How to Configure Inbox Styles and Tabs in Gmail

Quick and easy-to-follow guide for Gmail users

  • You can select between a few different Inbox styles when configuring your Gmail.
  • You can also enable additional Inbox sections for sorting purposes and group your emails into different categories. Follow the steps below.

How to configure Gmail Inbox styles and categories step-by-step with images

Step 1

How To Configure Inbox Styles And Tabs In Gmail - Step 1

Open Gmail and click the Settings gear icon in the top right.

Step 2

How To Configure Inbox Styles And Tabs In Gmail - Step 2

Select See all settings.

Step 3

How To Configure Inbox Styles And Tabs In Gmail - Step 3

Select your Gmail Inbox type

Select Inbox on top.

There are a couple of settings here that let you configure the way your Inbox works.

First, the Inbox type setting allows you to divide your Inbox into two or more sections, so you can always stay on top of specific types of emails.

Choose among the following options:

  • Default – keeps your Inbox as it is by default
  • Important first – shows emails that are marked as Important on top in a separate Inbox
  • Unread first – shows unread emails on top in a separate Inbox
  • Starred first – shows starred emails on top in a separate Inbox
  • The Priority Inbox option can be handy if you set it up nicely. It allows you to set up three Inboxes in addition to the main one, which can show Important and unread emails, only Important ones, Unread ones, Starred ones, or all emails in a specific label you select.

  • We have an article specifically for the Multiple Inboxes  option –  click here to view.

Enable or disable Gmail categories

Next up, the Categories setting allows you to add tabs to your Inbox which categorize emails. The options here are:

  • Social
  • Promotions
  • Updates
  • Forums

Configure your Gmail Inbox style and preferences

  • The Reading pane setting lets you split your screen and view the list of emails and the actual email content on a single page.
  • The Importance markers setting shows an icon next to emails that are marked important.

We recommend selecting Show markers so you can see which emails were marked important.

Below that, select Use my past actions to predict which messages are important to me so that relevant emails you don’t want to miss will be marked important automatically.

  • ​Finally, Filtered mail allows you to Override filters to avoid missing emails that are marked important. If your filters are set up well, you can set it to Don’t override filters.

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