Inbox styles and settings

Try out a new inbox style to quickly organize your inbox in a way that fits you best. Your inbox can be organized into tabs like Social and Promotions, or into sections like Unread, Starred, and Important.

Desktop

Change your inbox type

You can always switch back if you change your mind, so go ahead and experiment with different styles.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Click the gear in the top right.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select the Inbox tab.
    Inbox tab
     
  5. In the “Inbox type” section, select an inbox style in the drop-down menu.
  6. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

You can also quickly change your inbox style by hovering over Inbox on the left side of your Gmail and clicking the Gmail Inbox down arrow icon down arrow.

Inbox settings

Each inbox type has its own settings. To see available settings for a particular inbox, go to the Inbox tab in Settings and select the inbox type from the drop-down menu (see directions above).

You can also access many settings right from your inbox with the Gmail Inbox down arrow icon down arrow that’s located above each inbox section.

Gmail Inbox section settings icon

Mobile web
If you get to Gmail using the web browser on your phone or tablet, this information is for you.

Try out a new inbox style to quickly organize your inbox in a way that fits you best. Your inbox can be organized into categories like Social and Promotions, or into sections like Unread, Starred, and Important.

Change your inbox style

To change your setting while on a phone or tablet, follow these directions:

  1. Open this link.
  2. In the “Inbox type” section, select an inbox style in the drop-down menu.
  3. Touch Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

View your inbox

To view different sections of your inbox, touch Menu iOS Menu icon and select one of your inbox sections listed at the top.

Learn more about each inbox type
Inbox type Available sections Details
Default Primary
Social
Promotions
Updates
Forums
Choose which tabs to use. If you want to see all your messages in one list, just turn off all tabs. Learn more about inbox tabs.
Important first Important
Everything else
The “Important” section includes messages that Gmail predicts are important to you. Learn how importance ranking works.
Unread first Unread
Everything else
Unread messages are in their own section at the top of your inbox.
Starred first Starred
Everything else
“Starred” includes all messages that you have marked with a star.
Priority Inbox Important and unread
Important
Unread
Starred
Messages in a label you choose
Everything else
Priority Inbox combines the important, unread, and starred inboxes and adds more customization options. You can even create your own sections for specific labels (choose More options... when customizing the inbox sections).

Learn more about Priority Inbox.

Vivian is a Gmail expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback about this help page.

How helpful is this article:

Feedback recorded. Thanks!
  • Not at all helpful
  • Not very helpful
  • Somewhat helpful
  • Very helpful
  • Extremely helpful