HowTo: Display Unread Emails on Android Gmail App



gmail app

Gmail became the default email client on all my Android devices after version 5.0 was released and it started supporting third-party mail accounts – Yahoo! Mail, Outlook, Microsoft Exchange and other email providers. Prior to this, I used the MailDroid app so I can access all my email accounts in one place.

Although I was happy that the Gmail app for Android finally supported other email accounts, one of my biggest pet peeves was its inability to show or display only unread emails which ironically is available on the Gmail app for iOS. This probably won’t be much of a big deal for some, but for users like me who have multiple email accounts, this can be very annoying and time consuming. Looking for unread emails especially those that are several weeks old can be a hassle.

Today I’ll share with you a simple little trick that will display those unread emails using advanced search operators (query words or symbols) and help you easily track down those unread emails. Here’s how to do it:

  • Open the Gmail app.
  • Tap on the search icon (magnifying glass icon).
  • gmail app

  • Type in the following – is:unread in:inbox.
  • gmail app

  • That’s it! Now all your unread emails will be displayed.

The tutorial above is for when you’re looking for unread emails in the inbox. You can change the keyword “unread” to a different folder name like “drafts“, “trash” or “starred“. As you can see in the screenshot below, I’ve used the advanced search operators to search for unread emails in the inbox, trash and junk folders.

gmail app

Please take note that you’ll have to perform these steps each time you want to only view or display unread emails on your Gmail app. Fortunately though, Google saves all your search queries so you don’t need to remember the search phrase or type it again. All you need to do next time is to tap on the search icon, look for “is:unread in:inbox” and tap it to perform the same query again.

Another thing to remember. You can use also use other advanced search operators to perform other queries like searching for emails with attachments “has:attachment“, starred emails “is:starred“, emails from a specific source “from:“, etc. To learn more, check out the official page for Advanced search.

If you find this simple tutorial useful, please don’t forget to like it and share it with your family and friends on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.


Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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