How to Add a Folder in Gmail

Left image
Carl Paige

If you don’t know how to add a folder in Gmail — whether on the desktop version or mobile app — your inbox will look like a cluttered mess. With folders, you can streamline your inbox and enhance your email productivity.

While in other email programs like Yahoo, emails are stored in folders, labels are used for categorizing your emails in Gmail. To gain control over your inbox and ensure it looks neat at all times, it’s crucial to learn how to add a folder in Gmail.

Labels in Gmail are like folders. However, you can apply many labels to your email and then search for the email later on in the left panel by pressing any of the labels.

To take control of your Gmail inbox and make sure it doesn’t look disorganized each time you receive a new message, here’s a guide on how to add a folder in Gmail.

How to Add a Folder in Gmail

How to Add a Folder in Gmail

You can create folders in Gmail in two ways:

On desktop

  • Visit the Gmail website and sign in to your account if it’s logged out
  • At the upper-right corner of the screen, hit the Settings icon (with the gear shape)
  • Press See All Settings
  • Scroll to the Labels tab and click the Create New Label option
  • Supply the name of the label you want to create
  • Click Create
  • To make the new label nest under an existing label (such as a sub-folder), tap on the box next to the Nest label and choose the folder that the new label should go into.

Note: If you’re visiting the site on your phone’s browser, ensure it’s in desktop mode.

On the mobile app

  • On your mobile device, open the Gmail app
  • Sign in to your account if it’s logged out
  • To access the menu, press the three horizontal lines on the upper-left of the screen
  • Navigate to the Labels section and press Create new
  • In the drop-down menu that pops up, supply the name (a maximum of 225 characters) you want to give to the label
  • Press Done

With these steps, you can create a folder in your Gmail both on the web and the mobile app.

How to create folders for future emails

Gmail also lets you create folders automatically for future emails, thereby allowing you to avoid the trouble of having to assign emails to folders manually.

To use this feature, simply create automatic email filters. These are the steps to do so:

On the web

  • Go to the Gmail website, navigate to the top of the screen, and press Show more options in the search bar
  • To make future emails from a particular email address re-directed to a selected folder automatically, supply that email address in the From field of the drop-down menu on the screen
  • Once you do this, all future emails from the email address will enter the folder you selected automatically
  • You may also select other criteria to get a more restrictive filter
  • When you’re done, hit the Create Filter button
  • On the next page, click the Apply the Label icon to add a label to the emails
  • Select the specific label to apply
  • Click the Create filter, and Gmail will send all incoming emails from the chosen email address to the specific folder you selected.

On the mobile app

This feature is only available on iOS devices.

  • Launch the Gmail app
  • Hit the Menu icon
  • Scroll down and tap on Settings
  • Select the Gmail account in question
  • Tap on Label settings from the list of options in the Settings menu
  • From the list of labels, press the label name of the specific folder
  • Tap on Add in the next label window
  • Enter a name or email in the From field
  • Tap on Add to include other criteria such as a keyword
  • Click on Save

Now, specific emails from the email address will be sent automatically to the Gmail folder.

How to create, apply, and manage your Gmail labels with ease

These are also key aspects to note while learning how to add a folder in Gmail.

Here’s how to apply the label to email:

  • In the inbox, you should check the boxes beside the email you seek to apply a label to
  • Click on the Label
  • Check the boxes beside the labels you seek to add
  • Tap on Apply

Those are the simple steps to apply a label to an email.

Here’s how to apply a color to a label:

  • Point to a specific label in the left panel and tap on More
  • Point to Label color and pick one of the colors displayed
  • Or tap Add custom color

This change will apply immediately to all emails with that label.

Here’s how to edit or remove a label:

On desktop

  • In the inbox, hit the Settings icon and press See all settings
  • In the Labels section, navigate to Labels
  • Tap the label name to edit labels in Gmail, and supply the new name
  • Press Enter
  • To remove a label, hit the corresponding Remove button in the Actions section and tap on Delete

On the app

  • In the app, hit the three horizontal lines in the upper-right corner
  • Press Settings
  • On the next window, choose the email address you seek to apply this change to
  • Go to the next page and choose Label settings for the emails in the Labels section
  • On the next window, choose the label you want to edit or remove
  • Click on the Name field to input a new name
  • Or Click on Delete [label name] to remove the label

Gmail labels vs folders

Unlike in other email programs where emails are stored in folders, labels are used for categorizing emails in Gmail. While labels are like folders, you can apply many labels to your emails and search for the emails later on by tapping on their labels from the left panel.

How to use folders on the Gmail web app

Some labels are set up already in a way like folders. For instance, the Spam folder works by bypassing the Inbox & Primary tab.

For the majority of other labels, make use of the Move to the icon that looks like a folder to use it as a Gmail folder.

  • Start the procedure with an open message
  • Tap on the Move to button to access the Move to the drop-down menu
  • Choose the folder you intend to move the message to from the list
  • This action will move the message from the Inbox & Primary tab and into the specific label you selected

How to use folders on the Gmail mobile app

  • Open the Gmail app
  • Open the message you want to move into a different label
  • Hit the More option (the three-dot icon) at the upper-right corner of the page
  • Tap on Change labels
  • Select the label you want to use for the message in the list

Wrap up

The tips on how to add a folder in Gmail explained in this guide are easy to apply. By using the tricks above, you can organize emails in Gmail conveniently and create labels when necessary. A well-organized Gmail will make it easy to find important emails for later use.

Other related topics: