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How do I search for the emails that belong only to a specified label, and do not belong to any other labels.

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unfortunately there is no exclusive flag which really sucks.. specifically i want to find all emails that are in label:web and ONLY in that label... no such way of doing it at the moment besides adding -label:other_label -label:another_label and the list goes on... for the hackers among you - yes, grab a flat list of your labels and write a simple script to generate the command you need... –  Nir Pengas Dec 26 '11 at 14:44

1 Answer 1

You can search for emails that belong to a specific label using the

label:mylabel <include search terms here>

syntax, and you can exclude messages from a specific label using the

-label:mylabel <include search terms here>


So what you want can be accomplished using a combination of these both. You have to compose a search string containing a "-label:mylabel" for all the labels that you have defined, except for the one you are looking for, like this:

label:thisisthelabelimlookingfor -label:label1 -label:label2 ... <include search terms here>
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yeah i was thinking on the same lines, but thought maybe there is a better way, with much less typing. I have about a 100 labels defined :( –  Midhat Feb 21 '11 at 10:57
can i just get a simple plain-text list of all my labels? –  Midhat Feb 21 '11 at 10:57
@Midhat: Good question. You could access your account using imap, and get a list of all your labels like shown in this answer to a stackoverflow question. But there might be better ways though. –  fretje Feb 21 '11 at 12:37
I got my plain text label list from Offline Gmail options. it lists all labels, comma seperated. –  Midhat Feb 25 '11 at 19:41
Also the -label operator didnt work for me –  Midhat Feb 25 '11 at 19:41

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