Cannot find unread emails in Gmail inbox

I have had quite a few customers calling over the years to say that they cannot find unread emails in their Gmail inbox. It’s a common complaint and one which I have found can be quickly cured by doing the following.

Logon to Gmail in your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari etc).

Go to the search bar at the top of the Google page (the one with the blue and white ‘magnifying glass’ search button that looks like this):

cannot-find-unread-email-inbox-gmail

In that box, type this:

is:unread in:anywhere

Note that there is a space after the word ‘unread’ but not anywhere else. Copy and paste my text above if you aren’t sure.

Now press enter and you should see all of your unread emails! You can click to read individual ones or select them using their check boxes and then do ‘More’, then ‘Mark as read’.

Try some new search terms to get more out of Gmail

If you want to take things further, there are lots of useful search ‘operators’ that you can use within Gmail too. Get used to using these and you’ll open up a whole new level for this great email tool. Here’s a list of the most popular ones:

 

What you can search by Search operator & example
Specify the sender from:

Example: from:amy

Specify a recipient to:

Example: to:david

Words in the subject line Subject:

Example: subject:dinner

Messages that match multiple terms OR or { }

Example: from:amy OR from:david

Example: {from:amy from:david}

Remove messages from your results -

Example: dinner -movie

Find messages with words near each other. Use the number to say how many words apart the words can be AROUND

Example: dinner AROUND 5 friday

Messages that have a certain label label:

Example: label:friends

Messages that have an attachment has:attachment

Example: has:attachment

Messages that have a Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides attachment or link has:drive

has:document

has:spreadsheet

has:presentation

Example: has:drive has:document

Messages that have a YouTube video has:youtube

Example: has:youtube

Messages from a mailing list list:

Example: list:info@example.com

Attachments with a certain name or file type filename:

Example: filename:pdf

Example: filename: homework.txt

Search for an exact word or phrase " "

Example: "dinner and movie tonight"

Group multiple search terms together ( )

Example: subject:(dinner movie)

Messages in any folder, including Spam and Trash in:anywhere

Example: in:anywhere movie

Search for messages that are marked as important is:important

label: important

Example: is:important 

 

Starred, unread, or read messages is:starred

is:unread

is:read

Example: is:read is:starred

Messages that include an icon of a certain color has:yellow-star

has:blue-info

Example: has:purple-star

Recipients in the cc or bcc field cc:

bcc:

Example: cc:david

Note: You can’t find messages that you received on bcc.

Search for messages sent during a certain time period after:

before:

older:

newer:

Example: after:2004/04/16

Example: before:2004/04/18

Search for messages older or newer than a time period using d (day), m (month), and y (year) older_than:

newer_than:

Example: newer_than:2d

Chat messages is:chat

Example: is:chat movie

Messages delivered to a certain email address deliveredto:

Example: deliveredto:username@gmail.com

Messages in a certain category category:

Example: category:updates

Messages larger than a certain size in bytes size:

Example: size:1000000

Messages larger or smaller than a certain size in bytes larger:

smaller:

Example: larger:10M

Results that match a word exactly +

Example: +unicorn

Messages with a certain message-id header Rfc822msgid:

Example: rfc822msgid:200503292@example.com 

Messages that have or don’t have a label has:userlabels

has:nouserlabels

Example: has:nouserlabels 

Note: Labels are only added to a message, and not an entire conversation.

Credit for search operator list:  https://support.google.com/mail/answer/7190?hl=en