I am eagerly awaiting an important-to-me email notification. I currently have a filter set in Gmail to trap this message and flag it as important, never send it to spam, keep it in the inbox, and label it.

Once that email arrives is there anything I can do to make Gmail even more active or obnoxious to advise me of its arrival?

Can I generate a Hangouts message to myself when it shows up?

What is the current state of desktop notifications and can those notifications be bound to a specific filter?

  • 1
    You might be able to do something with IFTTT. I used to have a recipe that would send me an SMS message when my wife sent me an email. You might do something similar.
    – ale
    Jun 23, 2016 at 20:54
  • In any case, you'll need to look for a third party solution. Gmail doesn't offer more than you've already found.
    – ale
    Jun 23, 2016 at 20:55

2 Answers 2


No, in Gmail web client you can't have a filter or particular message generate a Hangouts message or a desktop notification specific to that particular message.

In the Gmail Android app you can assign ringtones to labels. I've taken the steps below from this Google help article. I've used this combined with a filter to automatically assign the label to the incoming message for VIP emails in the past.

  1. In the Gmail app, touch the menu Menu.
  2. Touch Settings.
  3. Choose an account.
  4. Make sure that Notifications is checked.
  5. Touch Manage labels.
  6. Choose one of your labels.
  7. Touch Sync messages and choose either Sync: Last 30 days or Sync: All.
  8. Check Label notifications.
  9. Choose how you want to be notified.
  10. Repeat for any label you want notifications for. You can choose different ringtones for different labels. Note: By default, notifications are on for Primary, so you may need to turn off its notifications.
  • 1
    Thank you! I happen to use Inbox rather than the Gmail app. Inbox supports a very similar notification configuration.
    – Freiheit
    Jun 23, 2016 at 21:23
  • I'm glad I was able to answer your question. Just thought I would point out you can have Inbox & Gmail Android apps both installed at the same time. I've done this on my personal and work accounts. You'll probably want to turn off notifications in one of them so you don't get notified about every email twice, but this does allow you to get the best of both worlds, using whichever one fits your current need at that time.
    – Folk
    Jun 24, 2016 at 17:42

An IFTTT recipe will do that and more! And, may be easier to setup and manage

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