Filter by Label in Gmail

I have just started playing around with Filters in Gmail. This is one thing that took me some time to figure out, how to filter by label. It turns out it was quite easy, it seems you can use any search string in the “Has the words” field of your filter. To get a label you simply put “label:your-label-name” in there.

You will get a warning: “Warning: Filter searches containing “label:”, “in:”, or “is:” criteria are not recommended, as these criteria will never match incoming mail.”
I think this makes sense as incoming email would not have a label.

More Gmail search options can be found here


  1. I just recently switched to Gmail and I like it. I enjoy starring items, but unfortunately filters don’t work with anything but the normal yellow star, c.f. when setting a filter with the blue-info star via **”has:blue-info”** and applying it to a label called **Information** this information label won’t get refreshed even if I happily apply some blue-info stars to old or new mail.

    Kind of sad that stars are like labels, but miss some of the functions. I have the Information accessibly as a quick link, but it’s kind of pointless since I have the re-apply the filter manually to actually get a list of all my mails which I keep for reference/information.

  2. How can I make gmail perform an action on this filter?

    I want it to forward all emails in the label. But I am only allowed to do the actions when new emails arrive that match the filter. But the emails aren’t in the filter when they arrive. How do I solve this?

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