Gmail’s New Inbox Tabs

Gmail TabsGmail rolled out a new feature that puts TABS at the top of your Gmail. These tabs are named Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, Forums and Stared.

To see if you have the New Tabs feature in your Gmail,

Open your Gmail and Click the “Gear” in the Upper Right. Then you should see the text Configure Inbox. Once you click that, you can choose which tabs to show.

These tabs come “pre-loaded” and by that I mean that Gmail has picked mail from certain people or places that it feels fits the tab title and placed them in there.

The only way to add to or remove certain emails as being listed in a tab is to “train” Gmail. You will need to take the time to drag in or drag out emails from a tab until it learns what should go into the tab. Really? They couldn’t just set it up like filters or allow me to choose from my list of filter folders to display the ones I want on top as a tab?

I am a “Filter Whore”; I filter my emails down for everything (G+, Brian, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, Brad, Newsletters, Garbage…). I LOVE my filters, so I can open and see emails from exactly who and where I want at that time.

Why would I want to “Train” my email tabs? I have potty trained kids, dogs, cat, rabbits and even a boyfriend or two, but I don’t want to train email.

As you can guess, I am unimpressed with the new Gmail Tabs. I do have hope that they will get better and just let me make a Filtered Folder into a tab without “training” it. If this gets better, I will update.

So what do you think of the new Tabs?

Are you in the process of training your Gmail Tabs?

Leave us your thoughts in a comment; we would love to hear what you think!

Sheryl Loch

About Sheryl Loch

I am always learning new and improved ways to better our blogs, forum, and e-commerce sites. You can find me at The Internet Marketers Guild and +Sheryl Loch.
I tend to be a bit straight forward and sarcastic at times so ask for an honest opinion and you shall receive...even if it is not what you want to hear.


  1. I’m with you Sheryl, I’m happy with the filters for now. I do think they could improve the concept by allowing the users to name their own tabs. Nice post 🙂

  2. I personally really like Gmail. It’s way more organized than Yahoo which forced you to switch to the new version. And also, the Google drive is such a great invention. I use it all the time in school for group projects and other things because it allows more than one person to work on it at the same time. It always saves and I never have to worry about losing .

  3. Yep – I’ll be sticking with Outlook. I have all my filters already in place and they work fine! Thanks for the walk-through. I am not impressed with the new tabs either.

  4. A lot of effort from the user is needed to make this new tab function efficient….There might be some visible benefits once you go through the whole process…But from an straight angle, this new feature is most certainly disappointing.

  5. To me Gmail tabs is a 50-50. I like the fact that it helps me organize my emails. But the email counter or the notification works only for new emails and unread emails in the primary tab – not for the unread mails in the other tabs!

  6. Jonathan LaRiviere says

    I think it’s a brilliant idea. Most people don’t need filters extensively, if at all, and these are smart, pretty filters. Plus, it’s important to see now that this “manual” process now is just the first steps so Google can find the algorithm that will then do it for you. Kind of like Google Plus allowing users to sort the content for Google’s search algorithms (like Google Authorship). Regardless, this is revolutionary, as humans love boundaries, and this adds a pretty, usable boundary to an already sleek and usable system.

  7. Now it is very easy for me to arrange all my emails in gmail but i am little bit confuse at last of the post is that if i assign a pinterest email in a tab then all my pinterest email is assigned by my gmail or i have to do it manually. If i have to do it manually then it is not a great feature because last time they have folders option in gmail which is also a not good option to use..

  8. Didn’t known about this so thanks for the news. Seems cool to me, even though I will have to train gmail.
    Its pretty easy to just drag from one category to another. But yeah, I think this rocks and I’ll use this feature.

  9. I’m in the process of training my tabs and i am completely unimpressed by these just like you, they are not a good addition to Gmail.

  10. Yep Brian, I like the Gmail filters much better.

  11. So Martin, what do you think of the Gmail Tabs?

  12. I agree Joe, it wasn’t really what I was expecting from the tabs.

  13. Hi Alica! I love my Gmail filters, the tabs just don’t do it for me. As long as they don’t force the tabs…I’ll be fine.

    If Outlook is easiest for you, then that is what you should use. I think everyone knows what works best for them.

  14. Hi Jonathan, I am sure these tabs will work just fine for some people.

    Shhh, don’t be saying that some people don’t need filters. When I help people set up Gmail, I have them do filters ASAP.

    If an email lands in my Inbox – Then I have never gotten an email from that address or I have only gotten a couple and don’t yet know which folder to put it in.

  15. Hi Gaurav, it seems that if you are putting email from a certain address into a tab, Gmail will then learn that all emails from that address go in that tab.

  16. It’s funny – I use Outlook to check my Gmail 🙂 I like Gmail better than Hotmail – but I prefer Outlook to checking my email online.

  17. It’s still Gmail filters for me. But really, potty-trained a boyfriend??? lol.

  18. They look great on my mobile phone and I bet you that is the intention. Google is all about optimizing for tablets and smart phones. It really messes with the desktop experience sometimes though!

  19. Hi Emilia, I dated some real “winners”. LOL

  20. Hi Susan, it may be that they are trying to help mobile users, I just think they could have done better. ;-}

  21. I like the fact that Gmail is evolving and sometimes meet our requirements! Gmail is a usefull tool! Tabs really helps you to sort your emails! Thank you! But, I wonder if there is a way to customize these tabs? For example, in one tab call facebook there exist only facebook emails.

  22. I use Gmail for my business and as my emails stack up over time, of course filtering is essential. I still haven’t quite got my head around some of the ways Gmail works and sometimes get really embarrassed when I’ve chased up an email I’ve already received days ago, so anything that makes things simpler and faster must be a good thing. Good blog – thank you!

  23. Sheryl, I myself am a filter whore as well. haha. I didn’t know I could drag them around and throw them indifferent tabs so easy. I always had a hard time moving things in gmail. Since I mostly use thunderbird. – Scott Craighead

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