In Gmail, is there a scalable way to forward all email except?

I have seen some solutions to the problem e.g.

Forward All Except Filter in Gmail

mentions the idea that you can have a conditional like from:(-(address1@gmail.com OR address2@gmail.com)) which you can put in the "Has the words" field. And no doubt you can put normal words in there too like "Congratulations you got this email you don't want"

i.e. turn off the general forwarding (which would forward everything with no exceptions)

And make one single filter that forward email(so ticking the forward box on the filter), and then add negative conditions.. so it will forward all email except certain email.

The problem is, if I want to choose to not forward

all email that has these words (A)

all email that has those words (B)

all email that is from this person and has these words (C)

all email that is from that person and has the following words (D)

Then sure I suppose I could have a conditional


But any of A or B or C or D might be quite long e.g. specifying a bunch of words. e.g. A might look for words "You signed up for this congratulations".

And it'd be really ugly since google only gives a single line to put it all on, and I wonder how long it'd be before gmail chokes on it due to reaching a limit to the end of the string!

The way google could solve this problem would be to allow General forwarding but let the general forwarding have exceptions. Then when any filter is made, and general forwarding has been set, then let forwarding be ticked by default, and let unticking it override the general forwarding. Unfortunately the forwarding option of an individual filter doesn't override the general one.

And if i turn off the general one and do the solution of using an individual filter then it's just not scalable.

Is there any scalable solution?

  • @user0 You can do it in notepad more easily or just as easily than with a spreadsheet, but as i've said, it's ugly. Why don't you spell out to me exactly what you're going to do with your spreadsheet method and tell me how long it will take and how it's not ugly. (Besides the fact that there may be a limit on the length of a string) (And besides that no spreadsheet is going to check correct syntax on google's keywords like 'from'). Anybody that knows even basic boolean algebra (as I do), doesn't need a spreadsheet. But the point is it's ugly to do it in notepad or your spreadsheet way – barlop Jan 1 at 20:27
  • Maybe this webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/73962/… but I haven't tested it yet – barlop Jan 4 at 2:54

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.