Finding Unread E-Mails in Gmail

Posted on February 14, 2009 by Petri IT Knowledgebase Team in Messaging with 0 Comments

Argghhh… another one of these nasty annoyances that can drive you nuts! I expect that most of you have a Gmail-based account. I do too. Having a Gmail account is nice because of the high availability it provides, the fact that I can access it from anywhere in the world (as well as from my IPhone or Nokia cellular phones), and the fact that it gives me a 7GB mailbox.

So far so good.

However, Gmail’s settings are limited in comparison with Exchange-based web mail. For example, you cannot create folders in your mailbox, and while you can tag (or label) e-mail items, you cannot actually move the items to a different folder. What look, at first, like a limitation, is in fact an advantage. You can treat each label as a folder, and you can “open” a label and see all the items “in” it. The nice thing is that you can “put” any item in any number of folders (or labels).

Gmail’s web interface shows you a limited number of e-mail messages per page. This can be changed from the “Settings” page, however you’ll be limited to a maximum number of 100 e-mail items, per page. Also, Gmail will display the number of unread e-mail messages in your mailbox, but it does not display this number per-page, but for the entire mailbox (which is quite logical).

Now, if you’re like me, hording hundreds and thousands of e-mail messages in your mailbox, you’ll need to scroll a lot of pages to get to the item you’re looking for. Imaging having thousands of e-mails, listed in hundreds of pages, not knowing on exactly what page that un-read item(s) is/are located. The fact that you know there are X number of un-read e-mails does not help you even one bit, as you do not know on which page(s) these items are located.

find_unread_emails_in_gmail_1

Luckily, there’s the “Search” option which lets you find what you’re looking for. You see, having an un-read e-mail item actually labels it as “unread”. If you can find other e-mail items by searching for their labels, why can’t you search for “unread” labels?

In the “Search” box, type the following text:

find_unread_emails_in_gmail_2

Now press “Search Mail”.

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Bingo. The search results are now listed conveniently in one (or more) pages, where you can read them or select them and mark them for an action or a different label.

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BTW, you can also type

to make it even shorter.

And if we’re at it, see a nice list of Gmail label-related tips:

How to Organize and Categorize Messages with Labels in Gmail – About Email:
http://email.about.com/od/gmailtips/qt/et032006.htm

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