Open Gmail & your Inbox (Android)

This information is for the Gmail app for Android 4.0 and up.

When you open Gmail, your most recent conversations are displayed in your Inbox. When you return to Gmail after using other apps, the last screen you were working with is displayed.

Open Gmail

  • Touch the Gmail icon on a Home or All Apps screen.

The first time you open Gmail, it displays a scrolling list of your most recent conversations, placing the one with the most recent messages at the top. All your conversations are displayed in your Inbox unless you delete, archive, or filter them. 

Conversations with new messages have bold subject lines. To read a message in a conversation, touch the conversation.

  • indicates messages sent directly to you.
  • indicates messages that you were Cc’d on.

Other messages were sent to you as part of a group.

If you are using Priority Inbox, messages in conversation lists may also indicate whether Gmail or you have marked them as important:

Important messages are marked with a yellow icon:

  • indicates important messages sent directly to you.
  • indicates important messages that you were Cc’d on.
  • indicates important messages that you received as part of a group.

Switch accounts

Gmail displays conversations, messages, and settings for one Google Account at a time. If you have more than one account, you can switch accounts.

  1. Open the Gmail app.
  2. Touch the Gmail icon Gmail icon.
  3. Select the account.

To add another account, open the Settings app on your phone or tablet, find the section for Accounts, and add your Google account.

View categories or labels

  1. Open the Gmail app.
  2. Touch the Gmail icon Gmail icon.
  3. Choose a category or label (you may need to scroll).

Search

From the Inbox or any other list view, touch the magnifying glass icon and type the terms you want to search for. Then touch the magnifying glass on the keyboard to display search results. Archived and sent items are included in the results. To dismiss the search results, touch the Gmail icon at the top.

Use Gmail offline

If you aren’t connected to a mobile data or Wi-Fi network (for example, if you're in Airplane mode), you can use Gmail to read or reread the messages currently synced to your device and to compose messages.

Messages that you send are stored on your device with the Outbox label until your connection is restored, when they are sent automatically. Note that Gmail is synced to 30 days by default.

Related topics