're treated like folders, you can search through the labels to quickly find emails that have already been categorized.

There are a couple ways to search through Gmail labels, one of which is even a keyboard shortcut that lets you pull up labeled emails in seconds.

The instructions below apply to default labels and custom labels you've already built. Learn how to make Gmail labels if you want more.

Keyboard Shortcut for Gmail Labels

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

  1. Press g and then l on your keyboard (that's a lowercase "L").

    Immediately, the focus will jump to the search bar at the top of Gmail.

  2. Begin typing 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 start viewing the emails in that label.

  5. Press Space after the label name and type whatever it is you want to search for within that label.

There are lots of ways to search for emails in Gmail. For example, you can 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 lays out every single label on the left side of the screen. This makes opening them really easy, and searching is as straightforward as typing in the search box.

You can locate the label you want to open from the left side of the screen. Select it to instantly begin viewing the emails labeled as such.

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. Since labels can be hidden in Gmail, you might also have to use the More option at the bottom of the sidebar to find the one you're after.

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 you've called "Bank."

Gmail search bar with

Although a bid harder to do, Gmail labels can also be opened via 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, so you could type bank or BANK and still reach the same emails.

Depending on the name of the label, Gmail might add characters in 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.