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Gmail adds lots of new functionality to its right-click menu

How to Use inbox tabs in Gmail

What is Gmail Tabs and how does it work? When you’re using Gmail, now you have the ability to use tabs to make your favorite email platform more intuitive and refined. After all, you don’t want to see all of your email in your inbox and become overwhelmed. Tabs makes it smarter and easier to start organizing your mails automagically.

Let’s see how it works.

How Gmail Tabs Works

The new interface design was launched in 2013, so all users should have the interface already enabled. You could turn off tabs initially, but it should be enabled on your account at this time. Tabs works as a new interface – you don’t have to do anything.

You’ll have three tabs to begin: primary, social and promotions.


This tab is the same as your default start page for your email. This tab will present all of your mails minus those with tabs. You’ll see this tag first when logging into your mail as this is the default tab. For users, this is the least prevalent change made.

Note: Social and promotional emails will not be shown here. Only emails that are not categorized will pop up on the primary tab.


The social tab will filter through all of your social media emails and place them within this tab. When you click on the social tab, you’ll notice emails from the following:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Goodreads

There are a slew of default social filters that are in place. You’ll notice even more options than the few mentioned above.


The final tab is the promotions tab. This tab includes all mails deemed promotional by the platform. If you signed up for an account at NewEgg and joined their mailing list, for example, you would be able to find their latest promotional email in this tab.

You’ll also be able to add two other tabs by clicking the “+” sign that’s next to promotions. The two other tabs that do not show up as default are: Updates and Forums.


These would be mails, such as receipts, bills or statements that come from banks or purchases.


This tab will categorize all of your forum updates, discussion lists and so forth within the tab.

Most of the functionality is done completely by Gmail itself; you won’t need to make many changes at all. However, there are times when mails aren’t going to be put into a tab properly. In this case, you can do the following:

  • Go to the primary tab.
  • Right click on the respective email.
  • Choose “Move to tab.”

From here, you’ll want to select the tab where the email should be categorized. On the very top of the window pane, you’ll be prompted to “Do this in the future” for the sender. If you want all mails from this sender to be automatically placed in a category in the future, click “Yes.”

You can also do the same for mails that are not properly categorized.

Gmail Tabs makes your email easier to navigate ensuring that you only see the emails you want to see.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest

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