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''Hidden'' feature: How to display unread emails only on Gmail

Gmail teaser
© Google/nextpit

You really can’t get away from using Gmail on your smartphone or tablet, but that being said, the Gmail for Android app still hasn’t received the optimization that we are used to on the web-based version. There is one option that doesn’t exist on the app, which you can use on your computer, that allows you to post only unread messages at the top of the page. Though this function has yet to arrive to Android, here is a workaround to make this happen anyways.

Gmail teaser
© Google/AndroidPIT

It’s ridiculously simple:

  • Tap the magnifying glass on the top left corner of your screen to launch the search function.
  • In the search field text box, enter is:unread in:inbox
  • Launch the search and there you go! All the unread messages come up first.

To be able to access this faster the next time, you simply need to open the search again and this time choose is:unread in:inbox from the search history. In worst case scenario (especially if you use the search function a lot), you just need to scroll through to find it.

We admit that this solution could be a bit cumbersome, but it suffices for the time being. But honestly, Google should get on top of adding this function to its app or at least creating an equivalent!

Do you know any other tips and tricks for Gmail?

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Go to comment (8)
Quentin Ducreux L.

Quentin Ducreux L.

Quentin is Editor-in-Chief for Since his first video game console, a NES, he's been a tech enthusiast. Now that he owns or think he owns all the test devices in the office, he's always trying to find the best apps, the best mods and the last secret about the next Android update.

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  • Jeanne G 1
    Jeanne G Feb 8, 2018 Link to comment

    If you have Samsung, the email app has an unread option.

  • Benjamin Blackwood 1
    Benjamin Blackwood Mar 7, 2017 Link to comment

    Thanks so much! Perfect!

  • 1
    Stefan Coetzee Dec 5, 2016 Link to comment

    There might be another way. Go in Web version, click on the 'Settings' gear top right in gmail, click on 'Settings' again i the menu, then click the 'Inbox' tab. Select 'Unread first' as the Inbox Type, and Save. Then all the unread emails will show up first in your inbox - hopefully in Android as well?

  • Janne V 1
    Janne V Nov 4, 2016 Link to comment

    Go in Gmail web version. Create filter "in:inbox label:unread" and use it with your own "My unread" (or so) label. After this open gmail in phone and find this label and open it.

  • M G Durrant 1
    M G Durrant Apr 7, 2016 Link to comment

    Well, here it is two years later (April 6, 2016) and this still has not been implemented in GMail for Android.

  • Shannon Bradford 1
    Shannon Bradford Aug 5, 2015 Link to comment

    Neither unread nor unread in:inbox works on my Note 3

  • Darwin J. V. 3
    Darwin J. V. Apr 6, 2014 Link to comment

    These is a great tip that I've been using for a long time but typing just "is:unread" (Without quotation marks) is just as good and as well. It will give you unreads on all your inbox.

    Shannon Bradford

    • Shannon Bradford 1
      Shannon Bradford Apr 7, 2016 Link to comment

      That works! Thanks Darwin!

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