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

Here's my problem. I want [email protected] to filter all emails being forwarded from [email protected] and apply the Business label. So I tried it two different ways:

A) Use an Alias:

  1. [email protected] forward to [email protected]
  2. Create filter "To:[email protected]" in me@gmail account
  3. Have filter apply Business label

B) Use Googlemail.com address:

  1. [email protected] forward to [email protected]
  2. Create filter "To:[email protected]" 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, [email protected]. Whenever I send an email from [email protected] to [email protected], the email is properly forwarded to [email protected], and I can reply to [email protected] using the [email protected] 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 [email protected] DIRECTLY to [email protected] or [email protected], the filter works properly and applies the label.

So there must be something going on with the forwarding of [email protected] to [email protected].

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
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 13:47

5 Answers 5


Original Solution

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 [email protected] address it was originally addressed to.

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

deliveredto:[email protected]

And had that filter apply the Business label.

Updated Solution

Starting 2021, the original solution doesn't work anymore in Google Workspace.

You have to use the following now (in the "Has the world" field):

to:("[email protected]")
  • Great posts! I used the "HAS THE WORDS" section and listed "[email protected]" so I can use this to filter email registrations and online orders!
    – user50905
    Commented 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
    Commented Jun 30, 2021 at 11:15
  • 4
    Try searching with to:, colon, parenthesis, and quotes. For instance: to:("[email protected]")
    – blong
    Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 15:54
  • Can confirm that @blong's solution works. Commented Feb 6 at 9:54

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:[email protected]" or on "deliveredto:[email protected]".

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 [email protected]. 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, [email protected]). And the second filter doesn't work because apparently Gmail doesn't properly maintain the "+business" part in the email heade
    – John Smith
    Commented 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 <..>[email protected], 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
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 14:14

What worked for me is putting the alias in quotes in the Google filter:

to:"[email protected]"

as suggested in blong's comment

  • yea it worked with or without the parenthesis but only worked with quotes and failed without them or rather just kinda got everything without them including emails to my other aliases on same domain. thanks. made this quick and easy one me appreciate that.
    – CrandellWS
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 22:55
  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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