Show Only Priority Emails in Gmail Inbox

Colander
Have Gmail sort out just the important emails. Stockunlimited

For a clear view, you can hide all but the most important messages from your default Gmail inbox.

Where Has All the Inbox Clutter Gone?

What is important to you gets priority treatment in Gmail. Learning from how you act on your mail, Gmail automatically picks out the emails you need to see immediately and lets you browse the rest casually.

For such leisurely reading, the emails that are not urgent need not clutter the high-octane Priority Inbox, do they?

Of course, they do not.

Gmail offers various sections for a well-sorted priority inbox. You can pick and disable them to suit your needs—for a most clean Priority Inbox, for example, that displays only important (or just important and still unread) messages, and all other mail only if you click.

Make Gmail Priority Inbox Show Only Important (Unread) Emails

To have Gmail show only priority messages (and only unread important mail, if you prefer) in the Priority Inbox:

  1. Click the Settings gear icon () near your Gmail inbox's top right corner.
  2. Select Settings from the menu that has appeared.
  3. Go to the Inbox tab.
  4. Make sure Priority Inbox is selected under Inbox type:.
  5. Click Add section or Options for 1. under Priority Inbox sections:.
  6. Select Important and unread or Important from the menu.
    • Important and unread means a message must be both identified as import by Gmail and unread to appear in the first section.
  1. For both 2. and 3.:
    1. Click Options if available.
      • ​If you see Add section, you need not do anything.
    2. Select Remove section from the menu.
  2. Click Save Changes.
  3. Back in the Priority Inbox, collapse Everything else.

You can always view all your (other) inbox mail under Everything else in your Priority Inbox, or by going to the Inbox label.

Change the Number of Important Mail Shown in Your Gmail Inbox

To make Gmail show more messages in the first, Important or Important and unread section than the default 10:

  1. Go to your Inbox settings in Gmail. (See above.)
  2. Click Options under 1. Important and unread or 1. Important.
  3. Select the maximum number of messages for the section under Show up to:.
  4. Click Save Changes.

Add Starred Mail or Any Label as an Additional Section to Your Inbox

Do you want to other categories broken out from Everything else in your Gmail inbox, say messages you have starred or mail marked by an email triage service? You can add up to 2 more sections (or even replace Important, of course).

To add an inbox section for any label or starred mail to your Gmail inbox:

  1. Open your Inbox settings in Gmail. (See above.)
  2. Click Add section or Options under 2. or 3..
  3. To add a section for starred mail:
    1. Select Starred from the menu.
  4. To add a section for any label:
    1. Select More options… from the menu.
    2. Now select the desired label.
  5. Click Save Changes.

(Updated May 2016, tested with Gmail in a desktop browser)