Gmail: How To Display All Unread Email

Posted May 1, 2008 by Rob Rogers in Google

If you keep a large amount of email in your Gmail Inbox, it can sometimes be difficult to locate all of your unread mail. Instead of scrolling to hunt for them, you can simply perform a basic search and quickly get a collection of anything that you have yet to read.

1. Go to Gmail.

2. In the Search box at the top of the page, input the following:

label:(unread inbox)

3. Click the Search button

A list of all unread emails located in the Inbox will appear.

If you need to do this frequently, you can save time by using a little shorthand and using this in the Search box:
l:^u l:^i

^u is shorthand for unread
^i is shorthand for inbox

You can also search for unread email on your phone’s Gmail for Mobile application:

1. Open Gmail for Mobile.

2. Select Menu.

3. Select Search Mail.

4. Input label:(unread inbox) and select Search.

A list of all unread emails located in the Inbox will appear.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
View more articles by Rob Rogers

The Conversation

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  • Mike

    This was awesome! Thanks for this tip, I added a google labs utility which allowed me to make that search a short cut.

  • Anon

    Or you can just put is:unread

  • Liam

    Didn’t work.

  • Rob

    thanks!!!! worked like a charm using: label:(unread inbox)

  • Anil

    work well with label: (unread inbox) thankyou. you can then save the link in quicklinks from google labs.

  • Ash

    FABULOUS!! Thanks!

  • Ganesh Iyer

    This is an excellent tip and saved my time a lot! Thanks!

  • Ipixelsdesign

    Perfect, being pulling my hair of having 1 unread message to find with over 5000 messages. Thanks

  • Tiendat


  • Sarah

    I tried to add the shortcut to my quicklinks in google labs and the link doesn’t work.  What am I doing wrong?  I put “label:(unread inbox)”     

  • Sandra Andersen

    Thank you, Rob Roberts. Great advise – worked immediately!

  • Nalla

    Awesome.. it works gr8

  • mandy

    Thank you! I had thousands of unread junkish mail to sort through and this took seconds to clear instead of hours!

  • Slater Wayne

    Good article
    Helped a lot !!

  • Narsi

    I have created nested labels and would like to search all unread mails under a label. For example I have created a main label called A and under it i have mulitple label, say B, C, D and they in turn may have some more labels under them. Is there a way to search for unread mails in the parent label(in my example, under label A)?

  • Κατασκευή ιστοσελίδων

    Thanks!! You save me a lot of work for searching 🙂 Can I create a filter with this?