How to Create More Than 20 Filters At Once

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Let's get started

The Gmail help file (http://gmail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=6579) claims that, "You can set up to 20 filters." This is a neat hack on how to bypass this limitation. You will need to be familiar with the Gmail search operators. Let's get started.

  1. Go to your G-mail account > select "Create Filter" > place focus on the "from" field. Any field is fine, actually.
  2. Understand that a statement is completed when it is in this format: from:(email@address.com)
  3. Complete the current statement by starting the line with an ), and follow it with the boolean operator OR. On your last rule do not use a closing parentheses. Gmail will do that automagically (like everything else :)
  4. Thats it! You can continue entering statements using the search operators linked above (experiment with them to find your favorite mix) and separating statements with the boolean operator OR. Although the first statement, which you closed right away, was applied to messages in the From field, the rest are not. Simply enclosing your search (operator) in parentheses automatically searches the body. As far as I can tell you can create an unlimited amount of filters.
  5. Here's an example (you can just copy/paste this)

user@host.com) OR from:(user2@host.com) OR from:(user3@host.com) OR from:(user4@host.com

Alternate Method

Another solution is filling in all adresses in the "from:" field separated by "OR"s: user@hostm.com OR user2@host.com OR user3@host.com

which will give a filter that looks something like:

Matches: from:(user@hostm.com OR user2@host.com OR user3@host.com)
Do this: Apply label "Friends"

Things to keep in mind

  1. You can use many of the search operators. (if someone wants to test them all, report back for us.)
  2. This is a great tool for fighting spam. Just use ) OR from:(jerk@face.net) OR from:(doublejerk@face.net
  3. Beware of conflicting rules
  4. Combine this new capability with Gmail's fuzzy addresses feature for increased spam fighting. (for example, you will receive mail sent to safsar@gmail.com as well as mail sent to y.o.u.r.....a.d.r.e.s.s++@gmail.com)
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