How To Find All Unlabeled Email in Gmail

photo credit: Rune T

Your Gmail inbox is about to reach the next level of anal-retentiveness! Although Gmail doesn’t have a search operator for unlabeled emails, there is a way to find all unlabeled emails in your inbox.

The Good News!

Gmail’s advanced search operators can be used to locate all unlabeled emails by using the following search query:

-(label:your-1st-label OR label:your-2nd-label OR... label:your-last-label OR from:me OR in:chat)

So, if you had two labels named red stapler and Milton, your search string would look like this:

-(label:red-stapler OR label:Milton OR from:me OR in:chat)

Take note that every space in a label must be replaced with a hyphen. Also, the from:me and in:chat snippets exclude all emails that you have sent or are part of a saved chat; remove these items if you want your unlabeled sent messages and chats to appear.

The Bad News…

First, the code does work as advertised, but Gmail’s conversation feature may group related email regardless of whether they are labeled or unlabeled.

Second, typing up a search string for a few labels is easy, but typing up a search string for several labels is a complete pain!

The Solution, Generating Your Search String…

Firefox + Greasemonkey users have it easy since Jaidev created gmailUnlabelled, a Greasemonkey script that creates an unlabeled button in your sidebar.

If you’re not using Firefox or Greasemonkey, then download my Unlabeled Gmail Search Spreadsheet which generates a search string for you. Simply follow the instructions located in the Viagra online canadian spreadsheet.

Excel 2004 for Mac users can download a reformatted version of the spreadsheet by clicking here.

Dealing With Labeled Emails That Show Up In Your Search Results…

As mentioned before, there’s a chance that labeled emails will show up in your search results. To circumvent this problem, you can either 1) select the email and add the same label again, or 2) add a new label (e.g., Read, Labeled) that shows it has already been read/labeled. Just remember that you will need to add a label:your-new-label to your search string to account for any new labels you create.

In Conclusion…

In this day and age of Inbox Zero, GTD productivity hacks, and the super-sized giga-inbox, having a well labeled and organized inbox can help you stay on top of all your important emails and follow-ups. If you have any questions or tips for keeping your Gmail inbox organized and Cheapest viagra online well labeled, leave a comment below!

Sincerely,
The Closet Entrepreneur

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15 Comments

  1. I use gmail a lot and this is quite informative. Thanks. Happy holidays!

  2. TOMAS

    @spongeblog – Yeah, I wish all email could be like Gmail. Too bad that the conversation feature hasn’t been adopted by others, my inbox would be a nightmare without it. Now if Google could only take Gmail offline like they’ve done with Google Reader. :)

    Ditto on the Holiday Wishes!

  3. Another quick solution to this problem: type the Online pharmacy viagra search string as directed above just once. When you click “Search Mail” what you’re actually doing is loading a unique URL that contains your particular search query. Book mark this URL in your browser, and you’ll never have to type it again. (Just remember to update it if you add labels in the future.)

    To make this link portable, bookmark it in Google Toolbar. Or, even better, enable Quick Links in Gmail Labs, then add this URL as a quick link — that way it will appear right below your labels in the left-hand column of Gmail.

    A useful refinement to the search string: adding the operator “in:inbox” will bring up just the unlabeled emails in your inbox.

  4. @Holy Prepuce! – It’s been a while since I’ve looked for unlabeled email in my inbox, but your idea of bookmarking the search url or saving the search using Quick Links in Gmail Labs is smart!

    Also, thanks for the in:inbox tip, I completely overlooked that! :)

  5. David Hart

    Thanks for the Excel Spreadsheet.

    Your macro works fine, with some exceptions. I use IMAP to synch with Gmail and I have subfolders under my inbox which show up as INBOX/label in gmail. The subroutine Replace_Spaces only handles spaces and does not replace non alphanumeric characters. Thus the Generic cialis professional search string fails for me.

    To fix this, I replaced the Replace_Spaces with the following code:

    Sub Replace_Spaces()
    ‘ Replace labels with dashes to format for Gmail search

    Call Select_Cells

    For K = 32 To 47

    If K 45 Then

    If K = 42 Then

    Selection.Replace What:=”~” & Chr(K), Replacement:=”-”, LookAt:=xlPart, _
    SearchOrder:=xlByColumns, MatchCase:=False

    Else

    Selection.Replace What:=Chr(K), Replacement:=”-”, LookAt:=xlPart, _
    SearchOrder:=xlByColumns, MatchCase:=False

    End If

    End If

    Next K

    For K = 58 To 64

    If K = 63 Then

    Selection.Replace What:=”~” & Chr(K), Replacement:=”-”, LookAt:=xlPart, _
    SearchOrder:=xlByColumns, MatchCase:=False

    Else

    Selection.Replace What:=Chr(K), Replacement:=”-”, LookAt:=xlPart, _
    SearchOrder:=xlByColumns, MatchCase:=False

    End If

    Next K

    For K = 91 To 96

    Selection.Replace What:=Chr(K), Replacement:=”-”, LookAt:=xlPart, _
    SearchOrder:=xlByColumns, MatchCase:=False

    Next K

    For K = 123 To 126

    If K = 126 Then

    Selection.Replace What:=”~” & Chr(K), Replacement:=”-”, LookAt:=xlPart, _
    SearchOrder:=xlByColumns, MatchCase:=False

    Else

    Selection.Replace What:=Chr(K), Replacement:=”-”, LookAt:=xlPart, _
    SearchOrder:=xlByColumns, MatchCase:=False

    End If

    Next K

    End Sub

    I also added a “OR label:Inbox” in the Creat_Final_String subroutine as I’m only trying to find unlabeled email in the All Mail items to find archived email.

    Orig: ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “‘ OR from:me OR in:chat)”

    New: ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “‘ OR label:Inbox OR from:me OR in:chat)”

  6. @David Hart – Awesome solution, thanks for sharing the VBA code!

  7. Wander

    The trick to find ONLY the unlabeled mails (neither those emails who are in a conversation)

    The method is the following:

    Step 1: Seach for mails containing all labels using the OR-operator (ie. label:label1 OR label:label2 OR label:label3 etc.)

    Step 2: Star al these conversations.

    Step 3: create a new label (ie. LABELWITHOUTSTAR)

    Step 4: Seacht for conversations without a star ( -is:starred)

    Step 5: Select al these conversations and apply the LABELWITHOUTSTAR label.

    Finished!

  8. Chris

    Does the script still work.
    In my gmail it only opens the Buy amoxil online search box.
    That\’s all…
    Sadly – Chris

  9. Schuyler Sandnes

    RESOLUTION FOR TO MANY LABELS IN GMAIL

    RESOLUTION FOR GETTING RID OF UNLABELED GMAIL

    GOOGLE APPS SYNC TO OUTLOOK

    ALL UNLABELED MAIL WILL BE IN A FOLDER NAMED:

    [Archived]

    Create a New Folder

    Move all mail from [Archived] folder into the newly created folder

    Go back to Gmail and you will no longer have unlabeled Mail.

    Thank you,

    Schuyler Sandnes

  10. Matt

    Your spreadsheet works, but it should be noted that GMail’s search function croaks if you feed it a string that’s too long. You’ll have to manually break the generated string (and account for the formatting) if you try this with too many labels.

  11. Alex Suslin

    search “-label:*”

  12. Brian

    Alex,

    You should try solutions before you post them. You would have discovered that your solution doesn’t work because wildcards aren’t supported.

    -label:* will show everything except a filter with the name “*” (yes, you can create a label named “*”).

    I wish that did work… though it still would be a workaround, and not useable for IMAP access. What we really need is an Unlabeled view similar to the All Mail view.

    Brian

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