Why Gmail Categorized a Message as Important

Importance markers in Gmail

Mark conversation as important in Gmail

 Host Sorter / Unsplash

Gmail Priority Inbox classifies email from your boss, an update from a blog you follow, and a forwarded joke from your aunt as important. If some of these emails aren't important to you, teach Gmail how to categorize your email appropriately.

Instructions in this article apply to the web version of Google Gmail and should work in any browser including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.

Why Did Gmail Mark Conversation as Important?

Google uses complex algorithms to ascertain the importance of an email and makes the reasons easy to see. To get an idea of why Gmail determined an email was important enough to make your Priority Inbox:

  1. Hover over the Importance marker. The marker appears in front of the message in the message list or after the subject in an open message.

  2. A message appears with an explanation of Gmail's message assessment.

    Importance explanation popup in Gmail
  3. Click the marker to teach Gmail not to classify this email and others like it as important.

Potential Reasons for Categorizing an Email as Important

The reasons Gmail places messages in your Priority Inbox include:

  • The words in the message. You may have marked similar emails important in the past, or the message urges you to action.
  • The people in the conversation. You exchange emails frequently with the sender or consistently mark their emails as important.
  • Your interaction with messages in the conversation. You've taken action on these messages in the past.
  • You marked the message as important.
  • The message was sent only to you. Messages sent to more than one person tend to be lower in importance, while those with only you in the recipient list are seen as important.
  • You often read messages with this label.
  • Gmail's magic sauce. You may see this for older messages marked as important.

Make the Priority Inbox Marker for Important Messages Visible

To enable the yellow priority tag for messages marked as important in Gmail:

  1. Go to Settings > Settings, then select the Inbox tab.

  2. Select the Inbox type drop-down arrow and choose Priority Inbox.

    Priority Inbox option in Gmail Settings
  3. In the Importance markers section, select Show markers.

    Show markers checkbox in Gmail Settings
  4. Select Save Changes.

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