Gmail ‘Skip the Inbox’ Filter Not Working? This May Be Why – and How to Fix It

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If you are one of countless Gmail users who have set filters for their incoming email, only to find that Gmail seems to be ignoring or overriding your filter, well, you’re not alone. For example, you may have set a filter for email from certain people or mailing lists to skip the inbox, and yet those same emails keep ending up in the inbox.

Or maybe you cc: yourself on important emails and don’t want to have to see the email you sent show up in your inbox – so you have a filter that sends everything ‘from’ you to a separate folder, or even to the sent folder – and yet email you send to yourself keeps showing up in your Gmail inbox.

In some cases with which we are familiar, even multiple filters, aimed at the same email from different angles, fail. For example, for mail from a mailing list “”, setting up a filter to make anything from “” skip the inbox, and another filter making anything to “” skip the inbox, and yet another filter making anything with the words “” skip the inbox, still had email to and from “” landing in the inbox.

gmail filters

And then there are people who use Gmail as their spam filter and want to make sure that the email that gets forwarded on to them at another email address also gets archived at Gmail, but not in their inbox.


Whatever the reason that people create and employ Gmail filters, they find it frustrating when those filters don’t work.

(Speaking of filters, we figured out how to create a Gmail filter to make Gmail automatically send something to the spam folder!)

It turns out that the fix for this is simple, once you realize that the issue is that, in true Google fashion, Gmail thinks that it knows better than you what you want to do with your email. In fact, Gmail decides what email you think (or should think) is important, and overrides your filters when it comes to that sort of email.

“Gmail analyzes your new incoming messages to predict what’s important, considering things like how you’ve treated similar messages in the past, how directly the message is addressed to you, and many other factors.”

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Well, isn’t that special.

Here’s how to make Gmail your… to get it to do what you want.

How to Make Gmail Filters Actually Skip the Inbox

In your Gmail account, go to Settings.

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Gmail ‘Skip the Inbox’ Filter Not Working?  This May Be Why – and How to Fix It

gmail settings

Once in the Settings area click on Inbox.

gmail settings inbox

Now, check out what’s at the very bottom of that section!:

gmail skip inbox filter not working

“Override filters – Include important messages in the inbox that may have been filtered out” is checked by default!

Now look up at the section just above it.

how to filter gmail skip the inbox

So, by default Gmail is a) deciding which email you think (or should think) is important, and b) ignoring your filters and putting the email that IT thinks are important in your inbox.

So, tell Gmail “Don’t use my past actions to predict which messages are important” and “Don’t override filters”.

gmail dont override filters skip inbox

Don’t forget to save your changes!

save changes gmail

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Gmail ‘Skip the Inbox’ Filter Not Working?  This May Be Why – and How to Fix It

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4 Replies to “Gmail ‘Skip the Inbox’ Filter Not Working? This May Be Why – and How to Fix It”

  1. I’m in the camp where this doesn’t work either. And the issue seems to vary day by day – sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.

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