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How to create folders in Gmail

How to create folders in Gmail
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

One of the most commonly Googled questions about email is how to create folders in Gmail. The truth is that that’s technically impossible. There’s no "folder" creation option because Gmail doesn’t have folders. But what it does have is basically the same thing: labels.

Labels essentially work the same way as folders in other email providers, so this is how to use them to make your messages more manageable.

1. Head to Gmail’s settings 

As ever, your journey starts at Gmail.com, so log in on a desktop or laptop computer. From there, you want the settings, so press the cog in the top right-hand corner. 

Step 1: How to create folders in Gmail

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

2. See all settings 

An expanded menu will pop up. Press the large button labelled “See all settings.” 

Step 2: How to create folders in Gmail

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

3. Switch to the “Labels” tab 

Remember that Gmail insists on calling folders “labels”. With that in mind, click the second table on the top, below the “Settings” title: it’s called “Labels.”

Step 3: How to create folders in Gmail

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

4. Find the option to create a new label 

Scroll to the very bottom of the page, and you’ll find a button labelled “Create new label”. Click it. 

Step 4: How to create folders in Gmail

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

5. Give your label a title 

A pop up will appear giving you the opportunity to give your label a title. Type in something memorable.

Note that you also have the option to “nest labels” here — basically create subfolders within folders. If you want to do this, use the drop-down menu to pick where you want your new label to live.

Step 5: How to create folders in Gmail

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

6.  Your folder is now live! 

You may need to refresh the page, but your new folder should appear in the left-hand panel of your inbox, ready to be used. 

Step 6: How to create folders in Gmail

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

 7. Fill your folder 

There are a few ways to do this, but the easiest way to start out is to simply drag and drop. Move the emails you want in that folder by dragging them from your inbox to the newly created section.

Step 7: How to create folders in Gmail

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

Alternatively, you can label emails as they come in by pressing the label icon (the last one in the row next to the three vertical dots) and then ticking how it should be labelled like so:

Step 8: How to create folders in Gmail

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

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