I recently switched to a zero-inbox approach to using Gmail, archiving all messages I'm "finished" with. I like it, but there's one thing I miss: being able to see a list of recent messages that were in my inbox, including those I've archived. Before I used archive, this was the default view, and I found it very helpful for quickly finding recent emails.

Obviously I could use "All Mail", but the problem there is that it shows all mail, including messages I've sent and messages I've filtered out of my inbox (e.g. updates, calendar invites, etc.). Is there any way to see only messages that were at one point in my inbox?

The closest I can get to what I want is:

  • Creating a search that gets rid of my junk filters (e.g. NOT label:calendar NOT label:drive NOT label:announcements). This doesn't work perfectly, but it's good enough. My question is can I somehow pin this search to my sidebar to access it easily?

Other things I've tried:

  • Creating a filter to label to all messages that pass through the inbox with an "in-inbox" label. This doesn't work because filters can't operate on labels like "Inbox".
  • Looking for a way to display achived messages below my inbox (like the Important and Unread vs Everything Else split), so they're easy to access, but not in my inbox. As far as I can tell, this ideal option is not supported.

Does anyone know how to address the limitations of the above, or have a better idea for how to deal with the problem?

  • I found that in an advanced search (down arrow at right of search box), after choosing range in Date within I can press Tab, then type today to gave me recent e-mails from the current selection: this can then be saved as a bookmark, eg all e-mails in the last week gives mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#advanced-search/…. The only annoyance is that clicking the bookmark gives the drop-down search box, and i need to press Esc to remove it.
    – AFH
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 14:34

1 Answer 1


Until recently you could create custom filters at the sidebar by creating Gmail URL Gadgets if you had them enabled on Gmail Labs.

Unfortunately this function is now deprecated.

However you can make your filter in the search bar and bookmark in your browser the URL that contains your filters.

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