I have set up a number of Gmail filters to skip inbox, mark as read, and apply a label, but while they generally work I regularly find threads matching the condition in my inbox and unread. How do I make them stay out of the inbox permanently?

Some more data:

  • The filters are matching, because the label is getting applied
  • It appears that receiving more emails in the same thread is causing them to reappear in the inbox
  • "Don't override filters" is already the chosen setting
  • This only happens with some filters - other are working as expected

1 Answer 1


Lets say you only have one filter. If you have a simple rule: any email from Bob is given label X, archived, marked as read; when a email from Bob comes in the instructions are followed.

The problem is that if George also received the email and "replies all" to it, now George's response isn't caught by the filter, so the conversation ends up in your inbox. The same thing would happen if George didn't realize you were sent the email and forwarded it to you. The only way to catch George's response is to have a filter that will apply to the message from George, or to some other part of the new message.

You can't have the pretense of a label in a filter that applies to an incoming message.

That is how these rules work. The good thing is that if you click on the conversation, and click the archive button, then the inbox label is removed.

  • I had earlier posted a comment that since my filters were based on subject and the subject was not changing, that couldn't have been the cause... but have since noticed that Gmail will put email with different subjects under the same thread! I have updated my filters to cover all the subjects, hopefully this fixes it.
    – Agos
    Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 8:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.