I once subscribed to so many mailing lists looong time ago, and then I filtered those emails and grouped them into a sort of organisation/based on my interest, but then when I got time I unsubscribed from those many mailing lists.

Is there a way to know in Gmail whether a filter I have is used or not used by matching criteria?

I love Gmail ajaxified labels feature nowadays, it supports total emails that belong to one label. If only filter also had that feature, I could've managed my filters better, I would know if a filter is still being used by (to filter) important emails then I won't remove it, I know if a filter was used by a mailing list that I'm no longer subscribed (in another word, filter that is not used), then I can delete that filter so I won't have hundreds of filters, so that I can manage my filters better.

Here is what I usually do, but I consider this really unproductive, I believe Google should have been able to make this user experience much better,

Settings > Filters, I click edit on one of my filters, then click next, then I check/see the emails that belong to that filter, if those emails are important, could be emails from a mailing list I'm still interested in, then I'll let that filter "alive", but if I see there is no mail (from a mailing list) at all belong to this filter, and also if I had unsubscribed from the related mailing list, then I remove the filter.

It would be cool if I see total emails that belong to one filter on Settings > Filters, if I see zero then I can remove it, because I'm sure I've unsubscribed to the filter I remove.

Any enlightenments? I may be missing one of cool Gmail labs as I don't always keep watching them.

2 Answers 2


Old question ... but for the record the new Gmail solves this elegantly! Now, when you click 'Edit' on an existing filter, watch it populate the search criteria and display all matching emails. Great unified UX for searching and creating/editing filters.


Probably you should check my Chrome extension that automatically fills "From", "To" and "Subject" fields when you create a new Gmail filter from existing email.

It is useful if you have a big flow of emails and create filters often. It is absolutely free and actually I did it for my personal purposes, but probably somebody will find the extension useful too. Take a look at the screenshots to understand how it works: screenshot

Extension page: http://www.gmailfilterex.com/

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.