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Starred messages


Use stars to easily mark certain messages as important or to indicate that you need to reply to them later.

Stars appear to the left of the sender’s name in your inbox and only you can see if you’ve starred a message.

How to add a star

  • From your inbox: click the Gray outline star star icon next to the sender's name.
  • While reading a message: click the Gray outline star star icon in upper right corner of the message, next to the time.
  • While writing a new message: click More options drop-down arrow More options in the bottom right corner of the compose window, click Label, and then select Add star.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut s to star messages in your inbox.

Get more star designs

You can also use multiple types of stars to indicate different types of messages. For example, you might use a purple star for messages you want to read again and a red exclamation mark for messages that you need to follow up on.

How to choose more star options
  1. Click the gear in the top right .
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Scroll down to find the "Stars" section of the General tab.
  4. Drag stars from “Not in use” to “In use.” You can also drag the stars in “In use” to reorder them.
  5. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.
Go to Gmail settings

To use your new star designs, click the Gray outline star star icon repeatedly until you see the star you want to use.

Find starred messages

To see all your starred messages, click Starred on the left side of your Gmail, under Inbox, or search for starred messages by typing is:starred in the search box.

How to search for a particular kind of star

Search using has: with the star's name (e.g. has:yellow-star) to find messages with a particular star.

To find out the name of a star, go to the General tab of settings and hover your mouse over the star icon. You can also find the star names in this list of advanced search operators.

Starred messages in your inbox

If you use inbox categories, messages you mark with a star will also appear in your Primary tab so they are easier to keep track of.

If you don’t want to include starred messages in Primary, click here.
  1. Click the + icon to the right of your tabs.
    Inbox tab settings
  2. Uncheck the box next to “Include starred in Primary.”
  3. Click Save.

If you love using stars, you can also try Priority Inbox or the Starred inbox so you have an entire inbox section dedicated to stars. Learn more about inbox styles.

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

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