Create Gmail Labels with the Gmail API

Published in: Google Apps Script - Gmail

You can create labels or folders in Gmail programmatically with the Gmail API. The GmailApp service of Google Apps Script includes the GmailApp.createLabel() method to quickly create new labels but one downside is that this method doesn’t return the internal id of the Gmail Label.

The Gmail Label Id is required if you wish to apply that label to multiple Gmail threads in one go. Thus we are using the advanced Gmail service available inside Google Scripts to create Gmail Labels.

const createGmailLabel = labelName => {
  const { labels = [] } = Gmail.Users.Labels.list('me');
  for (let i = 0; i < labels.length; i += 1) {
    const { name, id } = labels[i];
    if (name === labelName) {
      return id;
  const { id: newLabelId } = Gmail.Users.Labels.create(
      name: labelName,
      labelListVisibility: 'labelShow',
      messageListVisibility: 'show'
  return newLabelId;

If you are to apply this Gmail label to an array of Gmail messages, use the batchModify method available inside Gmail API.

const applyGmailLabel = (messageIds, labelName) => {
  const labelId = createGmailLabel(labelName);
      addLabelIds: [labelId],
      ids: messageIds

These examples are written with ES6 and Apps Script.

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Published in: Google Apps Script - Gmail

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Web Geek, Google Developer Expert
Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India. He is the developer of Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory

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