Aug 052013

I know it sounds weird to have a filter for ALL incoming mail, as it’s not really filtering anything. But sometimes there are actions you want Gmail to take on all of your email. This could include not sending anything to the spam folder, forwarding the email to a different address, or marking it with a label.

There is not ‘catch all’ setting, so you have to use a simple trick. When setting your filter search options, enter a nonsense value in the “Doesn’t have” field. Example: ‘ash87slkjhsdkjfsd8fsdf99889’. No real email coming in should ever have that value in the mail, so that will essentially match all your new mail.

Seems kinda silly, but it works! Here’s a screenshot:


Hope that helps!

  30 Responses to “Gmail filter for all incoming mail”

  1. Nice! This helped.

  2. Ahah very good idea, thanks!!

  3. This perfect solution helped so badly. Thanks a million bro!

  4. Brilliant!

  5. Clever 🙂 I’m kinda kicking myself for not seeing that myself. Thanks!

  6. You know that there is a built in option to do that, right?
    Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
    The first option is to choose the address you want to forward all you emails to.

    • this option is only valid if you are forwarding messages to ONE recipient. If you want to forward ALL messages to multiple recipients you need to configure filters

  7. Nifty solution. Filters/rules are helpful for more than forwarding. E.g., Gmail messages that I accessed via Apple mail would often come through marked “Important” for reasons known only to gremlins. Thanks to your tip, they no longer do.

  8. “You know that there is a built in option to do that, right?
    Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
    The first option is to choose the address you want to forward all you emails to.”

    The different between a filter/forward and forward is that filter/forward can forward to multiple email address.
    a forward can only send to one email address.

  9. Wow, thanks, neat workaround! Exactly what I needed haha!

  10. @Arik, that feature simply resends the email. If you want to “decorate” the email in some way, for example, add the tag “[EMAIL2]” to the subjectm then you have to use a filter.

  11. @Arik unfortunately some mail does goes into the spam.

  12. Of course, there is always the possibility that there is an email with that character sequence. Best way to do it is with the “Smaller Than” Filer, and set it to something like 7000 mb

  13. Yes, forward works with one address at a time only though.

  14. You can also do “larger than: 0 bytes”
    This will return even a blank email with no subject or body; and that way you don’t accidentally miss a message containing your random text

  15. If your filter has “from:(-me)” then sent items will be excluded..

  16. BRILLIANT suggestion! It works with all receiving settings (“To”, “Cc” and “Bcc”)… You’re a genius, thanks so much!

  17. I searched for this answer and found it, thanks!

  18. Thanks. very helpfull

  19. Thanks, it makes sense!

  20. Shere genius XD

  21. I’m with some of the others who are kicking themselves for not being the brilliant one to think up this solution. Thanks so much for sharing, you saved my brain a lot of work today!

  22. You can also put * to any of the fields.

  23. great simple idea. You are the man, thank you for sharing that!

  24. Brilliant!

  25. 4 years later, and still helping, thanks.

  26. Thanks a million bro!!!! Love you for this!!

  27. Thanks so much
    it is working

  28. Still a greats solution!!! Thanks!

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