I have my Gmail contacts sorted into groups. In my mail I also have labels associated with filters-for specific people I have a filter associated with a label.

For the filter creation, how do I associate a filter with a group in the 'contacts'. In other words, 'family' which is a group label in my contacts; rather than the list of email addresses?

4 Answers 4


I don't think Google supports this feature, but I found a workaround from 2008 that might still work:

  1. Create the group in My Contacts
  2. Compose an email to said group
  3. Copy the "To:" field
  4. Paste into the "Convert" textbox here
  5. Copy the the "Convert" output into a new filter

Try it and let us know if it does what you're looking for.

  • 2
    It's quite incredible it seems there is still no support for that...
    – SRKX
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 13:38
  • 2
    it is 2020 and still no support Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 8:17
  • Quite useless since search criteria are limited to 1500 characters. Given an average email address of 25 characters plus the mandatory " OR ", it means your groups are limited to 50 contacts Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 14:40

I wanted this and programmed a G-appsScript: GmailContactGroupLabels which can be set to autorun as well. Works for one group and one label, but you could run multiple instances the script if you want.

Sadly, this still hasn't been implemented in Gmail.


I was just looking into this today. I discovered this method. Click on the button to bring up the advanced search, in the From, enter the label from Contacts. It will fill in the email addresses for that label. Then add a { at the beginning, and close it at the end }. That's the same as having an OR in between the email addresses.

Downside, this appears to only work for user created labels, not the built in ones like Family and Friends. Also, it's not going to automatically update when you add more people to the label. You'll have to edit the filter when you add more people to the label.


Google has a different philosophy to viewing emails than other providers. This allows users more flexibility but also frustration if you are not used to it.

Google's official stance appears to be shifting from using contact groups to using Google+ Circles. While you can't create an email filter for a circle, you can see circles displayed on individual messages (unlike with contact groups). In addition you can also see all emails from, for example, a "family" circle. Whatever you want to do by filter with a contact group, can probably be done with Google+ Circles.

  • 1
    I wonder what Google's "philosophy" is now that they've killed Google+. Seems filtering by contact label (i.e., group) would make sense at this point. Especially considering every other major email provider allows for this level of filtering (by contact group). Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 16:26

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.