How to Make Gmail Automatically Open the Next Message

Keep things moving in your Gmail inbox

When you're in a conversation in Gmail, and you choose to delete or archive it, you'll return to the main list of messages. However, if you'd like to have Gmail take you to the next newer or older message automatically, you can adjust a setting.

After you delete an email, you can have Gmail immediately and automatically take you to the next new or old message so that you can work faster and more efficiently.

How to Enable and Configure Auto-Advance in Gmail

You'll have to adjust a couple of settings in Gmail to get Auto-Advance working exactly how you want it. Here's how.

  1. Click the Settings gear from your Gmail Inbox.

    Turn off Gmail conversation view
  2. Click Settings in the menu that appears.

    Turn off Gmail Conversation View
  3. Click the Advanced heading.

    Visible Gmail unread count on tab
  4. Scroll down to the Auto-advance area and click the circle next to Enable.

    Enabling Auto-advance in Gmail for web
  5. Now, click the General heading to return to the General Settings of your Gmail account.

    The General Settings heading in Gmail on a web browser
  6. Scroll down to the Auto-advance heading.

    If you don't see the heading, scroll to the bottom and click Save Changes, and then return to the General settings (click the gear icon, select Settings, and then click General).

    The Auto-advance heading under General settings in Gmail
  7. You have three options:

    • Go to the next (newer) conversation: When you delete or archive an email, you'll go to the next newest thread.
    • Go to the previous (older) conversation: Instead of the newer message appearing, you'll see the next earliest thread.
    • Go back to the threadlist: You'll return to the inbox. This is effectively the same as turning Auto-advance off.
    Auto-advance options in Gmail for web
  8. Click the option you want, and then scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.

    Save Changes button in Gmail settings
  9. Auto-advance is now on and ready to use.