Gmail: How To Display All Unread Email

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

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15 Responses to “Gmail: How To Display All Unread Email”

  1. December 18, 2008 at 6:59 pm, Mike said:

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


  2. January 29, 2009 at 11:13 pm, Anon said:

    Or you can just put is:unread


  3. June 10, 2009 at 7:36 pm, Liam said:

    Didn’t work.


  4. June 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm, Rob said:

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


  5. September 25, 2009 at 11:19 am, Anil said:

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


  6. June 20, 2010 at 5:39 pm, Ash said:

    FABULOUS!! Thanks!


  7. July 07, 2010 at 12:49 am, Ganesh Iyer said:

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


  8. August 13, 2010 at 5:56 am, Ipixelsdesign said:

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


  9. August 19, 2010 at 2:14 am, Tiendat said:



  10. June 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm, Sarah said:

    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)”     


  11. June 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm, Sandra Andersen said:

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


  12. October 16, 2011 at 1:18 am, Nalla said:

    Awesome.. it works gr8


  13. March 20, 2012 at 7:37 am, mandy said:

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


  14. April 06, 2012 at 11:37 am, Slater Wayne said:

    Good article
    Helped a lot !!


  15. August 27, 2012 at 4:47 am, Narsi said:

    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)?


  16. December 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm, Κατασκευή ιστοσελίδων said:

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


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