[ExI] META: ADMIN: Gmail unlabelled messages

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Jun 5 10:56:34 UTC 2014

Gmail uses labels to tag emails (and emails can have more than one
label). The email search function is good, but there is no easy way to
search for emails that have no label.

The method I use is to set up lots of filters, one for each label, so
that emails are automatically labelled and archived. The Inbox will
then only contain occasional unlabelled emails, to be processed
manually. Setting up the filters is laborious, but is a once-only

But if you already have a large collection of old emails filling up
your Inbox, there are two possible solutions.

One method is to use advanced search with the -label operator.
i.e. Build a search that explicitly excludes every other label -
label:inbox -label:{labela labelb labelc}
But if you have a lot of labels, that is a big search query. Though
you can save it for reuse again.

Another option is to use the labelling function itself.
Create a new label called "LabelAll"
View All, then apply "LabelAll" to them. (You may have to do this for
several pages). Now go into every other label folder, Select All and
remove the "LabelAll" label, folder by folder. Now if you go to the
LabelAll folder, all that is left in there is your unlabelled emails.
If you have two or three very large folders, it may be sufficient to
remove LabelAll from them and do the remainder by inspecting the
LabelAll folder contents.


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