Recently, Google rolled out it’s new tabbed view of Gmail inbox. The main objective behind this change was to automatically sort incoming emails. It was done to save the user from barrage of unsolicited emails that we all usually get from social websites, forums, and promotional activities etc. The tabbed view is working great –so far I have not seen any inconsistency in email sorting. Gmail sometimes put an unsolicited email in the main primary tab but has never put an important email in any other tab but the main one. In one thing, however, these tabs cause a bit of irritation. It is not easily possible to search only unread emails within the Primary tab. When you use the usual method of searching unread emails, that is by using is:unread tag, it returns unread emails not only from Primary tab, but also from all other tabs.
While introducing tabs, Gmail also introduced the category tag to facilitate search within tabs. So, you can use something like:
and it will return all the emails from social tab with keyword “facebook”
But unfortunately, you can not do the same with primary tab. Although, category:primary tag does exist but it does not really work when you say:
This command will again return all the unread emails from all the tabs.
UPDATE (on 19 August 2015): Google has lately added the feature and now the category:primary is:unread search returns only the unread emails only from primary category!
Well, the solution of this problem is that we subtract all other tabs from the resultset and what remains shall be the results only from primary tab. For example, the following command will return unread emails only from primary tab.
is:inbox -category:(updates OR promotions OR social OR forums) is:unread
To find only read emails: is:inbox -category:(updates OR promotions OR social OR forums) is:read
To find only starred emails: is:inbox -category:(updates OR promotions OR social OR forums) is:starred
To find only chat conversations: is:inbox -category:(updates OR promotions OR social OR forums) is:chat
To find only emails marked as important: is:inbox -category:(updates OR promotions OR social OR forums) is:important
As all these are long and very geeky looking commands, I am sure that soon Google will take notice of this problem and sort it out. Until then the above commands can help quicken your email management.
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