Multiple inboxes is a productive Gmail feature if your work demands you to regularly work with different parts of your inbox — at the same time. With multiple inboxes, you can attend to a variety of parts of your inbox on the same page at the same time.

You can opt for a compact view where the regular inbox and your chosen parts of the inbox — multiple inboxes like drafts, unread messages, and starred mails are side by side. Gmail also allows for different arrangements of your multiple inboxes to suit your needs. Each section is subject to a customizable number of mails and optional custom names.

The feature to use multiple inboxes is available only on the Gmail desktop client. The phone application’s layout is unsuitable for the feature.

Open Multiple Inboxes Settings

To begin, log in to your Gmail on your computer. Then, click the ‘Settings’ button (gear icon) to the top right corner of the screen next to the Google menu button (nine dots).

Scroll through the ‘Settings’ to find the ‘Inbox type’ section. Click the radio button in front of the ‘Multiple inboxes’ option. This will change your inbox into the default arrangement of multiple inboxes. To personalize the inboxes and the arrangement, click the ‘Customize’ button below the option’s title.

Customizing Multiple Inboxes

You will now see several compartments of customizable options for the multiple inboxes on the following screen. We cover all sections in their current order.

Multiple inbox sections

The first customizable section for the chosen option is the number of multiple inboxes and type of inbox sections. You can have a maximum of only 5 sections. Each of these sections corresponds to the inbox section that’s essential to you and your routine.

To change the section under ‘Search query’, simply type is: followed by the name of the inbox label in the respective section’s textbox. For example – is:spam. You can also change the section’s name in the respective textbox under ‘Section name’ for better and more personalized navigation.

Maximum page size

This is the number of conversations per inbox section. If the items in a particular section are lesser than the mentioned number of maximum conversations for that section, then all items would be visible for the section.

Multiple inbox position

Multiple inboxes are convenient additions of individual inbox sections to the entire inbox. So, even when you have multiple inboxes, the original inbox will still be in the picture. In this section, you can choose the placement of those additional sections of the inbox in correspondence to the actual inbox.

Click the respective radio buttons to place the multiple inboxes to the right, above, or below the inbox. For a compact and productive view, we recommend placing your multiple inboxes to the right of the inbox.

Reading pane – Although this section is visible and customizable, reading panes are not allowed for multiple inboxes. Even if you enable this option, you cannot avail a reading pane while using multiple inboxes.

Important markers

Gmail analyses and records your previous interactions with important emails. Based on this observation, Gmail automatically marks emails that may contain important with thick right arrows in bright yellow. If you don’t want these markers, click the ‘No markers’ option. Markers are designed to show by default.

Additionally, if you do not want Gmail to use your past email actions to predict and mark your future emails, click the radio button next to the option ‘Don’t use my past actions to predict messages that are important’. Disabling this feature would erase your history of important emails and decrease Gmail’s accuracy of predicting future emails.

Override filters

Gmail automatically filters emails based on their levels of importance. If you want your multiple inboxes to continue staying consistent with these filters and not override them – select ‘Don’t override filters’. However, if you don’t want Gmail to be filtering out your mail and you want to see important emails that may have been filtered, select the ‘Override filters’. Click the respective radio button to make your selection.

Once you’re done making changes and customizing your multiple inboxes, hit the ‘Save Changes’ button at the bottom of all sections.

You will now see your multiple inboxes in action.

Having your multiple inboxes to the right of the main inbox is the most productive layout.

You can scroll through your core inbox and multiple inboxes separately.

And that’s about multiple inboxes! It’s a great feature if you routinely use Gmail and ought to simultaneously tend to multiple parts of your inbox. Multiple inboxes help save time in searching for specific sections of the inbox. They organize emails to your liking and allow individual customization that helps better navigation across your inboxes too.

We hope you found our guide useful in understanding everything about using multiple inboxes on your Gmail.