Google Mail: Organize Labels

Before you start...

Labels are Google's version of folders. They do everything that folders do, but you can apply more than one label to a message. You can organize what and how labels appear in the mail sidebar in a variety of ways.

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

To choose which labels appear in the sidebar

Google sets up "system labels," including "Important," Drafts," "Starred," and more, so if there are ones that you won't use often or at all, you can choose to hide them from the sidebar. You can also hide custom labels.

  1. In Google Mail, click the gear-shaped [Settings] icon and click “Settings” from the resulting menu.
  2. Click the [Labels] tab.
  3. Click "show" or "hide" next to each label to determine whether it will be shown in the sidebar of your mail screen.

To move labels to and from the "More" sidebar section

Another way to organize labels is by placing labels you don’t use often in the “More” section of the label sidebar. To view the “More” section, click “More” immediately below your labels. To hide the “More” section, click “Less.”

  • To move a label to the “More” sidebar section, hover over the desired label and click and drag it to the word “More.” If the “More” section is open, drag the label anywhere beneath the word “Less.”
  • To move a label from the “More” sidebar section, hover over the desired label and click and drag the label anywhere above the word “Less.”

To organize labels in sidebar by personal priority

Google Mail does not allow you to simply drag labels to where you want them to be in the sidebar. But because Google Mail orders labels alphabetically and numerically, you can add either a letter or a number to the beginning of each label to make Google Mail order them as desired. For example, change “Work” to “A – Work” or “1 – Work.” And then change “Home” to “B – Home” or “2 – Home.”

  • Letters: Add a letter to the beginning of each label. Add “A” to the label you want at the top, “B” to the label you want directly below that, and so on.
  • Numbers: Add a number to the beginning of each label. Add “1” to the label you want at the top, “2” to the label you want directly below that, and so on.

View the help page for editing and deleting labels for instructions on how to change a label name.

Note:

Do not use both letters and numbers to organize labels in the sidebar by personal priority. Use only one or the other.

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