How to Filter Emails in Gmail

Today, more than ever, managing your email inbox efficiently is an absolute must. With countless messages pouring in daily, it's easy to become overwhelmed and lose track of the important stuff. One way to help combat this is by filtering emails, helping you sort through the chaos and keep your inbox more organized. Lucky for you, there are a couple ways to achieve this, depending on your needs and use-case.

In this article, we'll dig into the benefits of filtering emails in Gmail and explore how you can better manage your inbox with help from Block Sender. Get ready to conquer your inbox like a pro!

Setting up Filters in Gmail

Before we get into the ✨ exciting world of filters ✨, there are a few steps you'll need to follow in order to set up any filters. We'll start by accessing the settings page.

Accessing Gmail Settings

To access your settings page in Gmail, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Gmail account and sign in if you haven't already.
  2. Click on the gear icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. From the dropdown menu, select "See all settings."

You're now in the settings area where you can start creating filters.

Creating a New Filter

Ready to create your first Gmail filter? Just follow these steps:

  1. Enter your search criteria

From the settings page, click on the "Filters and Blocked Addresses" tab. Then hit the "Create a new filter" button at the bottom of the page. A pop-up window will appear at the top, asking you to enter your search criteria. This is where you'll enter the criteria for the emails you want to filter. You can filter by sender, recipients, subject, keywords, and more. The more specific you are, the more accurate your filter will be.

  1. Choosing actions for the filter

Once you've set your search criteria, click on "Create filter" in the bottom-right corner of the pop-up window. Now you'll be able to choose what actions you want the filter to perform on the emails that match your criteria. Some common actions include marking emails as read, archiving, applying labels, forwarding, and deleting.

If you are trying to avoid unwanted emails from getting to your inbox, for example, you'll want to check the "Delete it" option.

  1. Applying the filter to existing emails

Before you click the "Create filter" button to finalize your new rule, you have the option to apply the filter to existing emails in your inbox that match the criteria. To do this, simply check the box next to "Also apply filter to matching conversations." This will help in cleaning up your inbox of previous emails you've received.

And that's it! You've created your first filter in Gmail. Your inbox is about to get a whole lot more organized!

Editing or Deleting Filters

At some point you might change your mind or realize you filtered the wrong thing. If you need to make any changes, just follow these steps:

  1. Head back to the "Filters and Blocked Addresses" tab in your Gmail settings.
  2. Find the filter you want to edit or delete in the list.
  3. Click "edit" to modify the filter, or "delete" to remove it entirely. If you're editing, you'll see the same pop-up window as when you created the filter. Make your changes, and then click "Continue" and "Update filter."

Once this is done, your changes should take effect immediately.

Common Filters

Now let's look at some common filters that can help you keep your inbox clutter-free. Feel free to use these examples as inspiration to create your own filters.

  1. Filtering by sender

This is one of the most common types of filters, especially when it comes to blocking emails. You can create a filter to automatically archive, delete, or label a particular address's messages. Just enter their email address in the "From" field when creating a new filter and choose the action you want to apply.

  1. Filtering by subject or keyword

Need to organize emails based on a certain subject or keyword? Just enter the subject or keyword in the "Subject" or "Has the words" fields when creating a new filter. This will help you sort out those things like newsletters, work emails, or project updates.

  1. Filtering by attachments

If you frequently receive emails with attachments, you can create a filter to automatically label, archive, or delete them based on whether the email has an attachment or the attachment's size. This can be especially helpful if you're prone to receiving malicious attachments that you don't want to accidentally open.

In the search criteria, check the box next to "Has attachment" and, optionally, enter the size in the "Size" or "Size larger than" fields.

Now that we've seen how to create simple filters in Gmail, let's take a look at Block Sender and how to we make it even easier.

Filtering Emails with Block Sender

If you thought Gmail filters were helpful, wait until you see how Block Sender works. We take email filtering to the next level, making it a breeze to block unwanted senders and take even more control over your inbox.

Block Sender comes packed with features that'll make you wonder how you ever managed your inbox without it. Here are some of the benefits you'll enjoy when using this app:

  1. Easy integration with Gmail
  2. Block emails by sender, domain, subject, keywords, or IP address
  3. Create custom bounce-back messages for blocked senders
  4. Share blocks between many email addresses
  5. Temporarily disable filters when needed

Create your Account

Getting started is easy. You can sign up in one of two ways:

  1. Click "Install" in the upper right-hand corner of this page. This will take you to either the Chrome Web Store or Firefox Add-ons page where you can install the Block Sender browser extension, which helps you create blocks right from your inbox.
  2. Or go to the main page and click "Sign Up Now"

Connecting your Email

Before you start creating filters, you'll need to connect your account with your Gmail account. Don't worry – it's super easy. Here's how:

  1. Log in to your Block Sender account.
  2. Click on "Link an account" and select "Gmail/G Suite"
  3. You'll be redirected to a Google sign-in page. Sign in with the Gmail account you'd like to connect.
  4. Grant Block Sender the necessary permissions to manage your email filters.

Note: Block Sender will never store, share, or sell your data to anyone. Please see our Privacy Policy for more details.

And that's it! Your Gmail account is now connected and you're ready to de-clutter your inbox.

Creating Filters

Now that you're all set up, let's see how to create some filters. With this app, there are quite a few blocking optins. To name a few:

  • Block by sender's email address
  • Block by domain
  • Block by subject or keywords
  • Block by IP address

With these options, you can block specific senders, entire domains (to get rid of those annoying promo emails), or even IP addresses that send lots of spam.

To create a filter in the dashboard, go to the Blocks page and click the "+" button. Choose the block type you want, the thing you want to block, and click "Create".

Once you've created your filters, they're easy to manage as well. Pause one or all of them with a single click.

Advanced Features

Block Sender isn't just about blocking emails – it also offers some pretty sweet advanced features:

Bounce-Back Messages

Let's say you have someone who won't leave you alone via email. Blocking their emails is a great step, but with Block Sender you can take it a step further and make them think that your email account doesn't exist anymore. To do this, when creating a block, simply select "Yes, bounce back the email". Now when the sender emails you, they'll receive back a reply that looks identical to Gmail's automated bounce-back response for non-existant accounts.

Sharing Filters

Need to block similar emails on another email account? This can be done with Block Sender by sharing filters across all of your linked accounts. Just link the additional Gmail account and add the existing filter(s) to the new email. Now there's no more need to do the same work twice and create the same filters among your many Gmail accounts.

So there you have it – the ins and outs of filtering emails in Gmail and Block Sender. With these tips and tricks, you'll be well on your way to making your inbox something you no longer dread opening.

Tips for Effective Filtering

Now that you're familiar with Block Sender's filtering features, let's talk about some tips to make your email filtering as effective as possible.

Being Specific

When creating filters, the more specific you are with your criteria, the more accurate your filters will be. Whether it's sender, domain, subject, keyword, or IP address, make sure you're using precise terms to avoid accidentally filtering out important emails.

For example, you wouldn't want to filter on the keyword "Hello", otherwise many of your emails will likely be filtered from your inbox.

Reviewing and Updating Filters

As your email habits change, it's important to keep your filters up-to-date. Regularly review your filters to ensure they're still relevant and effective. This will help you ensure you're receiving all of the emails you want, and none of the emails you don't want.

Combining Gmail and Block Sender

Why not get the best of both worlds? Use Gmail's built-in filters alongside Block Sender's to create a powerful filtering system tailored to your needs. With their combined features, you'll have a highly efficient and customized inbox management system.

Organizing Filtered Emails Using Labels and Folders

Once you've filtered your emails, it's essential to keep them organized using labels and folders. This will make it easier to locate specific emails and manage different categories of messages. With filters, you can apply labels or move filtered emails to specific folders, so take advantage of these features to maintain a tidy and easily navigable inbox.


In this article, we've explored various methods for filtering emails in Gmail and utilizing the Block Sender to enhance your inbox management capabilities. From setting up filters in Gmail and creating powerful blocks with Block Sender, to maintaining a clutter-free inbox, we've covered much of what you need to know to get your email under control.

We encourage you to revisit the filtering techniques discussed in this article and apply them to your own inbox. As you become more adept at filtering emails and keeping your inbox organized, you'll find that managing your email communications becomes a breeze.

Last Updated: April 25th, 2023
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