I have a number of Gmail filters acting on my incoming e-mail.

I'm trying to find a way to "pause" a filter. By that I mean to temporarily turn it off without deleting it. (Some are fairly detailed and I'm afraid I'd never be able to restore them if I deleted them.)

Gmail itself obviously doesn't have this function, but what could I do that stops the filter from acting while not losing the filter itself?

  • Unfortunately I can't find anything to help you, I think the best option would be to just copy it out, or at least modify it only slightly so the effect doesn't remove the email from your inbox (if that is what you are trying to stop).
    – AlasdairCM
    Feb 9, 2011 at 14:37

2 Answers 2


You could export your filters, delete them and then when you are ready to enable them simply import them back in.

This is what they suggest you use the Labs: Filter Export/Import function for.

  • That seems like a reasonable possibility.
    – ale
    Feb 9, 2011 at 18:13

You can break the filter to effectively pause it.

On the search criteria, plug in a stop word that won't turn up in an email as one of the filter rules.

E.g., In the Has the words rule enter something like "PAUSED4LUNCH"

Anything should work so long as it's a nonsensical word that won't be showing up in regular emails and will remind you why it's there in the first place.

When you want to reactivate the filter, just remove the plug.

  • I'm using the size filter and set it to 10000 MB, since you cannot send/receive emails larger than 50MB, the filter shouldn't be applied.
    – Tim
    Sep 20, 2019 at 8:53

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