Is Gmail’s New Tab System Not Working for You?

GmailIs Gmail’s new tab system not working for you or are you confused about it? Many people are annoyed that Google is telling you which emails you want to read? They have just organized their Gmail to their liking and now it is all messed up.

[pullquote]Learn how to get your control back once Gmail has switched to the new tab system.[/pullquote]

Gmail is phasing in a new “tabbed inbox” system. You might have already see it in your inbox if you use Gmail. If not, you’ll see it soon.

I borrowed many of these instructions from various online posts. For a more detailed on check out Derek Halpern’s post at

Gmail has split your inbox into 5 separate inboxes and created tabs across the top labeling each “Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums“. That is fine, if you are happy with Google (not you) choosing which emails go into which new inbox tab.

Well, why does this matter?

A lot of emails you’ve asked to receive will end up under the tab marked Promotions, even though they’re pure content and you’ve specifically asked to get them. You don’t want them lumped together with the ones that arrive unsolicited.

Just about all emails from people you subscribe to are being lumped into the “Promotions” inbox automatically, where you’ll likely never look. And you’ll end up missing a ton of stuff you wanted.

The good news – there’s a super easy fix.

If you use Gmail, look at your account to see if the new “tabbed” inboxes have been turned on (you’ll see the new tabs across the top of your emails).

You have two choices

  1. Turn off the tabs
  2. Tell Gmail which emails should go to the primary tab. This takes a litte more effort and is a hybrid solution.

1 – Turn off the Tabs

  • Click the little X at the top right of your inbox — next to the tabs.
  • Oor just click on the Settings “gear” image at the upper right corner of your inbox and select “Settings.” Click the “Inbox” tab and uncheck ALL of the categories except “Primary” then save your changes.

2 – Tell Gmail Where You Want Your Subscription Emails Go

  1. Click on the Promotions inbox tab.
  2. Drag any emails from people you actually want to hear from and drop them onto the tab that says Primary. Then, when it asks if you want future emails to go into your Primary inbox, just click yes.
  3. For the next few weeks, as gmail phases these new tabbed inboxes in, be sure to check your Promotions inbox to make sure nothing else you really want is getting caught in it.

Now you’re all set!

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