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Add or remove inbox categories & tabs in Gmail

Messages in your inbox are sorted into categories, like Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums. Categories help you sort your emails so you don't see all of them at one time. When you open your inbox, you'll see your Primary tab first. 

Change notifications for each category

You can choose different notifications for each category. Learn more about notifications.

I can't turn on inbox categories

If you have more than 250,000 messages in your inbox, you won't be able to turn on inbox categories.

To get below this limit, you can archive or delete messages.

Check the number of messages in your inbox

In Gmail, replies to a message are grouped into conversations. In your inbox, you'll see the number of conversations you have, but not messages.

Follow these steps to see how many messages are in your inbox:

  1. On your computer, open Gmail. You can't find your total number of messages from the Gmail app.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Scroll down to the "Conversation view" section.
  5. Select Conversation view off.
  6. At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.
  7. Go back to your inbox to see the number of messages you have. If you have multiple sections or categories, make sure to add together the number from each section.
  8. When you're done, go back to settings and turn on "Conversation view."

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

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