Google just announced a pretty major update to Gmail, and you should now be able to give it a go in the browser, if you so desire. As our pal Paul O'Brien from MoDaCo points out, all you have to do to enable the new tabbed organization is go to the gear icon on the right of the screen and choose "Configure inbox." (If you're using a wrapper like Mailplane, you might need to do this from a traditional browser first, then restart the app.)

Next you'll be asked which tabs you want to use -- primary, social and promotions are checked by default; updates and forums are other options. Once enabled, you'll find e-mails sorted among the tabs. To move e-mails between tabs, just click and drag. (You'll also be asked if you want to continue to get that particular kind of e-mail in the new tab.)

Still no sign of the new Gmail app for Android, which also will bring a new sorting experience. 

There are 47 comments

jastonas says:

This option isn't visible for everyone.

Not for me :(

Daz Housego says:

Nor me, but then i signed out of gmail, signed back in and it was there. :)

15israellai says:

Ah, found it. Thanks

jenskristian says:

It became visable in my Gmail just a couple of hours ago.

wickets says:

thanks for the tabs are fantastic....thanks again!

sandipto says:

The tabs are great... my Inbox is clutter free now :)

Google started personal indexing also after indexing the Internet !!

Yesterday I was able to enable it for my personal account ending with the typical domain, but not my business account ending with

ereming1 says:

*"should now be able to"

phyl0x says:

The tabs are cool, has anyone found a way to reorder them? Id like the Update tab to be second as thats far more important than the social/promotion tabs.

Vizualize says:

Oh man!!! My inbox just got GOOGLED!!!! WHAT A DAY!!!!

anezarati says:

tabs are nice, but it sucks that you cant keep your unread emails first. i keep credit card payment reminders at the top so I don't forget.

r1fo says:

You can sort by unread first again, just hover your mouse over the inbox and click on the down arrow, then sort by unread first. Switch back to default if you want to go back to tabbed view

Cmikos says:

Is it possible to have unread first in the tabbed view? I usually keep the emails I need to reply to later as unread. They get buried pretty quick.

coreno says:

I already had my inbox basically sorted like this using filters.

dswatson83 says:

Is there an 'all mail' option? The only problem I have is I may have to go through 2-3 tabs to find the email I was looking for

Eerth says:

There is an all mail option in the left-side bar

AndroidHugo says:

useless, I'm using the Multiple inboxes lab with extensive filters, my inbox is almost always empty.
If I could transform Inboxes into tabs that would be awesome. I hope Multiple inboxes isn't going away.

xuohtx says:

If you start using the new tabbed interface, you lose multiple inboxes. You can only get them back by unselecting all the tabs except "Primary." The tabbed interface is great for just one main Gmail account, but if you have a more complicated set up, it will take some tweaking. Hopefully they fix the multiple inboxes lab to work well with the new interface.

hothfox says:

I was already using this via Smart Labels, so I had to disable those and do some fussing around to get it set up correctly. This would be more useful if they had released the Android app at the same time. Without it, and now without the Smat Labels, my Gnex inbox is crazy stupid.

mstrblueskys says:

Ah, so smart!

ShahinTr says:

Doesn't seem to save on mine, every time I refresh, I have to repeat the process. Strange bug. :/

mstrblueskys says:

I got the same bug, except now it doesn't show the option to configure my Gmail. It seems broken right now. :( Oh well, it was cool while it lasted. Ha

s0dhi says:

I wish those tabs could be customized. I need to run my own filters for each tab based on star/priority.

dswatson83 says:

Seems to go away after I close gmail. I have enabled it twice already and both times it goes back to the regular inbox after I close the browser

dowenprs says:

Same here, I enabled it this morning, go back now and I no longer even have the option to enable it again. Logged out and back in a couple of times now too, still no option. Booo. I liked it while I had it for 20 minutes, haha.

blp72 says:

Yeah, same here...It was working great and then all of a sudden......

Dirty-Bird says:

I deleted the filters that label certain email and skipped the inbox figuring the old emails would go to my inbox. Those old emails won't show up in my inbox now. Oh well. They were just promotional emails like Groupon, but I'm assuming the new emails will go to my inbox.

Edit: The tabs seem pretty smart also, which is good. Was worried about that.

SABtres says:

Worked for me in Chrome; however, it the option still does not appear for my same account in Firefox or IE.

kzibart says:

Kudos to the Gmail team for making this completely optional, just like prioriy inbox. Facebook could definitely learn a thing or two from Google in this regard. I turned on the tabs, said "meh", and turned them right back off.

Raylz says:

They don't care about the users sad isn't it.

Chris Piazza says:

it would be nice if the tabs each had a count of unread emails. hard to tell that something new has come in to tabs you're not currently looking at.

fchowd0311 says:

I love this new feature. Now it's easy to delete all the spam mail(promotions tab) in one organized folder. I have collected over 2000+ promotion emails in the past 4 years and have just been lazy to delete them.

ash71ish says:

Thanks for the tip.
Its very useful.

andrewvig says:

grararergreafgarrgarr... I can't get this to turn on in my gmail. Drewbie breaky?

evaradar says:

What if we already organized by labels? Such as "Purchase Orders", "Subscriptions", etc? Will those form into tabs or do we have to create new tabs?

Just tried it but its too confusing/takes a while to get used to it. I will stick with the old layout for now until they can convert the Labels into tabs as well.

deadlock4400 says:

@Phil Nickinson

Thanks for the post. there any way to rename these tabs. I don't like the names, and I'd like to add new tab/categories.

ryan42025 says:

So I switched to the new Gmail on desktop and deleted all my current filters to try it out. It works really good on the desktop, however since we don't have the new app on android yet, all my categories that are on the desktop populate into the main inbox on my phone. So it is a nice feature but half useless since it doesn't work on my phone and I use that more then the desktop.

jaymoon says:

Why can't I make these use Labels I already have? So now I can Star mail, Label it, Prioritize it, AND now add it to a category.

Make up your mind how I am supposed to sort my mail!

...and PS, this is useless for anyone that knows how to use email and practices "Inbox-Zero" habits.

ricrdv says:


jauhari says:

We got it and Successfully activated this Tabs ;)

JohnJSal says:

Nice, but come on Google, no indication if a tab has any emails in it without clicking on it? Seriously?

bumpandrun says:

When I tried it there was a symbol in the category header when there was unread mail. I won't use it because I can't have unread mail listed first.

bumpandrun says:

They really screwed up when they removed the ability to set unread messages as listed first with the new tabbed categories. I won't use them until that is fixed.

bergeronjc says:

What a way to ruin GMail. Thank God those horrendous tab things are not mandatory.

ybcthanerd says:

I jus enabled this on my pc but I don't c tha tabs on my note 2 am I missing something

Leigh Carter says:

There is no improvement. All companies who "upgrade" only screw up their sites. My Gmail is not only messing up links I go to by making them stick so I have to continually refresh, but it also messes up moving links. This is a software bug that Gmail needs to fix. And before anybody says it, no it is NOT cookies. That’s another excuse and a cop-out. It’s like the drunk driver saying to a real cop, “But officer! I only had two beers.”