How to Make Gmail Automatically Open the Next Message

Keep things moving in your Gmail inbox

What to Know

  • Go to Settings > See all settings > Advanced > Auto-advance and select Enable.
  • Then, under General > Auto-advance, select how you'd like auto-advance to behave.
  • Be sure to save your changes.

Here's how to have Gmail take you to the next newer or older message automatically after you delete or archive an email when using the browser version of Gmail on any desktop.

How to Enable and Configure Auto-Advance in Gmail

Here's how to adjust Gmail settings to get Auto-Advance working exactly how you want it to.

  1. Select the Settings gear from your Gmail Inbox.

    Gmail inbox view with Settings gear highlighted
  2. Select See all settings.

    Gmail settings with See All Settings highlighted
  3. Select the Advanced tab.

    Gmail settings with the Advanced tab highlighted
  4. Next to Auto-advance, select Enable.

    Gmail auto-advance settings with Enable highlighted
  5. Select Save Changes. You're taken back to the Gmail inbox screen.

    GMail auto-advance settings with Save Changes enabled
  6. Select Settings > See all settings again. Then, under the General tab, scroll down to the Auto-advance heading.

    Gmail Settings with the auto-advance section highlighted

    The Auto-advance section only appears under the General tab after you've enabled Auto-advance.

  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.
    Gmail auto-advance options highlighted
  8. Click the option you want, and then scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.

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

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