How can I prevent Gmail from applying certain labels to messages.

For example, I have a "Work" label and a "Home" label. Gmail is labeling some messages as both "Work" and "Home." How do I prevent this?

I have a filter that specifies "Work" when it comes to my work email address. I have a filter that specifies "Home" when it comes to my personal email address.

How do I tell Gmail not to apply both labels to an email coming to one but not the other?

My filters are as follows:

Matches: to:(myname@myworkaddress.com) Do this: Apply label "Work", Never send it to Spam

Matches: to:(mymickname@homesweethome.com) Do this: Apply label "Home", Never send it to Spam

Also, as a note, I never receive emails sent to both my home and work email addresses.

  • It would be great if you could explicitly include the filters you use with some dummy email addresses so that we can have a concrete example. Oct 22, 2019 at 15:43
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    I added the filters I use to my question above.
    – MadPink
    Oct 22, 2019 at 19:56
  • Thanks for adding the particular filters you're using, that helps with debugging! In order to find out what's going on, we have to investigate a bit further. Could you add the two following details to the question: 1. Run a search with to:(myname@myworkaddress.com) to:(mymickname@homesweethome.com) and see whether it returns anything. I suspect you will get results, have a look at a few emails and tell us who the emails were addressed to. 2. Find a few emails that have both "Work" and "Home" labels applied and see who they were sent to. Without this information I can't do more. Oct 24, 2019 at 14:36
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    I ran that search and received no results. All work emails are getting both my home and work label. (None of my home emails are getting labeled as work)
    – MadPink
    Oct 26, 2019 at 16:35

1 Answer 1


I assume you create labels using a filter like "to:a@a.com". Your problem are presumably emails that are sent to both of your email addresses.

In order to avoid an email being labelled by both you can simple create a new filter set A', B' using a negation operator on one of the two:

B'="to:b@b.com" -"to:a@a.com"

So now messages that have the label A=A' applied will no longer have label B' applied. You can also refine your filter A' to exclude a few intersection matches.

On operators for Gmail filters read: How to use boolean AND and NOT operators in Gmail search

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