How to Find Only Unread Emails in Gmail

Unread Email

Filter out the rest of the emails and tend to your unread emails on priority.

Each day we receive tons of emails from different sources – subscriptions, ads, news, job emails, information, etc. There are some emails we instantly read and tend to from the notifications bar. But, there are many we save for later.

When we open Gmail later, we see the unread emails along with the read mails. This can be a bit inconvenient on a small scale, but if we were to manage tons of emails, it can get irritating and time-consuming to manually filter out the read from the opened emails.

Fortunately, Gmail has the option to see all your unread emails before reaching the read emails — on both the desktop and the mobile app. Here’s how.

The changes made on one Gmail device will reflect on every Gmail device.

Finding Unread Emails in Gmail

Open Gmail and click the ‘Settings’ button (gear icon) to the top right corner of the screen.

Scroll a little through the ‘Settings’ pane to find the ‘Inbox type’ section. Here, click the radio button in front of the ‘Unread first’ option.

That’s it. Your inbox will now show all unread emails first on the Gmail desktop client.

If you want to minimize your ‘Unread’ inbox and take a look at your other emails, click the ‘Unread’ label with an upward-facing arrowhead above the list of unread emails.

You can now view ‘Everything else’. To bring back your ‘Unread’ list, simply click the same label which is now on a drop-down box.

To return to your default inbox view, head back to ‘Settings’ in the same manner as explained previously and select the ‘Default’ option under ‘Inbox type’.


Finding Unread Emails in Gmail App on Mobile

An advantage of opting to see only ‘Unread’ emails on the Gmail app is that you can smoothly switch between the regular inbox view and the ‘Unread first’ view.

To enable seeing your unread emails first on your phone, launch Gmail and tap the hamburger icon (three vertical lines) to the top left corner of the screen.

Scroll to the end of the menu to find and tap ‘Settings’.

Select your Gmail’s email address on the following screen.

Now, tap the ‘Inbox type’ option below the ‘Inbox’ section.

Tap the radio button in front of the ‘Unread first’ option in the following ‘Inbox type’ menu.

That’s it! Your Gmail mobile app will now show all the unread emails before everything else. Remember the switch we mentioned at the beginning of this section? Here it is.

Tap the hamburger icon (three vertical lines) to the top right corner of your Gmail home screen.

Below ‘All inboxes’, you can switch between your usual ‘Inbox’ and your ‘Unread’ inbox by selecting the respective option.

If you wish to change back to the default inbox at any time, follow the same instructions as discussed at the start of this section to reach the ‘Inbox type’ settings. Then, select ‘Default inbox’ in the ‘Inbox type’ menu.


And this is how you can view only unread emails on your Gmail. Sometimes, the mobile app may be showing the usual inbox and not the ‘Unread first’ inbox even after changing your inbox type. In that case, the instruction right above would help to switch to the unread inbox. Hope you found our guide useful!