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Gmail Feature Request: Give Me a “Mark as Read,” Forward, or Third Button in the Notification Preview

Each morning, I wake up to the alarm on my phone, pick it up after snoozing it a couple of times, and then immediately swipe down the notification bar to see what kind of mess is going on in my three Gmail inboxes. Since there are typically dozens awaiting action, the notification preview forces me to enter the inbox to deal with them. But once I’ve done that, the notifications continue to pop up throughout the day (some times before I get out of bed), one at a time, with actionable buttons for “reply” or “delete.” These button additions by the Android team to notifications have been game-changing, if you ask me. Being able to instantly react to an email that comes through your inbox is something I could not live without now that I have experienced it.

I want more, though.ย With growing displays and resolutions, there is room for a third button. I want a third button!

As you can tell from my unprofessional quick mock-ups at the top, I could use either a “mark as read” or a “forward” button. How often do you see an email pop through your notifications that you don’t necessarily want to delete or archive, but you think you’ve seen enough in the preview to mark it as read? Caught up in a lengthy cc thread? Tap the “mark as read” button and move on with your day.

But maybe more importantly, how many times have you received an email that doesn’t exactly require a reply, but maybe a delegation? Enter the “forward” button. While hitting “reply” will then take you into the composer that will then let you switch over to “forward,” a direct “forward” button would save even more time.

Obviously, this idea is simply a dream of mine to help make my day easier (should help many of you too), but could never happen unless the Gmail team sees it and decides that it is helpful enough to include. Basically, this is me brainstorming, something I often do in the wee hours of the morning.

Thoughts on the idea?

On a side note: ย Any other feature requests you’d like us to write up? I get the feeling that you all have ideas that need to be released to the world. We could easily turn this into a regular feature. If you’ve got something good, hit us up and maybe we’ll feature it.

  • Shimamasu

    This! I don’t know how many times I wished I had this feature. This feature would be nice on hangout as many others pointed out!

  • Greg Malinao

    Great idea! Hope someone at big G takes note of this idea.

  • Jeremy Gross

    i dont have this, is this because i am still on 4.1.2?

  • Scott S

    Why can’t google add a setting where you get to pick which 2/3 buttons are shown in the notification bar?

  • otaconlink

    There should be a “Mark as read and Archieve” button! But after Google added the automatic tabs, things got easier.

  • gunslinger

    maybe i’m not seeing it, but i’d like a # of [total] somehwere in the email. it was nice to konw if i had 1 or 3 more emails to read.

    they had it…but then took it out. I’d use that more.

  • Richard Jackson

    Here my idea. Why not turn the action panel into a horizontal scroll ribbon. Let user define what button are put their beside the default. I figure most phone hardware could handle it.

  • I agree with this. But I also wish Gmail (on all platforms) had a “Go to next unread conversation” feature when you’re viewing a conversation. Right now the only way to switch to the next unread convo is to navigate up to the inbox and manually hunt for the next one.

  • Havoc70

    This would be AWESOME, Google you hear this? please add to Android

  • joseph carson

    I would love to have this also. I can’t believe it doesn’t already

  • Zippy

    How about three buttons that you can set in settings to whatever options you like. Makes way more sense and gives everyone what they want.

  • Matt Harrell

    Mark as Read sounds fantastic. Forward seems a bit useless, as it would require you to enter the app to input who you want to forward to.

  • CompCrash

    I would like to have Delete and Archive at the same time. I use both and its really annoying to have to do each a different way.

  • Sammy V

    Mark as read please! Hangouts also really needs it and also reply. That would make me super happy.

  • Agree, mark as read would be ideal.

  • Agreed. If I could delete emails from the notification, I’d be a happy camper.

  • jim

    We want to natively bcc one of our gmail contact GROUPS!

  • Tyler

    Once again, apps like K-9 continue to have better features than Gmail…embarrassing.

  • Foo

    Am I the only one around who actually reads their email?

  • How about a three dot overflow in the notification? Kind of a joke, but at the same time, kinda serious ๐Ÿ™‚

  • DaveTea

    The app also needs a “Mark ALL Read” button.

    • MikeM

      Agree! How has Google overlooked this and why aren’t people asking for this? Does everyone read each email as they come in? I get hundreds a day and read a handful of times a day. I skip the junk and would love to mark all as read when done.

  • Br_d

    I think swiping it away should mark it as read. Or that should be an option you could toggle on. Most of the time, I can see the whole email in the notification panel!

  • Joe Mihalich

    yeah, how about select-all, and then support delete. Don’t make me go through every friggen email one at a time, and delete them. And how about adding that in the stock email client as well while they’re at it.

  • trailmix

    i would settle for a long press for options instead of long press for “app info”.

  • NorCalGuy

    Would be nice if you could choose the buttons displayed. Or instead of the swipe to archive maybe it could swipe to mark read one way and delete another


    Mark as read would be great.

  • Dustin

    I have been wanting a mark as read button ever since google updated gmail to include the expandable notification. I have so much space on gmail, I rarely, if ever delete emails. A mark as read button is far more useful to me.

  • fauxshizzl

    Those are actually nice mock-ups. What would be really cool is an assignable third button with all the options you mentioned and others as options to choose from.

  • Dan

    Both! We need Both!

  • Tyler Casilio

    I 100% agree

  • What about Archive? That would be more useful to me than Delete. Seems like the Delete spot should be whatever you have configured swiping a message in the inbox to do in the settings.

    (what you are suggesting is very CyanogenMod-like for SMS)

  • Jeff C

    Individual options (archive, delete, mark as read, etc) for swipe left/right. That is one thing I still love about the email app on my D4. I swipe left to mark as read, and swipe right to delete.

  • Ricardo Rodriguez

    What about being able to read an ICS attachment, like their Web app ALREADY does.

    • JasonIvers

      Even better if they also change the buttons for ICS attachments to “Accept”, “Reject”, and “Tentative” (or whatever terms they want that match those functionalities).

  • TimXer

    looks like there’s room for 2 buttons…maybe you’ll get both your wishes

  • LexLuthor

    I want to be able to disable conversation mode in the gmail app. Been asking forever!

  • dquicknc

    Android Gmail needs a select all feature in the inbox to delete multiple emails at once! Sucks selecting one freaking email at a time, then hitting the delete!

    • Hothfox

      You can tap multiple profile icons (or squares with letters in them) to multiple select and batch delete.

  • Tony G.

    id like to mark all as read through gmail app. unless the feature has been there, cant find it.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    If you put more functionality in expanded notifications and a search function you could run the os from there. I wonder how that would go for ads.

  • Julio

    Delete is one I never use. I bulk delete emails once a year, but I never delete from there. It would still show up as unread in the trash. However, Mark as read is one I would use all the time.

  • XxROCKxX

    I only use gmail but the desktop version pisses me off. They should have a preview pane like outlook(i know you can change this in the labs section) but it’s not standard and bothers everyone i know. Also the way the replies are shown and work are annoying.

  • Ben Udkow

    Yes, yes 1000 times yes!

  • George Fayad

    Kellen is my hero.

  • Steve Yobs

    can we get this with the stock sms app also!! locked down on my moto x and miss the modified sms like on my gnex

    • BobbyG

      download 8SMS

      • s2knj

        Yes do this! Just found out about it yesterday and it’s almost a dream come true

      • Steve Yobs

        literally just searched right before you posted and saw this. is there a way to get a stock sms icon tho? i like stock look

        • BobbyG

          You should be able to long press the icon > edit > press the icons picture > chose anything you want

          • Steve Yobs

            actually it has that option in its settings. thanks!

      • Steve Yobs

        and nevermind it has that option. thanks!

  • sonicemerald

    I’ve recently started using mailbox on a iphone (dang IOS programming class), and always liked to mark my emails as read. Now however I archive them, and have a google script to mark archived files as read every hour.


  • I want an “always send to trash” button.

  • Yes! Nice addition.

  • John Legere

    I like the no spam feature

  • fartbubbler

    K9 mail gives several different options like this. I know that doesn’t help Gmail users, but it’s definitely possible.

    Or you can use K9 mail and set it up with your gmail account ๐Ÿ™‚

  • sparty569

    MY LORD, I have been waiting for this since Android came out with the pull down notifications, which I think has always been there since at least the donut days on my OG.

    I just end up swiping them away and taking care of them when I do actually have to go into Gmail and read something.

    • Ethan Besbris

      Your “OG” if it were the original Droid never ran Donut. D you mean the G1?

      • sparty569

        OK fine…Eclair. I didnt remember what OS came on the OG originally.

        • Ethan Besbris

          Cupcake/Donut on the G1
          Eclair/Froyo on the Nexus One & OG Droid
          Gingerbread on the Nexus S
          ICS/JB on the GNex
          KK on the N5.

          The sad part is, I’ve owned all these phones, lol. Still have my N1 somewhere I’m sure.

          • fauxshizzl

            I just fired up my OG the other day when I found it. That last ROM I installed was an ICS build that still runs butter smooth.

  • Mark as read + Archive.

    • JasonIvers

      Agreed… should be a setting somewhere that you can automatically mark items as read when they are archived.

  • I need more apps to make clever use of the expandable notification features. I feel it’s not made the most of in almost all of my apps.

  • JBartcaps

    I hate how you can’t delete an email from the Notification bar if you have multiple emails. Maybe show that you have multiple emails but actually display the most current.

  • Frank Urbanski

    Maybe it’s just me but…

    Does anyone else have an issue hitting the picture icon on the left side of the email list when you are trying to select multiple messages? Quite often I’ll try to quickly select a few emails and I’ll miss the icon and it’ll open the email instead.

    • JBartcaps

      You can also just long press on the email as an alternative

  • RedXander

    I’d also love a “Mark all as read” button rather than checking each one and marking them read. It’s available on desktop, would be easy enough to implement in the mobile app.

    • mercado79

      Completely agree. I’ve actually submitted feedback via the app stating exactly this. I have a label/folder for Travel deals for example… Most of the time, I just need to mark all as read. It’s just so tedious to do this on mobile right now.

  • corgimas

    on my moto`x (android 4.4) the notification just brings me right to the email, there are no buttons to deal with an individual email. On my Galaxy II (android 4.1.2) i have those options (2 of three)…
    what phone are you using? might have been removed from later versions?

    • In Android 4.4 the notifications aren’t maximized by default. When you hold the notification and swipe down, the message appears including the buttons.

      • corgimas

        awesome! new trick taught to old dog….Thanks!

        • You’re welcome, when I first used my N5, was wondering what happened to those buttons as well ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Nideda24

    This needs to be in Hangouts!

    • HowEasy

      This is the reason I stick to stock SMS on CM. Without the option for quick reply it KILLS the experience for me.

      • Nideda24

        It’s worth noting there is an Xposed module (SMSXposed) that allows this in Hangouts and stock Messaging…but it’s ugly as hell.

    • tu3218

      Agreed. But in the meantime, download 8sms. Has the quick reply buttons right in the pulldown. Works great!

      • leffer

        This is what I use. I love 8sms, can’t live without those quick actions.
        But I guess for those that love the Hangouts/SMS integration, a separate app is no good.

  • blakjakdavy

    YES. DO WANT. Mark as read would be amazing.

  • Keith

    This should come to Hangouts as well for both chat and SMS… and you should be able to choose from a number of actions, maybe up to a max of three.

  • yodatom10


  • Eric J.

    I’d actually want archive and delete both as options on the notification bar, so I can delete short emails and archive things like receipts. As it is right now, I use delete from the notification bar and have to go into the app to archive things.

    • Justin Barrett

      Exactly. The three buttons should be Mark as Read, Archive, and Delete. If I want to reply, I can just click on the notification.

    • JasonIvers

      I DO have “Archive”, though not “Delete”. Interesting… I wonder how they choose which one to show?

      • In settings, I believe there is an option to choose whether swiping deletes or archives. I’m guessing that yours is set to archive instead of delete. Just a guess though.

        • CompCrash

          That is correct, what ever your swipe default is it will be the default in the notification shade.

    • leffer

      I guess the best bet would be if you could choose how many buttons there are in the quick action AND what buttons are shown for you in notifications.
      That would be beautiful.