Setting up and using labels

What are labels?

Labels are a way of organizing mail. Unlike folders, you can apply multiple labels to a message, allowing you to organize messages in a few ways.

You can switch to labels via your Settings → Preferences screen. Here, scroll down to the Mail section, and select Labels instead of Folders. Your folders will immediately be converted to labels.

How do I create a label?

Labels can be created by going to Settings → Labels and clicking Create Label.

Labels can also be created while viewing webmail by following these steps:

  1. Click the + button at the bottom of the sidebar.
  2. Enter the name of the new label.
  3. If you'd like this to be nested within another label on your account, choose the label from the dropdown that appears when you click nest label under:.
  4. Click Create Label.

If you'd like to edit a label, click on the Edit button at the bottom of the sidebar. This will bring you directly to the Settings → Labels screen. Find which label you'd like to edit, and click Edit on the right hand side.

Here, you can choose the visibility for this label. On this screen you can also rename the laabel, share it with other users in your account, change the color, set it as a spam learning label, set up auto-purge, and more. Click the Save button at the top or bottom of the screen after making edits.

How do I view labels in my mailbox?

Labels appear to the left side of the mailbox. There are a few labels that appear by default, like Inbox, and these can't be edited. You can create as many or as few labels as you like, nest labels, or create labels based on common searches. When viewing a message, you see all of the labels that have been applied at the top, underneath the subject. You can remove any labels by clicking X next to the label at the top.

If you do not see the label list, you should see a hide/show button in the top-left of the page. Click the button to show the label list. To set the window so the label list always shows, go to the Settings → Preferences screen, click Show advanced preferences, and make sure one of the Show Sidebar options is selected.

Advanced Options

  • Default identity - Sets the account identity to use when composing new messages in this label.
  • Spam learning - If enabled, Fastmail will learn messages in this label as spam, or not spam, according to the setting.
  • Auto-purge - Removes this label from unpinned messages after a set number of days. If the message does not have any other label, it will be deleted.
  • Duplicates - For a variety of reasons, occasionally duplicate copies of an email can arrive in an Inbox. This setting automatically removes the extra copies.

How do I manage my label list?

You can drag and drop labels around in Settings → Labels to reorder them. Or, drag a label on top of another label to nest them.

How do I create a label from a common search?

Fastmail allows you to save your common searches for quick access in the label list. To do this:

  1. Search for something using the search bar on the top of the page.
  2. Press Enter. The mailbox shows you messages matching your search query.
  3. In the label list, click the Save button next to your search results. A naming box appears.
  4. Name your search and press the Save button. The search now appears as a label in the label list.

Please note, saved searches are only visible in the web interface. It is not possible to access them through external (IMAP) clients, such as Outlook, Mac Mail, etc.

Advanced Search

When setting up your search query, you can also specify a number of advanced search options, such as limiting by a date or a particular subject. These can be used to form a more complicated search label.

Labels and IMAP

For a detailed overview of how labels work with IMAP clients (e.g Outlook, Thunderbird, Mac Mail), please click here.

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