I have a Google Apps email (me@business.com) set to auto-forward all mail to my personal Gmail (me@gmail.com). I have added the me@business.com address to my personal Gmail so I can send mail as me@business.com from within my personal email account. It's a fairly common way to consolidate email accounts.

Here's my problem. I want me@gmail.com to filter all emails being forwarded from me@business.com and apply the Business label. So I tried it two different ways:

A) Use an Alias:

  1. me@business.com forward to me+business@gmail.com
  2. Create filter "To:me+business@gmail.com" in me@gmail account
  3. Have filter apply Business label

B) Use Googlemail.com address:

  1. me@business.com forward to me@googlemail.com
  2. Create filter "To:me@googlemail.com" in me@gmail account
  3. Have filter apply Business label

However, neither of these filters work. I've tested it using a third email address, me@yahoo.com. Whenever I send an email from me@yahoo.com to me@business.com, the email is properly forwarded to me@gmail.com, and I can reply to me@yahoo.com using the me@business.com address. But Gmail does NOT apply the Business label. This is case using either filtering method A or B.

But if I send an email from me@yahoo.com DIRECTLY to me+business@gmail.com or me@googlemail.com, the filter works properly and applies the label.

So there must be something going on with the forwarding of me@business.com to me@gmail.com.

Does anyone know how to get this working?

  • Please consider registering your account. That way you will be able to retain ownership of your question and access it from anywhere.
    – ChrisF
    Sep 27, 2012 at 13:47

4 Answers 4


I actually just figured out a workaround using a different filter. With credit to this post, the way to do it is to filter the text in the email header, which includes the me@business.com address it was originally addressed to.

So I created this filter in the "has the words" field:


And had that filter apply the Business label.

  • Great posts! I used the "HAS THE WORDS" section and listed "me+orders@gmail.com" so I can use this to filter email registrations and online orders!
    – user50905
    Oct 23, 2013 at 17:00
  • 3
    This doesn't seem to be working (June 30, 2021) in Google Workspace. I'm still seeing messages to both the original e-mail and the alias with this search query. Any workarounds?
    – Ted Avery
    Jun 30, 2021 at 11:15
  • 1
    Try searching with to:, colon, parenthesis, and quotes. For instance: to:("my-alias@example.com")
    – blong
    Nov 10, 2021 at 15:54

Your first filter can't work, because the original "To:" header is preserved when you redirect the e-mail message. So, your second filter cannot work either. The new addresses will show up as delivered-to.

So you should either filter on "to:me@business.com" or on "deliveredto:me+business@gmail.com".

I don't know why your own answer would work though, it doesn't really make sense to me. The "delivered-to:" header should be your Gmail address.

  • Thanks for your response, steabert! I believe the reason my filter works is that by filtering the email's header, it can actually see the original email's intended recipient. The email header has a long list of the steps the email went through, and the first step was to be delivered to me@business.com. Your two suggested filters don't work because the filtering the "To" field apparently only delivers the info of the last step in the process (in this case, me@gmail.com). And the second filter doesn't work because apparently Gmail doesn't properly maintain the "+business" part in the email heade
    – John Smith
    Sep 27, 2012 at 12:57
  • weird, if I redirect my university mail, the "To:" header is like the original person has prepared the e-mail, and the delivered-to field correctly contains my <..>+university@gmail.com, where I have redirected my email. The "To:" header is prepared by the sender and should not be changed at all, if it is then it seems to me a new e-mail is created and something is wrong with how you redirect your email... (some nice reading:partmaps.org/era/procmail/mini-faq.html#bcc-explanation)
    – steabert
    Sep 27, 2012 at 14:14
  1. In the search field click on the arrow on the far right of the search field.

  2. In the To field type your Alias or your work mail.

  3. In the bottom right click on create filter with this search.

  4. Mark the create a label for this search and choose the label of your choice.

All emails sent to your work mail should be filtered and labeled.


Forwarded emails preserve the "to" address, to just put the email address you are forwarding emails FROM in to the TO address for the filter.

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