How to Highlight Emails in Gmail: A Comprehensive Guide

Gmail, Google’s popular email platform, offers a plethora of features to enhance user experience and productivity. One such feature that can significantly improve your email organization is highlighting. Highlighting emails in Gmail allows you to emphasize important messages, categorize them, and quickly locate essential information. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various methods and techniques on how to highlight emails in Gmail effectively.

Enable Gmail’s Default Highlighting Feature

Gmail comes with a built-in highlighting feature that allows users to emphasize specific emails using color-coded labels. To enable this feature, follow these steps:

a. Open Gmail and log in to your account.

b. Navigate to the email you want to highlight.

c. Click on the “Label” icon (it looks like a tag) at the top of the email.

d. Choose a color to apply as a label. You can create a new label if needed.

e. The email will now be highlighted with the selected color, making it easy to identify.

Create Filters to Automatically Highlight Emails

To streamline your email organization process, you can create filters in Gmail that automatically apply labels and highlight emails based on specified criteria. Follow these steps to create filters:

a. Click on the gear icon in the top right corner of Gmail and select “See all settings.”

b. Go to the “Filters and Blocked Addresses” tab.

c. Click on “Create a new filter.”

d. Specify the criteria for the filter, such as sender, subject, or keywords.

e. Click on “Create filter.”

f. Check the option to apply a label and choose the desired label with a color.

g. Click on “Create filter” to save your settings.

Use Stars and Flags for Quick Recognition

Gmail provides users with the option to star or flag emails, offering an additional method for highlighting important messages. To use stars and flags, follow these steps:

a. Open the email you want to highlight.

b. Click on the star icon next to the sender’s name to star the email.

c. Alternatively, you can click on the flag icon to flag the email.

d. Starred and flagged emails can be easily accessed from the “Starred” and “Flagged” categories in Gmail.

Utilize Third-Party Chrome Extensions

For users looking for more advanced highlighting options, there are several third-party Chrome extensions designed to enhance Gmail functionality. Some extensions offer additional color-coding options, highlighting based on specific criteria, and advanced labeling features. To use these extensions:

a. Go to the Chrome Web Store.

b. Search for Gmail highlighting extensions.

c. Choose an extension that suits your needs and click “Add to Chrome” to install it.

d. Follow the extension’s instructions for customization and usage.

Customize Your Gmail Themes

Personalizing your Gmail experience can also involve customizing the theme to make highlighted emails stand out more prominently. To change your Gmail theme:

a. Click on the gear icon and select “Themes” from the dropdown menu.

b. Choose a theme that provides a clear contrast to your selected email highlight colors.

c. Apply the theme, and your Gmail interface will be visually optimized for better highlighting.


Effectively highlighting emails in Gmail is crucial for staying organized and managing your inbox efficiently. Whether you prefer the default highlighting options, automated filters, stars and flags, or third-party extensions, Gmail offers a variety of tools to suit your needs. Experiment with these techniques to find the highlighting method that works best for your workflow, ensuring that you never miss important emails again.

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