I have a label 'alpha' and under that I have nested 'abc' and 'def'.

When I tag an email with label "alpha/abc" and I open label "alpha", why don't I see that email?

I only see the emails tagged with "alpha" and none of the messages tagged with the child label.

  • Could you add a screenshot?
    – Alex
    Jan 23, 2015 at 20:51

1 Answer 1


You will need to add the parent label as well, even if the sub-label is supposed to be nesting.

When you look at the list of labels, you will see the parent and sub-label (or child label) as separate choices.

list of selected labels

This is why when you click on a parent label it will only show emails tagged with that. It will not include messages "under" that tag.

That hierarchy is mostly for visual organising instead of applying to all child messages.

  • 1
    Unfortunately, outlook sync creates a seperate folder for each label, and places the email there with that label, so each message would be duplicated according to how many labels you have on it. So don't use this fix if you use Outlook or any other non-Google mail clients. May 16, 2018 at 15:05

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