How to show GMail labels (as labels) in Apple Mail?

I’ve been investigating without success if there is a workaround to get GMail labels to present in Apple Mail. I suspect the answer is no given that I couldn’t easily find an answer, though web searches get ever worse for these sorts of questions (too many wrong or irrelevant answers come up). I thought I’d ask here in case anyone has found a way to do it. I’m only really asking about Apple Mail on MacOS (current), though if there is an iOS solution please share.

If it’s just not possible in Apple Mail, does anyone know of a similar app to Apple Mail which does show GMail labels (and isn’t the Google app!)?

I don’t know that I want the friction of changing email apps just to get labels, but I find it frustrating that labels don’t sync between GMail and Mail automatically.

Labels are a Gmail-specific feature, and it’s not surprising that Apple Mail does not support them natively, instead seeing them as folders.

On the Mac, Spark (v2, still available on the App Store, free, but not updated anymore; not the new v3) supports labels on Gmail accounts, as does Mimestream.

On iOS, Spark does not support labels, but if I recall correctly, Airmail might (I used to use Airmail until they pulled the rug out from under longtime users when they moved to subscription and took away already paid features).

I think that Apple’s increasingly generic naming policy hurts a lot when trying to conduct web searches. Examples are changes from iPhoto to Photos, iTunes to Music, and iBooks to Books,

The Apple TV (I know technically it’s Apple TV +) service in the Apple TV app which you can use on the Apple TV Device.

And of course, Podcasts, Calendar, Camera, Files, Health, and Mail.

Yes, it does what it says on the tin, but web searching is less and less useful because of the generic nature of the naming.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve tried to search for solutions to issues which have led to pages and pages of results which aren’t useful at all.


I agree and have found that using iBooks, iPhones, iCal, etc. helpful when searching the web. Many people seeking and providing help online tend to use the old names and complete names like Using “Apple Mail” and “Apple Calendar” sometimes helps but, IMO, not nearly as much.

The only Mac program I know that uses the Gmail API is Mimestream. It doesn’t work for me because I use multiple Google Workspace apps that can link together. So I currently run Gmail in a separate browser.

But the web app feature of Safari in Sonoma might be an option.

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I’ve heard people calling Mail “Mail dot app” which I assume comes from the need to disambiguate it even when talking!


Thanks for your help everyone. Gmail is frustrating :grimacing:

I see GMail labels in Apple Mail as folders. Is that not what you’re looking for? (I may be missing your point.)

Bit late to this one but problem with apple mail when the email is archived or moved from that folder it will remove the label. Gmail uses ‘inbox’ as a label and when an email is archived, it will only remove that label and retain all other labels.

That is normal Gmail behavior. I don’t use Apple Mail but try this:
Log into Gmail in a browser, then go to Settings/Labels and turn off “Show in IMAP” for all the labels you want to hide.

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