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):


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 bySearch operator & example
Specify the senderfrom:

Example: from:amy

Specify a recipientto:

Example: to:david

Words in the subject lineSubject:

Example: subject:dinner

Messages that match multiple termsOR 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 beAROUND

Example: dinner AROUND 5 friday

Messages that have a certain labellabel:

Example: label:friends

Messages that have an attachmenthas:attachment

Example: has:attachment

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




Example: has:drive has:document

Messages that have a YouTube videohas:youtube

Example: has:youtube

Messages from a mailing listlist:

Example: list:[email protected]

Attachments with a certain name or file typefilename:

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 Trashin:anywhere

Example: in:anywhere movie

Search for messages that are marked as importantis:important

label: important

Example: is:important 


Starred, unread, or read messagesis:starred



Example: is:read is:starred

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


Example: has:purple-star

Recipients in the cc or bcc fieldcc:


Example: cc:david

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

Search for messages sent during a certain time periodafter:




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:


Example: newer_than:2d

Chat messagesis:chat

Example: is:chat movie

Messages delivered to a certain email addressdeliveredto:

Example: deliveredto:[email protected]

Messages in a certain categorycategory:

Example: category:updates

Messages larger than a certain size in bytessize:

Example: size:1000000

Messages larger or smaller than a certain size in byteslarger:


Example: larger:10M

Results that match a word exactly+

Example: +unicorn

Messages with a certain message-id headerRfc822msgid:

Example: rfc822msgid:[email protected] 

Messages that have or don’t have a labelhas:userlabels


Example: has:nouserlabels 

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

Credit for search operator list:

BT Connect email settings for business broadband

email-settings-pop-imap-btconnect-outlookLots of my clients have had issues where they have been running happily for a long time on their BT Connect email accounts and now they have suddenly stopped sending or receiving email. The change has been due to BT switching over to using Office 365 which is essentially Microsoft Outlook Online.

Here are the settings you need to feed in to your email program to get it working again. These will work with Outlook, Thunderbird, Eudora, Outlook Express etc and also work with popular services such as Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail.

Incoming Mail Settings:
port 995
SSL applied/ticked

Outgoing Mail Settings:
port 587
SMTP authentication applied/ticked
TLS applied/ticked
Authentication – password

Where prompted for the username and password, use the full email address, eg [email protected]

We’re sorry Thunderbird had a problem and has crashed

Thunderbird crashes repair fixIf you see the error “We’re sorry Thunderbird had a problem and has crashed”, all is not lost. I’ll take you through some fault-finding stages that may help.

Here’s what the window looks like on most computers:

Thunderbird had a problem and has crashed

Yikes, not great information there and submitting information to Mozilla doesn’t help you in the short term, although it helps them to develop the software better.

OK, the first step I take is to download and install the excellent free MozBackup from here:

Close all open programs and run the tool. Create a backup accepting all the default options (this backs up everything).

Now we can work on the program without risk of losing data. Download the latest version of Thunderbird from here:

Now we are going to run the installation program and install it to the exact same location your existing one is in. Note, we are not uninstalling the existing version. If you are not sure of the location, accept the defaults. The installation program will not tell you it has detected an existing version but that’s OK.


Thunderbird reinstall after crash


For reference, I have done this countless times and the last was overwriting a version 8 with version 9.  If you are running a really old version then there may be a compatibility issue but I haven’t found anything that version 9 can’t successfully overwrite yet.

Restarting Thunderbird after the reinstall

Now we can start Thunderbird. It may prompt to update plugins which you can accept or disable those you don’t use. You should find your data exactly as you had before. In my experience, you only need to fill in your SMTP server details (if at all). If you have anything missing you can run MozBackup to reinstate it.

Install any plugins or add-ons that aren’t there that you previously had such as Spam filtering (via an Internet Security package or other such as SpamFighter etc).

Job’s a good’un and you should now have a fully functioning Mozilla Thunderbird without the “We’re sorry Thunderbird had a problem and has crashed” window!

Email settings for Tiscali UK

email-settings-pop-imap-tiscali-orange-talk-bt-02-plusnetHere are the current email settings for Tiscali users.  Tiscali has been taken over by TalkTalk but users are still advised to use the old ‘legacy’ settings listed below.

Please bear in mind that there are 2 main types of email client setup, one which uses Pop3 and the other which uses IMAP. In short, IMAP “synchronises” your PC or phone with the Tiscali server and keeps emails on both while POP3 downloads all emails to your PC or phone. If you are setting this up on an iPhone, I’d recommend using the IMAP service. You can even use your PC on IMAP as well as your phone so everything syncs nicely.

Tiscali email settings for Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, iPhone and iPad

Anyway, here are the current Tiscali email settings. I’ve included FTP and Webspace to make it a definitive list, but these aren’t needed to setup your email:


Login[email protected]
Incoming email (POP3)
Incoming email (IMAP)
Outgoing email (SMTP)
Webspace address