I want to manage two different email addresses through Gmail, and I have been experimenting with the Multiple Inboxes feature to accomplish this. The downside is that it appears that I have to choose between using the Multiple Inboxes feature or the Tab feature that sorts out my Promotions and Social email for me. I tried to skirt this limitation by simply setting up two new inboxes that would cover these emails. I added the search queries "is:social" and "is:promotions"--which does collect those emails into separate inboxes. However, doing this does not remove them from the primary inbox, which defeats the purpose (for me, at least).

So, my question is: is there a convenient way to use filters to remove those Social and Promotions emails from my main inbox, similar to how the Tabs feature does? I was thinking it would be relatively easy to archive them, but then they would also be marked as "read," which is not super useful. Is there something closer to having them sorted into their own tabs?

Also, before I apply whatever filters to my entire account, is there anything else I'm not considering?

  • have you tried inbox?
    – cregox
    Mar 20, 2017 at 12:31

2 Answers 2


The search filter seems to be category:promotions. If you create a filter with that, then you can make them skip the inbox and add them to the multiple inbox.

my Ad + social inbox: (category:promotions || category:social) && is:unread && newer_than:1m

  • Was unable to get this to work as mentioned. Using category:promotions or the like while not using tabs seemed not to work for multiple inboxes for whatever reason. @airxson7's advice seemed to do the trick.
    – Catskul
    Dec 5, 2023 at 16:02

Largo's answer is right, but it took me a few minutes to figure out how to apply it:

First, go to your Inboxes > Multiple inbox sections, and type in category:promotions in the "Search query" column to add a new Section.

Then, go to the create a filter window and put category:promotions as the value for "Has the words". Then click "Create filter". Next select "Skip Inbox (Archive it)" and "Also apply filter to matching conversations".

That should do it.

  • note, you can't name the filters the same as the categories, as gmail treats those labels names as special (probably uses them under the hood)
    – Catskul
    Dec 5, 2023 at 16:01

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