I'm using multiple inbox to split between my general mail and work related mail (which has a specific label)

To avoid seeing the work mail also in the inbox section, I archive the mail labeled work.

But in this situation, there is no way to 'archive' the work mail from the work inbox. currently I use stars to mark mail that should be seen in the work inbox (and use the filter is:starred and label:work for the section)

priority inbox is even more problematic, as you can filter just by label, and not use a complex query.

Does any one have a better solution?

2 Answers 2


You can do this with the Priority Inbox although not with functionality out of the box.

The only way that I have found to do it is either with the element inspector in chrome/safari or with firebug in firefox. The good news is that once you have made the settings change it will work in all browsers.

  1. Go to the priority inbox settings tab.
  2. Click the options next to the section you want to show your work mail.
  3. Click "More Options..."
  4. Inspect the element for the "Work" Label
  5. You will notice on the surrounding div there is an attribute cfg="^all,Work", change the value to "^i,Work"
  6. Select the label on the page as you normally would

You will know if it worked or not straight away because the section settings should now read : Inbox, Work instead of the All Work that it used to read.

You now have your mail split and can still Archive Work labelled mail to remove it from the inbox.


  • Thanks. is there a similar way to hide the work mails from the regular inbox? (have the filter of the main section be label:inbox -label:work Commented Apr 20, 2011 at 14:24
  • Priority Inbox will automatically filter them out of the "Everything Else" section. Is that what you mean?
    – Ben
    Commented Apr 21, 2011 at 6:50
  • Works!. the only remaining (small) issue is that the work section needs to be before the inbox Commented Apr 21, 2011 at 7:27
  • You can make it the first section in your priority inbox (above important) by going to the priority inbox settings and making it the first one.
    – Ben
    Commented May 2, 2011 at 5:38
  • I can't get this to work - can anyone provide more information on how to inspect the element and save changes? Thanks
    – user37056
    Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 9:50

This has totally changed my life, thanks. My inbox is about four hundred times more useful now.

I am a total n00b, but I thought I would add some images, because I have found this procedure so helpful. I hope they make sense.

In my case, I wanted to have a section in my inbox for uni emails that weren't yet archived.

  1. Go to settings

gmail settings

  1. Go to the Inbox tab in settings (ignore the fact that my section is already called 'Inbox, uni' here – I had already renamed it)

    gmail settings inbox tab

  2. Click on 'options' and then 'more options'

enter image description here

  1. Scroll down to the label you want to modify (in my case, 'uni'), and right-click on it.

    enter image description here

  2. This will bring up the menu. Go down to 'inspect element'

enter image description here

  1. Have a look at the surrounding div, and you will see cfg="^all,uni" (or the equivalent) enter image description here

  2. Click on the element (i.e. literally click on the word all), and type in 'i' instead of 'all'

enter image description here

  1. Save changes! That's it.

Now, when you go back to your inbox, your section should be there. Try archiving a couple of messages and see if they disappear from your inbox.

  • Thank you Sonja. I am not able to save the changes. Is there a menu which will allow me to save the changes? On the dropdown menu for the priority inbox, it does change the label name to 'Inbox, uni' but once I go back to the inbox (after saving the changes) it is back to the 'all, uni'. I am using a less intelligent method for this. I have simply created a filter for 'label:inbox AND label:uni' and then use this label in the priority inbox. But more information on saving the changes would be useful.
    – Shripad
    Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 18:41
  • 1
    As Ben pointed out above, your method works perfectly well with the earlier version of Gmail, not with the recent version though. We will have to wait for Gmail to improve.
    – Shripad
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 12:15

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