How to Create Folders in Gmail, Subfolders and Nested Labels

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You can not only create folders in Gmail to stay organized, but set up folders of (nested) Gmail folders as well to keep your labels sorted.

Gmail Folders Better Organized. With Gmail Folders

One label (or folder) for mom, one for dad, one label for this project and another folder for that.

To organize email, Gmail's labels are impeccably useful: you can add any conversation to any number of labels, after all, and create as many labels as you need.

Now, of course, you have to organize these labels or folders. To organize labels, Gmail's—labels are pretty useful: you can nest them, after all, in a hierarchy of folders.

Create Folders in Gmail, Subfolders and Nested Labels

To set up a subfolder or nested label in Gmail:

  1. Click the Settings gear icon () near Gmail's top right corner.
  2. Follow the Settings link in the menu that comes up.
  3. Go to the Labels tab.
  4. To create a new nested label:
    1. Click Create new label under Labels.
    2. Type the new label's desired name under Please enter a new label name:.
  5. To move an existing label beneath another label:
    1. Click edit under Actions for the label you want to move.
  6. Make sure Nest label under: is checked in the New Label or Edit Label dialog.
  7. Pick the label under which you want the label to reside from the Please select a parent… menu.
  8. Click Create or Save.

Move a Gmail Folder to the Top or Turn It into a Subfolder

To move any label and make it the sub-folder of another or move it to the top level:

  1. Click edit in the Actions column for the label you want to move.
  2. To move the label beneath another label:
    1. Make sure Nest label under: is checked.
    2. Select the label under which you want to see the label under ​Please select a parent….
  3. To move the label to the top:
    1. Make sure Nest label under: is not checked.
  1. Click Save.

A parent label will become bold in Gmail when any of its sub-labels contains an unread message.

(Creating nested folders tested with Gmail in a desktop browser)