While having filters to simplify the filing process of incoming messages is convenient, one of the aspects of setting rules in Outlook that seems to be missing in Gmail is the ability to set rules for outgoing messages as well.

For example, if I always want to mark a message for a "Read Receipt", I would prefer to have a rule that does it, than have to click the box on every message.

Also, if I need to CC or BCC someone on each outgoing message meeting a certain criteria, I should be able to set a rule for that as well (like you can in Outlook).

Filters are great, but they don't suit the purposes I need for outgoing messages, only for incoming ones.

For as long as Gmail has been around, I can't be the first person to have brought this up, or can I?


Gmail filters apply to sent mail by default. They do, however, not apply to drafts.

So, Jacob's answer describes the default process for making filters and it will indeed also work for mails sent by yourself.

  • Then an upvote, perhaps with a content, would be in place, rather then posting a confirmation. – Jacob Jan Tuinstra May 13 '13 at 7:19

When you start searching for people in the search bar, options will appear automatically and you will be able to activate the pull down menu by clicking the up side down pyramid on the right: enter image description here

Select the one that you're sending e-mails to and create a filter (see red box): enter image description here

Then you have to apply a label and create the filter (blue button): enter image description here

Each time you're sending this person an e-mail (outgoing), the designated label will be applied.

  • I tried it myself, both on Gmail and Google Apps account. Sent items will get labeled. – Jacob Jan Tuinstra Apr 18 '13 at 4:24
  • @AlEverett Didn't inform you properly. Can you verify what I did? – Jacob Jan Tuinstra Apr 18 '13 at 9:58
  • (Chat doesn't work for me.) It appears the simplest way to have any sent message be acted on is to put "me" in the "from" field in the filter. This doesn't match up with Google's own documentation, however. – ale Apr 18 '13 at 13:14

An idea: If you also send the email to yourself, it becomes incoming and you can use forwarding filters. You may want to let the filter delete the incoming message so that you don't see it in your inbox.


Create your desired label, example "Backup_Sent".

In the search box, type "me" into from field --> click "Create filter with this search".

Choose the label "Backup_Sent" to apply it.

Now all your sent emails will be put in 2 locations: (1) Sent & (2) Backup_Sent

Move all sent gmail to a label

  • 2
    to be clear, if this works, the email will have two labels. Gmail doesn't make copies of the emails and place them in folders, they only attach one or more labels. – mhoran_psprep Oct 5 '17 at 11:04

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