My Mail.app is configured for Gmail and Exchange.


The Exchange shows subfolders directly inside Inbox, but Gmail has separate Googletab below Mailboxes tab.


Why does Mail.app show subfolders in different places? Is it possible to make it consistent (preferable like for Exchange)?

MacOS version is Sierra.

  • 1
    How are the folders structured on the Exchange server, are they part of Inbox there or separate?
    – nohillside
    Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 14:11
  • @patrix wow! Looks like you are right and folders for exchange are subfolders of Inbox, but on Google they are just labels without any parent folder. Is it possible to create subfolders of Inbox for Gmail?
    – TheStigger
    Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 14:19
  • GMail doesn't have "folders" at all. It has labels. When accessed through a protocol that doesn't understand labels, such as IMAP, GMail tries to "fake" something that the protocol understands, such as folders. In particular, when accessed through IMAP, GMail maps labels to folders and vice versa. And, it will map labels which contain the forward slash / character to nested folders and vice versa. In particular, the inbox is just a label, too, there's nothing special about it. It might be possible (but I'm not sure) to create labels such as [INBOX]/Subfolder. Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 16:35

1 Answer 1


Mail.app just mimics whatever structure is defined on the respective mail server. In Gmail folders are just labels (or saved searches for labels) so they show up outside of Inbox (as do iCloud folders actually, even though those are not searches).

If you want to unify the way folders are represented you probably should checker whether Exchange allows to create folders outside of Inbox.

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