I accidentally deleted the filters for auto-archiving (skip the inbox) messages that go into my smart label (promotions, social, etc.) folders.

How can I re-enable/re-create these filters so that my inbox stops being full of these?

3 Answers 3


I deleted my Promotions labels thinking I wouldn't need it anymore but I prefer it over the new inbox so I searched a little and this seems to have worked:

  1. Create a new label with the same name as the Smart Filter, in my case "Promotions"

  2. Create a new filter and enter the value "label:^smartlabel_promo" in the "Has the words" field. When you do a sample filter search, that value becomes "category:promotions" automatically

  3. Save the filter and the Smart Label for Promotions should be restored

Source for #2: http://productforums.google.com/d/msg/gmail/Tly7NqKJ0_I/_1-w1AKv5VkJ

  • Looks like it's working! Thank you :D Sep 29, 2013 at 20:38

While these seem to be redundant with the new default Inbox, and I won't be surprised if they're removed from the Gmail Labs in the future, it is possible to recreate them.

To test, I decided to munge my own email account. I deleted one of the SmartLabel filters.

To restore, I did this:

  1. Turn off the SmartLabels in Gmail Labs; Save your settings
    • You'll be prompted whether you want to get rid of the labels that go along with them. I chose to delete them, but you probably won't want to. (In the end it doesn't seem to matter.)
  2. Turn on the SmartLabels again; Save your settings

Labels and filters are re-created. Now you can check that "Archive incoming..." checkbox that appears with the SmartLabel labels.

You will, of course, want to use the "Priority Inbox", not the "Default" inbox, otherwise you may get some unusual results.


It is very easy. Go to your smart label from label list on the left side, and choose "archive incoming Promotions(skip the inbox) on the right top side.

  • I seem to have some sort of new inbox, and that doesn't work anymore - the option is gone.
    – Erty
    Jun 6, 2013 at 18:45
  • i have the new inbox, the option "archive incoming Promotions(skip the inbox)" on the right top corner of the mail list, below the gear icon.
    – zgjie
    Jun 7, 2013 at 6:46
  • Hmm... doesn't exist for me. Thanks for trying to help out, though!
    – Erty
    Jun 7, 2013 at 7:16
  • see here lifehacker.com/5985689/…
    – zgjie
    Jun 7, 2013 at 7:42

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