Thursday, March 6, 2008

How to view all unread mails in Gmail

The best thing about Gmail is the availablity of plethora of tools and features for the users. Surprisingly, most of these settings and features are hidden in Gmail, and this applies to all Google services including search, Google Reader and others. One such feature in Gmail is the ability to view only the unread or the read mails in your inbox.

Gmail Logo

As you know, the Gmail inbox displays all mails- read and unread, sometimes it becomes difficult when you want to go through only those mails that you had left unread. Google does not provide any filter to view only those mails, but these unread mails can still be accessed by using the search feature built within Gmail. Gmail stores all mails in your account with a label. These labels are however not visible to the user. For instance, the mails in your inbox are stored with the label "Inbox". This label becomes visible when you click on "All Mails". Similarly, all your read messages are stored with the label "read" and all the unread messages are stored with the label "unread". These labels remain hidden. So in order to view all the unread messages all you have to do is type label:unread in the search box and hit enter. In the same way, all read messages can be accessed by searching label:read

More Hidden labels of Gmail


  1. Thank you Sri Kaushik. Only today I know this good utility. I am using gmail from 2005 but this easy facility is nott known to me till today. I am able to find out some unread mails dating back to January 2006 ! On a single click! Thank you

  2. Thanks for the tip. Here's an additional tip for those who only want display unread mails in their Inbox and not in any other folders:

    Search for "label:unread in:inbox". You can hack this for usage with other folders by replacing "inbox" with the name of the folder you want to search in.

  3. Please fix typos. :)


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