Nested Folders Not Appearing Properly in Gmail

The Problem

If you had setup nested folders prior to the move to GMail, they may not appear properly in the GMail interface. This usually occurs when the folders are empty. The most common symptom is folders with strange names appearing in your interface, such as: folder1/folder2/folder3.

Determining the Missing Parent Labels

First, you'll need to determine the name of the missing parent folder name. For example, if you had the following structure in the old e-mail system:

  • Records
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Spring

The Records folder is the parent folder. In your GMail view, you might see labels that look like this:

records/fall

records/winter

records/spring

"records" is the missing parent label, and the one we want to create.

Recreating the Label

  1. From the main GMail interface, click the Gear icon in the upper right
  2. Click Mail Settings
  3. Click the tab named Labels
  4. Click Create New Label
  5. Enter the parent folder name (in our example, this would be "records")
  6. Click Create

Additional Labels

You will need to follow these steps for each nested folder that is having problems. For example, if your original structure looked like this:

  • Records
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Spring
  • Meetings
    • Personal
    • Business
You will need to create a label called Records and one called Meetings.

Additional Nesting in GMail

If the Records folder (and its children) was a child folder, we can fix that as well. For example, if your original folder structure looked like this:

  • Students
    • Records
      • Fall
      • Winter
      • Spring

and you want to recreate that structure, do the following:

  1. Create a label called Students (see the above section Recreating a Label as the steps are the same)
  2. Follow the Recreating a Label steps for recreating the Records label
  3. After Step #5 of Recreating a Label, check Nest Label Under
  4. Select Students (or whatever your original parent folder was)
  5. Continue with Step #6 of Recreating a Label