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July 8, 2006

New In Gmail: Apply Filters To Old Emails


Until now, Gmail allowed users to set filters only for the future emails. Now when you create a filter or update one, Gmail allows you to apply it to old emails (see Also apply filter to 160 conversations below in the screenshot). That's a very useful feature. How could you use it?

1. You change your mail account and you want to send all your emails from the Gmail account to your new one. Set a filter without any restriction and forward all the emails. That might also be useful to backup your emails.

2. Forward more emails at once to a friend. Create a temporary label, set the label to the emails you want to forward, create a temporary filter that forwards the emails to your friend. And that's it. Don't forget to delete the filter after that.

3. You want to archive all your emails.

4. Delete all the emails from your ex-girlfriend.

5. Set the label "jobs" to all the emails that contain job in the subject.

6. Merge two labels (A, B). Set the label B to all the emails that have label A. Just type "label:A" in the "Has the words" input box and choose "apply the label B".

7. Filter your sent emails. Include "label:sent" in the "Has the words" input box.

You can think of many other nifty applications for this new feature.

Like the Delete All Spam link, this feature is not yet available to all the Gmail users.

More Gmail:
5 fast ways to check your Gmail account
Check multiple Gmail accounts

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