Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How to Create a GMail Filter Based on Reply-To

Today, I found myself trying to filter a message in Gmail based on the "Reply-to:" header. "Reply-to:" was the only user-friendly header that clearly distinguished it from other types of messages I receive. I knew that Gmail allows list-based filtering using a "list:" prefix in the "Has the words:" field. But, I haven't found a resource to tell you what, if any, other prefixes are allowed. I tried "reply-to:" without success. Then, I searched and found another poor soul with the same dilema. A bit more futzing and I discovered that "replyto:" was the correct prefix. Unfortunately, the Google help forum won't let me post a reply (!) So, I am hoping that romadatnvwisp will read this post and learn how easy it is to filter based on the "Reply-to:" header. Maybe he's figured it out himself?

To recap... lets say you want to filter messages with a Reply-to: address of "me@sample.com". Here's how you do it:

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper-right-hand-corner of Gmail, then select "Mail settings"
  2. Click the "filters" tab, scroll to the bottom and click "Create a new filter"
  3. Type "replyto:me@sample.com" in the "Has the words" field
  4. Click "Next Step" and finish creating the filter; note that matching messages should appear below after clicking "Next Step"


  1. Not being able to filter messages by a custom header has been a pain for me as well. After waiting for Google to implement it for a long time, I've decided to implement a Gmail application to address that and other related problems. Sounds good? Get in touch at:

  2. Thanks for posting this.

    Was very useful and a simple hack.

  3. Hi all,
    I have a website with a form. Every day 10 different people sending me that. The sender in email is always the same, their email address shows as "reply-to" always different.
    Because the sender email the same, every email goes into, accumulate 1 and becomes a giant "conversation", a headache.
    Where and how can i setup (might be a filter?) To seperate the emails using their email address (replay-to)? Ps: i do not know their email address yet!