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I'd like to optimize my Gmail layout for desktop IMAP client friendliness. That's why I'd like to ensure all my messages have one and only one label applied (because with IMAP labels appear as folders and multi-labelling results in message dupes).

So, how to find all messages with more than one label applied?

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migrated from superuser.com Nov 4 '10 at 20:40

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

Why? Are you really tight on disk space? Who casre if your mail takes up a bit of extra space? – Ryan Thompson Nov 4 '10 at 20:28
I think you're missing the point of labels. A big benefit of labels is that you can have more than one. You don't need to decide if an email from John about homework for physics goes into the "homework" folder or the "John" folder or the "physics" folder. – Doug Harris Nov 4 '10 at 20:44
@Doug: I think he's trying to use them as folders for compatibility reasons with the other mail client (e.g. Thunderbird). Although from what I remember, Google's IMAP feature will allow you to treat folders as labels (even if your email client doesn't support it), so your message will appear in both, but it won't be a duplicate. – Senseful Nov 4 '10 at 21:29
@ryan-thompson, I am really (extremely) tight on bandwidth - that's why I want offline mail. And I really can't stand any crapyness - that's why I don't want to allow any misunderstanding between my email client and server. – Ivan Nov 5 '10 at 7:16
@doug-harris, no, I love labels and use them extensively, but there seem to be no offline email client liking them as well and supporting them any close to perfect. And I want my email client and server to speak one language and understand things the same. – Ivan Nov 5 '10 at 7:17

Even though your mail client doesn't support labels, Gmail's IMAP feature compensates for this and allows the folders in your mail client to act as labels.

This means that some messages will appear in both folders, but will still be the same message (e.g. if you delete one, the other one will be deleted as well).

what [...] if I move a message from one folder (in the IMAP client) to another already containing that message?

According to Google's article, How do actions sync in IMAP?, I would guess that it simply removes the original label from the message and leaves the new one on there. Rather than having two messages in the same folder, you should only see one.

Or if I want to delete a message, not just remove a particular label?

According to Google's article, you move it to the trash to delete the message.

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the question was how to find all messages having more than one label applied? did you misunderstand or misread it? – ILI4S K4RIM Jul 1 '15 at 12:59

You can use the following syntax in the search input field:

label:label-x label:label-y

The result is going to bessages with both label-x and label-y.

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but how do you find all messages with ANY two labels? – ILI4S K4RIM Jul 1 '15 at 13:00

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