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How to create folders and labels in Gmail

It's the best way to keep your Gmail organized.

Published onAugust 18, 2023

When looking for an email in your Gmail account, the most common method is to search for it in the Gmail search box. But if you’re a bit of an obsessive organization fanatic, you may be a fan of labeling too, which is Gmail’s version of folders. Here’s how to create labels and folders in Gmail.


To create Gmail labels, go to your left-hand sidebar and choose to Create new label at the bottom (you may need to click the More link to see it). You can also access the label-creating function in Gmail Settings in the Labels section.


How to create folders and labels in Gmail (Android and iOS)

The label-making process for Android and iOS is identical. First, tap on the three horizontal lines in the top-left-hand corner of the screen. This will open up your menu.

signoutgmail ios1

Scroll down to the bottom of your label list, and you will see an option called + Create new. Choose that.

gmail labels ios

You’ll now be invited to name your new label.

gmail label create ios

The Gmail mobile app doesn’t allow you to customize the label with a color or to change an existing color. You would need Gmail on the desktop for that.

How to create folders and labels in Gmail (desktop)

The title is a bit of a misnomer because, in Gmail, a folder and a label are the same things. Applying a label to a Gmail email is no different than if you stuck that email into a folder. It’s still being categorized and organized so that you can find it again easily later. So to avoid any confusion, we’re going to drop the word “folder” and focus solely on the term “label” instead.

Making labels in Gmail is very easy, and there are two ways you can go about it. The fastest way is to go to your Gmail interface’s left sidebar and click Create new label. Depending on how many labels you already have there, you may have to click the More button to see Create new label.

gmail create new label

When you click on Create new label, it will bring up a small box where you can type the name of your new label. If you want to make it a sub-label (under another one), tick Nest label under and choose the label you want to put the new one under. This can be changed later if necessary.

gmail create new label box

Once the label has been made, you’ll see it in the left-hand sidebar and all your other labels. You can now customize your new label with a unique color, when to show the label, edit it, and delete it.

gmail label customization

The second method of making a Gmail label is to go to the Labels page in Settings. But it leads you to the same label creation box. So doing it the first way is a lot faster, with fewer clicks.

gmail labels section

Now you’ve made your new label, it’s time to set up a filter so emails automatically get sent to that label.


You can either view them on the left-hand side of the Gmail screen (in the sidebar), or you can go to the Labels section in Gmail settings. On Gmail mobile, you need to tap the three horizontal lines at the top of the screen to reveal the sidebar and the labels.

Absolutely nothing at all. All three terms mean the same thing. However, Gmail prefers the term ‘labels’.

You can either delete the label from the sidebar or from the Labels section in Settings. On the mobile app, you need to go into the settings and find the label options. The emails inside that label remain unaffected.

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