How do I enable and use Google Gmail tab feature?

Months ago, Google has notify me to try their new feature, Gmail tab. But that time I did not notice and not willing to use. Now I want to enable this feature in my Gmail inbox but unable to find in my Gmail. How to enable it?

nguyen's answer

Yep, beside the power of labels which can help you to categorized your messages, Google also provide a new feature names Gmail tab. This feature will separate your inbox into tabs interface. And Google will do sorting messages into tabs based on their assessment.


I assume that your Gmail interface now is the same like below, standard Gmail interface without Gmail tab enabled.

enable use google gmail tab feature, without tabs


Just because we did not enable tabs for Gmail, so we have to use “Configure inbox” setting to set it up. Move your mouse to the right of Gmail interface, where you can see a gear icon. Click on it and then click on “Configure inbox” option in the middle of the drop-down menu.

enable use google gmail tab feature, configure inbox


Then Google Gmail will show up a dialog allow you to choose which tabs to enable. Most important you should know is that unlike labels, which you can create dynamically by yourself, Gmail tabs are default and defined by Google in 5 types: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums. Primary Gmail tab will include person-to-person emails and other starred emails in other tabs (you should enable another option to have this). Other Gmail tabs will include email based on Google Gmail consideration. However, you can change this behavior by moving messages from tab to tab which I will talk later.

So, let’s click on checkbox before each Gmail tab name to enable it. Below of tabs selection section, you can see a section named “Starred messages”. Click on checkbox “Include starred in Primary” to check it so that all of other Gmail tabs starred messages will be shown in Primary tab. Then click “Save” to store your settings.

enable use google gmail tab feature, enable tabs


Then you will have tabs in your Gmail inbox like below.

enable use google gmail tab feature, result


As I mentioned before, Google automatically classifies and defines which tab that messages will be stored in. You can change this behavior by moving messages between Gmail tabs. Move your mouse to the beginning of the messages where your pointer become hand like below.

enable use google gmail tab feature, choose to move

Click left mouse, keep it and move your messages to the Gmail tab you want. Then release your mouse.

enable use google gmail tab feature, move between tabs



After moving your messages to the desired tab, Google will show up a little message near the top-center of Gmail interface. It is asking you whether you want all new same kind of messages (based on email address) will be move to desired tab or not. Click “Yes” if you want or ignore it to let Google use default actions.

enable use google gmail tab feature, rules for moving


One more thing to say is whenever Gmail tab is enabled, you can easily choose which tabs to be shown by click “Plus” button beside the last tab. Click on this button will bring back the “Select tabs to enable” dialog.

enable use google gmail tab feature, simple method to choose tabs


Enjoy your work and do sorting your messages now!

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Category: Google and services   (Answered Hai Nguyen)
15 comments on “How do I enable and use Google Gmail tab feature?
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