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How to: Enable New Gmail Inbox With Categories

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 7.57.16 AM

If you have been waiting ever-so patiently for the past 24 hours to try out the new Gmail for desktop, you can do so starting now. While in your inbox on the desktop, hit the Settings (little gear on the right) and under the drop down menu, select “Configure inbox.” From here, you will select which tabs you want to have shown, including the new Social and Promotion options. What’s great is that you do not have to have any of them selected, so if you want a more unified appearance, then you won’t have to change anything. 

Although, the new look does disable the Priority inbox, so that’s also something to keep in mind. If you don’t like the new look, you can easily revert back by going to Settings>Inbox and then under the drop down menu, select “Priority Inbox.”

Please note, this new look is currently not available for Google Apps users.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 7.56.57 AM

Feel free to give it a spin!

Cheers Jovan!

  • Raquel Fantasia

    Thank you so much! I was searching a way to disable this new look because i’ve everything organizated by labels and filters and this new look didn’t help me.

  • John Karaman

    When will it come to google apps users i wonder?

  • Dan

    I also noticed when you are using this you have right-click options on messages. basically just Move, Archive, Delete and Mark unread. neat feature if you are used to right-click on messages

  • coolsilver

    I’ve got tens of thousands of messages… I can’t see how this will help me any.

    • Allan

      Cool story bro.

      • coolsilver


  • Matt

    Does anybody know how to filter the “Primary” tab and mark all “Primary” as read? I used Priority Inbox before, which was the only section I left marked read, and now I have 480 messages unread in my Primary Inbox. However, I can’t find them all and do it in one swoop, I would have to go page by page.

    • Julian-Aime Reyes

      1. Search for “in:unread”. This should show you all your messages.
      2. Select all with the checkbox at the very top.
      3. The option to Select All x-amount of messages in the pages to follow should pop up.

      • Matt

        Thanks, but that’s not quite it. My full inbox has *a lot* more unread than my Primary Inbox (9,000+ compared to 480). I still want to keep the non-Primary emails unread. I just want to localize “Primary” and “unread”, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to filter just “Primary” (“category: Social label: unread”, for instance, works for the social tab, but nothing for Primary).

        • Julian-Aime Reyes

          Thanks for the clarification! I was wondering about that tag as well. Have you archived any messages? As I understand, all messages that don’t have a label or filter end up in that vortex called “Primary”. Will investigate with a smaller scale inbox of mine.

          • Matt

            Nope, no archived messages. I’ve got a few other labels set up but I don’t seem to see any pattern to which ones make it to “Primary.” I guess I’ll just have to do it manually at some point, because that 100+ unread label on the tab is gonna annoy me:P If not here, then when this comes to the mobile app.

          • Julian-Aime Reyes

            I meant to write this initially, (brain derp):
            in:unread -in:inbox

            That should show all the unread items that are not in the Primary inbox (and the other new inbox tabs).

          • Matt

            Yeah but that goes back to the 9000+ unread emails in my Inbox. I want the 480 unread emails that are in my Primary inbox only so that I can select them all and mark them as read. I want to leave the other ones in my Inbox unread.

          • Julian-Aime Reyes

            Just kidding. Try:
            in:unread and in:inbox -category:updates -category:social -category:promotions -category:forums

          • Julian-Aime Reyes

            I’m confident that this is the elusive label workaround, for the win ^ ^

            Also, archived= no “Inbox” label.

  • Intellectua1

    I like it..

  • Linda Mitchell

    I like it so far. The tabs are very useful for reading/deleting certain mail quickly. It’s also nice that Google gives you the option to go back to your regular mail if you don’t find the new features useful.

  • Joe

    How can you tell when we get a new email in the “Promotions” or “Update” tab? I don’t see any indicator.
    I do like how Google has corralled the ads into just the “Promotions” tab where it makes sense.

  • Anhstein

    I got too used to Priority Inbox…

  • Ian Kavanagh

    “Please note, this new look is currently not available for Google Apps users.”

    Yes it is.

  • Creative

    I have a Google Apps account, and it updated for me! 🙂

  • Blue Sun

    I wish I could get the “Tab View” combined with “Unread emails on top” view.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    I like that they sort it for me.

  • I like it! All my emails are in the correct tabs..scary.

  • Chris Peterson

    Umm… I have both business and personal apps accounts and it’s available for me. So you can probably change that line about Google Apps users.

  • Chris

    Useless feature in my opinion. The screen is way too busy to really see the tabs in the default color scheme. It distracts from when other messages are coming in. I rather use filters and labels.

    • Guest

      Yeah, I’ve had this option for years… it’s called filters and options… and way less busy than tabs. 🙂 I guess I’m glad to see people being semi-forced into it though. Maybe folks will be able to keep up with their inbox now 😛

    • lgreg64

      the good thing is google gives you the option to use it or not. i will give it a try for now.

      • Stephen Poore

        Why are people who comment on tech blogs SO NEGATIVE!? I think it’s a great way to organize and quickly delete unimportant emails. I never took the time to do filters so for me this is great.

        I’m stoked to see how it works on my Nexus 4.

        • Stephen Poore

          PS. Does anyone have the new Gmail APK?

    • Justin W

      Sad part: They aren’t frozen to the top of the page like the search bar is either, so you have to scroll back to the top to change tabs.

      I do like the layout, though. It’s cleaner, and now I’ll be able to clean my e-mail out easier.

  • brkshr

    Thank you DL

  • jnt

    am I blind? not seeing “configure inbox” under the settings gear…

    • jnt

      lol, it literally JUST showed up upon a refresh…

    • npompei

      no you are not. It worked on my laptop but not desktop. You actually have to upgrade Chrome first before seeing the “configure inbox” settings. So check Chrome first, then Mail configure.

  • JTversky

    enabled it this morning….it didn’t sort messages 100% perfectly but it was damned close. liking the new layout so far.

    • brkshr

      Hopefully it learns when you move emails to different tabs

      • JTversky

        it will allow you to select “Do this going forward for all emails from this address” – it won’t sort everything historically from that address though after the fact

        • brkshr

          Thanks! I missed that notification

  • Detonation

    I like the new layout/org but I wish you could make custom tabs per label/filter. I had been using the “multiple inboxes” lab features prior to this to separate out different labels, but with this enabled, multiple inboxes no longer works and I’m at the liberty of google to group them.

    • brkshr

      I’ll bet they enable this at some point in time. There is a +tab at the end of the tabs.

    • barrmy

      same here, this killed multiple inboxes and since it can’t be customized it’s a no-go for me

      • Justin W

        While it technically can’t be customized by editing what goes into a group all at once, you can move individual e-mails into the groups, and answer “yes” to the toast at the top, and it will automatically file those e-mails there in the future (based off e-mail address, so it won’t work as well if it’s sent from a dynamic e-mail).

    • Under Settings->Inbox you can revert to Priority Inbox and possibly the older Inbox. Priority Inbox is pretty customizable and you should be able to get it to work the same way Multiple Inboxes did.

      • Detonation

        If you just uncheck all the tab options other than primary in “configure inbox”, it gives you the old inbox back.