Google Mail: Create and Apply Labels

Before you start…

Labels are Google’s version of email folders. One way that labels differ from folders is that you can give an email multiple labels, where you could only put an email in one folder.

For more information about labels, see the following help pages:

To create new labels

You can create new labels simply through the label sidebar on the Google Mail screen. You can also create sublabels. Sublabels work like labels but are nested under the desired label.  

To create a label:

  1. Navigate to
  2. Click the "Mail" link and login.
  3. From the Mail screen, click the “More” shortcut in the sidebar.
  4. Click “Create new label.”
  5. Enter your label name in the “Please enter a new label name” textbox.
  6. Click [Create].

To create a sublabel (or “nested” label):

  1. Repeat steps 1. to 5. for “To create a new label” above.
  2. Enter the name for your nested label and check the “Nest label under:” box.
  3. Click the drop-down arrow and select the label you would like to nest your new label under.

To apply a label

  1. Check the box next to the message you would like to label.
  2. Click the “Labels” icon in the toolbar above your Inbox.
  3. Check the box next to the label you would like to give to your message.
  4. Click [Apply].


You may notice that the labeled messages are not filed away but instead remain in your Inbox. If you want to move a labeled conversation out of your Inbox, just check the box next to the conversation and click the [Archive] button. This does not delete your conversation.

Keywords: folders, labels, Google, Gmail, email, e-mail, sublabels, nested labels, categorize, use, create, subfolders

Atomic Learning Video

Help Page Feedback

Did this content help you? *

What is your opinion about the content? *

Suggest new content or let us know how we can improve this content (optional):

If you desire a response, please provide your email address (optional):

Leave this field empty