Is it possible to set the "urgent" flag in Gmail for outgoing mail? I'd like to be able to flag time-sensitive emails as such.

  • Personally, I think this (inability to set the urgent flag on outgoing mail) is a pretty compelling advantage. Let the recipient decide if your email is indeed urgent. Commented Aug 22, 2010 at 19:37
  • This. You could set the urgent flag all you want, but the recipient could still read your email only a week later, or, in fact, never. If, on the other hand, he expects an urgent email from you, he'd be constantly watching his inbox anyway, give or take the urgent flag.
    – RegDwight
    Commented Aug 22, 2010 at 20:02
  • 2
    And its not too hard to write URGENT: at the start of the subject line (together with a concise subject that explains the topic and urgency. However I always remember that one man's urgency is another man's is another man's file for later reading.
    – GAThrawn
    Commented Aug 23, 2010 at 12:05

2 Answers 2



I tested by sending an email to my Gmail acct from an Exchange account, and setting the flag urgent. Then I looked at the email in the web interface and from Outlook. In Outlook (getting Gmail) I saw the message flagged urgent. In the Web interface, I saw no urgent indication.

I replied to the message from the web interface and from Outlook. In the web interface, the urgent flag was not shown, and did not make it back to the Exchange account. In Outlook, the reply did not have the urgent flag activated, but when I activated it it was visible back on the Exchange account.

So, to summarize .. the Gmail web interface does not recognize the urgent flag, at least not as implemented by Microsoft Exchange. But the Gmail engine does not lose the header data when it is provided by another client.

As an aside .. I find the urgent flag far more irritation than it is worth. Rarely does "urgent" to you mean that it should be "urgent" to me. When is the last time that you received a message flagged "low priority"?

IMHO it is far better to indicate in the subject and body that the issue is urgent or time-sensitive.

EDIT: Google just added (1-Sept-2010) the "Priority Inbox" functionality and some kind of importance measure. I will redo my tests and update.

  • "low priority" gets used a bit within my team for informational stuff that doesn't suit our other comms media. I have a folder rule that keeps it out of my inbox, and I catch up with it either on the train or the next morning. I like it.
    – William
    Commented Aug 23, 2010 at 6:56
  • I too use the "low priority" flag in Outlook, similarily to what @William receives. Guess there is pockets of use.
    – user66001
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 15:45
  • I use "low priority" all the time. Our team uses it for "working from home" and "out sick" emails. I also frequently use "low priority" for emails that just amount to "thank you."
    – Naliba
    Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 17:32

It's not possible using the web interface. I haven't tried with IMAP, but I assume it would honour an Urgent flag if set in your email client.

  • But if the recipient was using the gmail web interface, he wouldn't get it.
    – thunderror
    Commented Aug 22, 2010 at 17:00
  • Agreed, it's mostly pointless flagging urgent if you don't know the recipient's mail client.
    – William
    Commented Aug 23, 2010 at 6:57
  • Even with Thunderbird, if you set the priority flags, the gmail interface does nothing.
    – bgmCoder
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 23:06

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