The Gmail sidebar displays the list of our labels (or some of them, according to settings). Next to every label name there is a number showing how many unread messages we have for that label.

Is there a way to display also the total number of messages for each label?


[to answer] (0/36)
[to do] (0/55)
[waiting answer] (0/7)
cooking (2/48)
family (6/352)
friends (1/1828)
website (2/412)
work (12/12801)

  • 1
    @dreeves No such thing exits in Gmail. You need to wait until the team thinks & comes up with this kind of feature. Best Luck!
    – xorpower
    Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 8:42

3 Answers 3


There doesn't seem to be a way to do this currently.

The best places to look for this feature to be implemented is one of the following:

  • An official Gmail setting accessible via the settings page.
  • A Gmail labs feature.
  • A 3rd party Gmail gadget which can be added via the "Add any gadget by URL" Gmail lab.
  • A Greasemonkey scirpt.

The first two would require Google to implement the feature, which you could suggest here for it to be implemented in the official version, or you could suggest it here for it to be implemented as a lab. The last two could be implemented by anyone with the knowhow.

I couldn't find anything that is already implemented by doing a simple Google search.


If you go to the gear (settings), then "Settings" and choose Labels, your labels are displayed along with the total number of conversations for each.

Alternatively, if the total amount must be displayed next to the label on the main Gmail page, you could simply create a second label for each label you have and then create a filter that will take all the mail from one label and sent it to the second label and mark all the messages as unread. That way you will have one set of labels with unread count and one with total count, in a backwards kind of way.


I needed related functionality - viz. to show the number of conversations in a "To Do" folder. I was able to come up with a workaround. It is a hack, but I wanted to share it in case anyone finds it useful.

The jist is to set up a repeating Google Script to mark the conversations with the given label as unread. The folder then shows the unread count which happens to be the same as the count of all conversations in the folder. This works well specifically for a "To Do" folder as I expect it to have only a few conversations in it at any given time, and the read/unread status is not that critical.

Everytime I go through the "To Do" folder, the items get marked as read and the item count is not what I want, but my goal is mainly to just get a daily reminder of the count. The script runs everyday and those items will get marked as unread again for the next day.

The specific instructions are:

  • Go to https://script.google.com/
  • Click on "New project"
  • Give the project some name
  • In Code.js, delete the existing empty function. Add the following code:
function markToDosAsUnread() {
  var label = GmailApp.getUserLabelByName("To Do");
  var threads = label.getThreads();
  for (var i = 0; i < threads.length; i++) {
    var thread = threads[i];
  • Click on the clock icon on the left labeled "Triggers"
  • Click on "Add trigger"
  • Create an hourly or daily trigger that calls the markToDosAsUnread function.
  • For more details, read the documentation at https://developers.google.com/apps-script/.

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