Is there a quick (menu / tap) way of viewing the unread emails in your inbox? Or at least showing the unread emails at the top of the list of emails, in other words sorted by unread/read (temporarily)?

The only way I have found to do this is to search for is:unread in:inbox which is not ideal on the phone's touch screen IMO.

Is there a quicker way?

  • 2
    Yeah, I imagine typing that search is less than ideal, but once you've done it once it's saved in the list of searches, so next time you search it is available in the list.
    – ale
    Mar 23, 2013 at 12:05
  • @AlEverett: Good point - actually the saved list of searches works quite well! :)
    – MrWhite
    Mar 23, 2013 at 12:59

6 Answers 6


Doesn't seem to be, the search is the only way as of now, however; if you use the browser there is an option to view only unread emails.

  • As Al Everett says in comments, previous searches are saved in the autocomplete list of searches, so you shouldn't have to type much to get this search back - and most recent/frequent searches are at the top as well. This actually works quite well.
    – MrWhite
    Apr 2, 2013 at 9:07

is:unread doesn't work well because it also shows up the archived emails that are also unread but uninteresting.

As of 2021, a better way is to do Settings -> Unread first enter image description here


I had the same issue. Tried in vain. Search is the only way - inelegant but works. And repeat searches are relatively easy if one does not have too many previous searches with different filters.


Tap the magnifying glass on the top left corner of your screen to launch the search function. In the search field text box, enter is:unread in:inbox Launch the search and there you go! All the unread messages come up first.

  • 1
    This is exactly what I stated in my question?!
    – MrWhite
    Jul 12, 2016 at 16:44

It is very easy

  • Open your Gmail App (android)
  • On the top left side click on the 3 horizontal lines
  • Scroll all the way down and click on settings
  • Click on your email Account eg

General setting [email protected] Add Account

Click on your Gmail account (xxxx is for an example you should have your account there instead)

Click on the Inbox and select Unread First

Now when you go back and click on the 3 horizontal lines you will see Inbox and Unread ;)

  • 5
    Please avoid adding a link to the answer that doesn't answer the question. Also please clearly mention your affiliation to the linked website if you feel it is necessary to include. Dec 12, 2020 at 14:08

another option is to make a label for unread mails.

  1. Make a label for unread mails (Gmail won't let you name it "unread" but you can call it something else. I called it "unread mail")
  2. Make a filter. In the filter write under "has the words": "is:unread label:inbox"
  3. Press "create filter"
  4. Apply the label 5."apply filter to ...." at the bottom
  5. "create filter"

Now you can access the unread mail through the label section and once you open it in on your Android through the "recent labels".

  • i was to fast to write it. :( doesnt work.... leaves read mail in the label....
    – guest
    Sep 27, 2016 at 10:46
  • Yeah, you'd have to manually remove the label when you've read the email, which is messy, too complex and massively prone to error.
    – MrWhite
    Sep 27, 2016 at 11:21

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