Android - Automatically Sync Gmail Labels

If you use Gmail on your Android phone or tablet, you might have noticed that the Gmail app only syncs your inbox & sent messages. It doesn't sync your other folders or labels. 


While is not necessarily a bad thing, if you are using EmailThis to save web pages via email and have a separate label setup for all your saved bookmarks, then those emails might not be synced automatically. That means you won't be able to catch up on your reading list during commute/when you are offline. 


Thankfully, there is a quick way to tell the Gmail app to sync & download messages from a particular label for offline reading. Follow the steps mentioned below - 


  1. Open the Gmail app on your phone or tablet. Tap the "Menu" button at the top left corner. This is the button with three vertical lines.
  2. In the menu that opens up, scroll down to the bottom and tap the "Settings" option.
  3. The next screen will list all your email accounts. Tap the one that you want to sync the labels for. 
  4. On the next screen, under a heading called "Data usage", there will be an option called "Manage Labels". Tap that option.
  5. This screen will list all the labels that are available for your Gmail account. Tap the label that you want to modify (For example, this example, we will assume that you have a label called "EmailThis" receiving all the web pages you save using EmailThis). 
  6. On the next screen, tap the first option - "Sync messages". Then select "Sync: All"
  7. That's it! All messages in that particular label will now be downloaded and synced automatically. You will be able to open and read those messages even when you are offline.


Quick side note - EmailThis is a simple "email me this webpage/article service". If you come across an interesting article and don't have time to read it now, you can use EmailThis to send yourself a nicely formatted email with just the text/images from that article (no ads, distractions, and crufty sidebar. yay!). It is completely free, get started here - EmailThis.