I subscribe to a mailing list, where a large number of messages are posted each day. I don't want these mails to disturb me, so I've set up a filter that automatically

  • moves these messages to a certain label and
  • skips the inbox

The Gmail filter is:

Matches: list:(ffmpeg-user.ffmpeg.org)
Do this: Skip Inbox, Apply label "Miscellaneous/FFmpeg-Mailing"

Now, sometimes I'd like to participate in a few threads. I would like those threads not to be automatically archived, but appear in my inbox like every other message.

How do I achieve this?

4 Answers 4


You could star the threads you're interested in and edit your filter with:

list:(ffmpeg-user.ffmpeg.org) -is:starred

If you use the advanced stars features, you can use: (has:yellow-star).

More info on advanced stars filters on about.com.

  • I have a label _Waiting. Can I also use that instead? E.g. don't filter stuff with the _Waiting label. It seems list:(ffmpeg-user.ffmpeg.org) - label:_waiting shows me just those with this label, which is exactly the opposite of what I want.
    – slhck
    Dec 30, 2011 at 14:03
  • More ideally, isn't there a filter for threads I participate in (e.g. where I have at least one mail sent)?
    – slhck
    Dec 30, 2011 at 14:07
  • 1
    @slhck: No, there isn't a filter for threads you're participating in.
    – ale
    Dec 30, 2011 at 14:11
  • try to remove the space between - (minus) and label:_waiting. I've made a slight test on search box, removeing the space seems to be important
    – JMax
    Dec 30, 2011 at 17:47
  • This does not work. Stars apply to individual messages, not conversations. webapps.stackexchange.com/a/54708
    – Zombo
    Jan 21, 2014 at 1:08

Another option would be to create a filter where it checks for your email address in the "From:" and the mailing list's address in the "To:" and applies a different label.

Matches: from:([email protected]) to:([email protected])
Do this: Apply label "participating"

It doesn't match exactly what you want to do, but the threads you're participating in will be easily found.


Change filter to:

Matches: list:(ffmpeg-user.ffmpeg.org) -from:[email protected]
Do this: Skip Inbox, Apply label "Miscellaneous/FFmpeg-Mailing"

If you want to include mails directly addressed to you as well as the mailing list, try

Matches: list:(ffmpeg-user.ffmpeg.org) -from:[email protected] -to:[email protected]
Do this: Skip Inbox, Apply label "Miscellaneous/FFmpeg-Mailing"
  • 3
    The second filter returns almost the same results, since the mailing list is always directly sending to me. I don't really get the conversations I participate in.
    – slhck
    Feb 7, 2012 at 8:27

Visit Filter Messages from a Mailing List in Gmail.

If you select "filter messages like this" when you read a message from a mailing list, Gmail will filter the right messages using the listid: operator, that corresponds to the List-ID header. For example, listid:googlepress.googlegroups.com is the best way to find messages sent from the Google Press group. You should create filters that automatically label these messages, archive them or mark them as read.

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