Web Applications Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Consider this setup in my Gmail inbox where I have 3 lists:

  • mailing-lists/first-list
  • mailing-lists/second-list
  • mailing-lists/third-list

If I want to search for all unread messages in any sub-label of mailing-lists, is there a better way to search than

is:unread label:mailing-list/first-list OR label:mailing-list/second-list OR label:mailing-list/third-list

What I'm looking for is something more like:

is:unread label:mailing-list/*

share|improve this question

migrated from superuser.com Feb 24 '11 at 15:18

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

+1 This should be implemented. I do not see much advantage in using nested labels without this recursive search. – Lazer Jul 18 '12 at 7:08
+1 another year later. What is the point of nesting without having any relationship between nested labels? – A.M. Jul 18 '13 at 2:36

If you are using filters to apply the labels, then it should be possible is to create another filter to apply a second label to all the messages. You can then use this second label in your search criteria.

share|improve this answer

You could try something like is:unread list:[e-mail address of list]. This would work in your particular situation because the first part of your label is the list name.

share|improve this answer
I'm looking for the same feature: recursive label searching. The solution provided will not work for me, because this is not a mailing list. – user9918 Apr 4 '11 at 14:53

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.