Ways to Find All Unread Mail in Gmail

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Gmail has an Inbox, a huge Archive, starred mail, chats, Spam and all kinds of labels and ways to view mail abound.

Where, though, is the unread mail—be it in the archive or the Inbox or anywhere else? Fortunately, "unread" is an attribute that messages in Gmail carry like a label. This means you can search—and find—these unread emails easily.

Find All Unread Mail in Gmail

To view all (and only) unread messages in your Gmail account:

  • Type "is:unread" (not including the quotation marks) in the Gmail search field.
  • Click the search button (sporting a magnifying glass, 🔍).
    • You can also press Enter, of course.

If you do this search repeatedly or generally appreciate brevity, you can use "l:unread" or even "l:^u" instead of "is:unread" (or "label:unread").

You can also combine the quest for unread messages with others:

  • "l:^u from:tim" finds all unread messages from "tim",
  • "l:^u l:^t" finds all unread starred mail, and
  • "l:^u l:^k subject:hi" finds all unread messages with "hi" in the subject that are in the Trash.