I have setup a filter in my Google account, and I want to forward all the emails that match that filter to another email address. This procedure is no problem for emails that I will receive from now on, but how do I forward the ones I received in the past and that match the filter?


3 Answers 3


I don't think you can do that with Gmail itself.

But if you would like to forward your old mail as a backup, then you can fetch all your mails from hotmail by configuring "Get email from other account".

  • 1
    why -ve vote? Alex reply above should not work for forwarding option. Gmail used to display a note old mails will not be applicable to old mails.
    – palaniraja
    Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 9:51

You could try to edit the respective filter and when you do that, on the second step Gmail shows you all the emails that match the respective criteria. There, you can select the "Also apply filter to X conversations below." enter image description here

To sum up:

  1. Go to Mail settings
  2. Go to Filters
  3. Click Edit for the respective filter
  4. Leave everything in place on Choose search criteria
  5. Click Next Step
  6. Select the forward address at Forward it to
  7. Select Also apply filter to X conversations below
  8. Click Update Filter
  • 3
    Nope, "Note: old mail will not be forwarded". And indeed, they aren't. Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 11:11
  • So HOW do you do it?
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 21:28

I don't remember whether it has the option to run filters on the inbox.

I think whenever we create a filter and the end of saving, we have an option to run filters now.

I don't remember exactly. In my office Gmail is blocked, otherwise I would have logged in to confirm it.. :)

And if you have any email client like Thunderbird, once you download all messages from Gmail using IMAP/POP3 you can create a filter in Thunderbird.

And I'm sure there is an option in Thunderbird to run filters on any folders.

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