I sometimes miss unread emails because they are sitting in sub folders

Let's say I have a folder called Trips with 3 sub folders called, Florida, Boston, Washington respectively.

If Florida has one unread mail and Boston has two unread mails, I would like Trips to show 3 unread. By default it seems like it shows 0 because there are no unread mails in the actual Trips folders (not counting sub folders).

Is there any way to change this behavior?

  • It's important to note that Gmail uses labels, not folders.
    – ale
    Nov 5, 2013 at 13:28

1 Answer 1


Some suggestions that might help:

  1. Unread mail folders still appear in BOLD (Edit: if you keep them collapsed), so you should see Trips as opposed to Trips (even though there won't be a message count).
  2. In Gmail Label Settings you can choose to show them in the left menu if they contain unread messages. You could set the option to show if unread (so the label will only appear on the left if there are unread messages).
  3. (I didn't test this) I think you can choose three distinct labels, e.g., Boston, Florida, Trips (without nesting them). Make sure all Boston and Florida emails are also tagged Trips (a filter could do this?). This might get you the message count, but it is probably not easy to make sure the messages are consistently labeled.
  • Trips is NOT bold if the only unread messages are in subfolders so #1 above is not correct.
    – leora
    Nov 27, 2012 at 4:34
  • @leora See my edit about "keeping them collapsed" (if you open the triangle to see subfolders, the bold disappears). Nov 27, 2012 at 22:49
  • Option 2 has saved my life - this way, you don't actually NEED sub-labels, just check each label to this option, and they pop up 'like magic' when you have emails. Perfect solution for me.
    – user29792
    Dec 2, 2012 at 8:09
  • @DrWhodini hope you upvoted then! :-) Dec 4, 2012 at 1:20

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