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Automatically move Gmail messages to another tab



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Emails can get out of hand very quickly. If you want to keep your Gmail inbox tidy, make sure your emails go to the desired inbox tab by creating rules for them (called ‘filters’). Here’s how.

Move emails manually to other tabs

Google does a pretty good job of sorting emails between the auto-sorted inbox tabs (primary, social, promotions). But you may want to send one of your favorite newsletters that keeps getting tucked away in the Promotions tab to the Primary tab so you never miss it.

This is as easy as dragging and dropping the email from one tab to another. First, log into your Gmail account on your desktop. After you are signed in, click the Inbox tab containing the email you want to move.

Then drag the email you want to move to another tab. For example, if a newsletter typically goes to the Promotions tab, you may want to move it. To move the email to the Primary tab, drag the email to the Primary tab.

After it’s moved, a toast message will pop up letting you know the conversation has been moved to the destination tab. It will also ask if you want to move future messages from the sender to the same tab. Click on “Yes”.

Now all future emails from that sender will be sorted by desired tab automatically. However, if you want to do the same for existing emails, you need to create a filter.

Create email filters

You can create filters to automatically move emails to different inbox tabs. To do this, click on the gear icon in the top right corner of the window.

In the ‘Quick settings’ menu, click ‘View all settings’.

You will now be taken to the “Settings” menu of Gmail. Click on the tab “Filters and blocked addresses”.

In the tab “Filters and blocked addresses” there are two sections. In the filter section, click on ‘Create a new filter’.

Once that’s selected, a new menu will appear. Enter the criteria for the emails you want to move here:

  • From: Specify the sender of the email.
  • To: Specify the recipient of the email.
  • Subjects: Words in the subject of the email.
  • Has the words: Messages containing specific keywords.
  • Does not have any: Messages that do not contain certain keywords.
  • Size: Emails that are larger or smaller than a certain size (in bytes, KB or MB).
  • Has attachment: Emails containing attachments.
  • Do not record chats: Exclude chats from the filter.

After entering the filter criteria, click on ‘Create filter’.

Next, you need to specify where you want to move the email when your criteria are met. At the bottom of the window, check the box next to ‘Categorize As’ by clicking on it, then select the down arrow to display a drop-down menu.

Choose the category in which you want the emails to be delivered. In this example we choose the tab ‘Primary’ Inbox.

Note: This filter only applies to incoming emails. If you want to apply it to existing emails, check the box next to ‘Also apply filter to # of matching conversations’ by clicking on it.

Finally, click on ‘Create filter’.

You will then receive a notification that your filter has been successfully created.


While this is certainly a huge step towards organizing your inbox, it is just the beginning. Next, consider creating new folders (known as “labels” in Gmail) and setting up rules for placing emails in those labels as well.

RELATED: Forget Inbox Zero: Use OHIO to triage your emails instead




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