Gmail’s new inbox comes with automated mail-sorting (video)

30 May 2013

An inbox revamp for Gmail now lets users enable automated sorting of emails by category, making it easier to keep personal messages separate from social updates and daily deals notifications away from your receipts.

The new inbox layout uses five tabs to separate emails: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums. Users can decide which of these five categories they want to use and, as they pick, Gmail will give them examples of emails they receive that would land in each section.

Primary is for personal messages from contacts but users can also make it so that any starred email also appears here. Promotions, offers and daily deals will be filed under Promotions. Social will house notification emails from social networks. Updates will gather up confirmations, bills and receipts. And, finally, Forums will take in messages from online groups, discussion boards and mailing lists to which users have subscribed.


Users will be able to adjust how Gmail filters emails by simply dragging and dropping messages between tabs and assigning certain senders to a specified category.

For now, the new inbox is optional and users can choose to adapt to the new or stick with the classic view. It will gradually roll out to desktop users over the coming weeks, but impatient users can give it a go now by selecting ‘Configure inbox’ from their settings menu.

For mobile users with Android 4.0 or higher, this update is coming to you, too, as well as Gmail users on iPhones and iPads.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.