Create a Folder in GMAIL?

I want to create a new folder in gmail to move some emails to, like you can do in yahoo. Is this possible?


The Gmail way is to search, not sort. The closest thing you can do to a folder is create a “label” (there’s a link on the left side of the gmail screen) which allows you to see all the emails that contain a particular word.

You control what is labeled. So labeling an email really has the same effect as creating a folder and moving the email there. The advantage to using labels instead of folders is that you can ‘file’ an email under many different labels.

You can do so if you use an IMAP client, such as Thunderbird.

You use the same “label” technique mentioned above to tag your emails. Then you will see the labels magically appear in your IMAP client as folders.

You can then drag messages between the folders in Thunderbird (or Apple Mail) and the Gmail IMAP magic handles all kinds of gymnastics with labeling.

It’s quirky but it works good enough for me, and I see folders on my iPhone.

Ok, I labeled a few emails. I just started using gmail, so I can see the newly labeled emails. Once I have many emails, this won’t be possible. Can I sort by label, or otherwise use some mechanism to go to the labeled, and only the labeled, emails?

On the left side, there should be a list of labels under the heading “Labels”. Click on a label to view only messages tagged with that label.

Thanks all. I love this place.

One thing that hasn’t really been mentioned, and that you might want to know about, is one of the main benefits of labels: the fact that you can assign multiple labels per email to make for easier searching and sorting.

With the old-fashioned folders layout, you generally placed each email in a single folder, based perhaps on who the sender was, or what the year was, or something. With labels, however, you can assign multiple labels to a single email, and that email will come up whenever you click on ANY of those labels.

So, for example, an email from your boss about the Widget project that you’re working on with people from the government might get three labels:

Boss, Widget Project 2008, Government Contracts

or something similar.

I want folders too for what it’s worth.

After you attach a label to something, then hit the “archive” button to move them out of your inbox. When you want to find something, just use the search bar above your inbox, type in anything at all and hit “search mail” and it will toss up any email that contains your search terms. Or if you just want to review everything that has a certain label on it, click on that label in the left hand sidebar dialog. Gmail is awesome! Go play with making email groups, that’s fun too…

control-z, label=folder for all intents and purposes…

Sir, I have used folders. I know folders. Folders are a friend of mine. Labels are not folders. :stuck_out_tongue:

So what’s the difference?

Labels can’t be hierarchical, for one.

ETA: in gmail, anyway

Well, that’s definitely a fair complaint, but as you note, that’s a problem with gmail’s implementation of labels. Ideally, labels should just be a generalization of folders in that an email can be associated with multiple labels instead of a single folder.

Also, a message that’s put into a folder leaves the Inbox. A label is just a filter to show a subset of the Inbox. Normally folders are interspersed with the list of mailboxes; Inbox, Junk, Trash, etc. A folder name is usually shown in bold type when it contains unread messages, which is handy. Gmail already has “folders” like Junk and Trash, it just needs to offer customer folder names.

So what you really want the ability to remove the “Inbox” label from messages.


I don’t want labels! (this reminds me of the Monty Python Spam sketch)

One folder I have at work is Orders. So if I was using Gmail for work I’d want to see the following mailboxes:

Starred (actually I don’t really want this one, seems like that’s more of a filter than a box)
Sent Mail
All Mail

When an order e-mail comes in, it should get filtered to the Orders folder and not to the Inbox.

slightly off-topic, but i only recently found out about this so i’m spreading the word whenever i can: there’s an addon for tbird called zindus that will sync contacts to/from gmail; it’s not perfect, as the two formats don’t match up exactly, but very useful for the most basic contact tidbits (name, email, phone, etc)

So, when an order email comes in you want the Orders label applied to it instead of the Inbox label.

I’m honestly not trying to be a jerk here, I’m trying to break down your preconceptions and demonstrate that labels, properly implemented, are just folders by another name with the extra bit of functionality that you can have multiple labels on a single piece of mail.

Well I suppose IF the different label names were listed with the mailboxes and IF giving a message a label did or could remove it from the Inbox, then yes, that’s effectively folders. Either way that’s not the way Gmail does labels.

I don’t think Gmail is really using labels to separate, for example, the Inbox and Sent folders. I think they’re really folders/mailboxes. Gmail already has functionality to filter incoming mail to the Junk folder/mailbox/filter/ or whatever it is, so what I want is a way to make my own folder/mailbox/filter that acts just like that.