How To Create Folders in Gmail: A Step-by-Step Guide

By: on December 2, 2021

Gmail folders (aka labels) allow you to sort emails. Creating labels is a simple process that takes a few steps, but these steps slightly differ depending on whether you’re accessing your account via desktop or a mobile device.

This step-by-step guide will help you achieve maximum Gmail inbox organization, covering :

The basics of Gmail folders

Before creating folders in Gmail, there are a few things you should know:

  • Folders in Gmail are called labels
  • All folders (labels) can be found in your inbox sidebar
  • After creating a label, you can choose which emails to move to that folder
  • You can organize your labels so they nest within/under another label (equivalent to a parent folder) via your computer; the mobile app doesn’t allow parent label creation

How to create a new folder in Gmail on your computer

From your desktop, there are two options for creating a new Gmail folder.

Option 1: Creating a new folder in Gmail via the sidebar

  1. Open Gmail on your desktop/computer and log in to your account.
  2. Find the list of existing labels on the left side of your screen (the menu begins with Inbox and includes folders such as Starred, Sent, and Drafts).
  3. Scroll down to the end of the list, and click on “More” to expand the complete menu.
at the bottom of the menu and folder list, click more to expand all options.
Click “More” at the bottom of the list to expand all folders and menu options
  1. Next, click “+ Create new label.”
click on the +create new label option
Click “+ Create new label”
  1. In the pop-up screen, name your new folder and click create. Gmail label names can be up to 225 characters long.
in the pop-up window, name your new folder then click create
Title your new folder/label in the pop-up window

Option 2: Creating a new folder in Gmail via settings

  1. Log in to Gmail, and click the gear-shaped settings icon.
log in to gmail and click on the gears icon at the top right to access your settings
Click on the settings icon at the top right of your screen
  1. In the resulting pop-up box, click “See all settings.”
Click “See all settings” to create, edit, and delete labels
Click “See all settings” to create, edit, and delete labels
  1. Select the “Labels” tab, scroll down, and click “Create new label.”
select the labels tab along the top and then scroll down and click the create new label button
Navigate to the “Labels” tab and find the button that says “Create new label”
  1. Name your label and click create.

How to create a subfolder in Gmail on your computer

You can further organize your emails by creating subfolders, additional labels nested within parent labels. It’s worth noting that you can only create subfolders via desktop; the Gmail mobile app doesn’t allow subcategory creation.

There are two ways to create subfolders from your desktop.

Option 1: Create a new label and designate it as a subfolder

Follow the above instructions to create a new label through step six, stopping before you actually click the create button.

  1. Underneath your new label name, check the box next to “Nest label under.”
in the pop-up box to name your new label check the box next to "nets label under"
Check the box next to “Nest label under”
  1. When text reading “Please select a parent…” appears, tap the down arrow to expand all available folders. Select the desired label to establish it as the parent label for your subcategory. Then, click create.
select the parent folder from the drop down menu of label options
Choose the parent folder from the drop-down menu

Option 2: Creating a subfolder from within a folder

  1. On the left side of the screen, locate your list of folders and scroll to your desired parent label.
  2. Hover over the folder to see three dots, then click those dots.
scroll down your list of labels to find the desired parent folder , hover over the label name, and click on the three dots that appear
Hover over the label and click on the three vertical dots that appear
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the pop-up box that appears and click “Add sublabel.”
in the pop-up menu that appears, click "add sublabel"
Click “Add sublabel” in the pop-up menu that appears

How to create folders in the Gmail mobile app

  1. Open the Gmail app on your mobile device.
  2. At the top left of the screen, click on the three lines next to the bar that reads “Search in mail.”
  3. In the menu that appears, scroll down to the labels section and tap “+ Create new.”
scroll down the menu options and tap on +create new
Scroll down and tap “+ Create new” under the labels section
  1. In the screen that appears (titled “Name new label”), enter the name for your new folder (maximum of 225 characters). Tap done.
name your new label, then tap done
Name the new label

Keeping your inbox safe with email security software

Now that you have organized your inbound messages, keep your inbox safe with email security software.

In addition to blocking spam, email security software helps protect your account against cyberthreats such as phishing attempts, malware, ransomware, and viruses.

Learn more about email security software and its benefits, and rest easy knowing your data is safe.

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