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. 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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