Add or remove inbox categories & tabs in Gmail

Sort your emails into different inbox tabs, like Social or Promotions. When you open Gmail, you won't have to see all emails at once.

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Add or remove categories

An animation showing how to add inbox categories for Gmail on Android

If you don't see categories like Primary or Social when you tap Menu Menu, follow the steps below to show categories:

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Gmail app .
  2. At the top left, tap Menu Menu.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Choose your account.
  5. Tap Inbox type.
  6. Select Default Inbox.
  7. Tap Inbox categories.
  8. Add or remove categories.

Tip: If you only use the Primary category on your computer, you won't be able to choose "Inbox categories."

Move an email

Move an email to a new category

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Gmail app .
  2. Open a email.
  3. Tap Move Move to. If you don't see Move, tap More More and then Move to.
  4. Tap a new category.

Make emails show in Primary

Any emails you mark with a star Star will show - in your Primary category, along with any category they were in before.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Gmail app .
  2. From your inbox, or inside the email, click Star Star.

Change notifications for each category

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

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 and then Settings.
  3. Scroll down to the "Conversation view" section.
  4. Select Conversation view off.
  5. At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.
  6. 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.
  7. When you're done, go back to settings and turn on "Conversation view."

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.

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