Change your Gmail inbox layout

Customize your inbox, including putting unread messages first, or having inbox categories.

Choose your inbox layout

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. In the top left, point to Inbox, then click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
  3. Select Default, Important first, Unread first, Starred first, or Priority Inbox.

Set up multiple inboxes

You can turn on up to 5 inboxes based on search terms of your choosing. When created, you can choose to see these inboxes above, below, or to the right of your default inbox.

Step 1: Set your inbox to default view

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.

  2. Set your inbox type as default. In the top left, point to Inbox, then click the Down arrow Down Arrow

  3. Select Default and Manage Your Inbox Settings.

  4. Under “Select tabs to enable”, uncheck all boxes next to the tab name and click Save

Step 2: Turn multiple inboxes on

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.

  2. At the top right, click Settings Settings and then Settings

  3. Click Advanced.

  4. Next to “Multiple Inboxes,” click Enable.
  5. At the bottom, click Save Changes.
Step 3: Set up multiple inboxes
  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.

  2. At the top right, click Settings Settings and then Settings

  3. At the top, click Multiple Inboxes.

  4. To set up an inbox:

    • Under “Search query,” enter a search operator for the type of emails you want to see, like is:starred for starred emails. 
    • Under “Panel title,” enter a name for the inbox.
    • Next to “Maximum page size,” enter the number of emails you want to see.
    • Next to “Extra panels positioning,” choose where you want to see the inbox. 

When you're done, click Save​ at the bottom.

Note: If you don’t see multiple inboxes appear, check to make sure your search query is entered correctly. 

Learn about the inbox layout options

Some inbox styles have more settings and options you can change.

Default (categories or tabs)

If you choose "Default," your inbox will be split up into different tabs, like "Primary," "Social," "Promotions," and "Updates." When you have the "Default" inbox, your messages are automatically sorted into tabs, but you can move messages among categories if you want.

Learn more about inbox tabs & categories.

Important first

If you choose "Important first," your inbox will be separated into two sections: "Important" at the top, and "Everything else" at the bottom.

You can decide how many emails to show in each section, and where your unread messages go.

Learn more how Gmail decides which emails to mark as important.

Unread first

If you choose "Unread first," your inbox will be separated into two sections: "Unread" at the top and "Everything else" at the bottom.

You can decide how many emails to show in each section, and where your unread messages go.

Starred first

If you choose "Starred first," your inbox will be separated into two sections: "Starred" at the top, and "Everything else" at the bottom.

You can decide how many emails to show in each section, and where your unread messages go.

Priority Inbox

If you choose "Priority Inbox" your inbox will be separated into multiple sections. You can choose which sections you want to show, including "Important and unread," "Starred," and "Everything else."

You can decide how many emails to show in each section, and where your unread messages go.

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