There are numerous reports of issues with Gmail labels, stars, unreads, message counts, and generally searching or counting combinations of these. Many of these seem to come from a common cause.
I understand that Google has obscurely documented that: despite showing labels as if they belong to the conversation, they actually belong to individual messages. And I understand that new messages appended to an existing conversation do not inherit any of the labels previously used in that conversation.
Two things could solve this, as I see it so far:
- Make sure new messages in a conversation automatically inherit user labels from the conversation.
- Work around this so that at least I can review conversations for which search criteria applies to conversations as if they had the labels and stars and unread statuses of their constituent messages.
What is a step-by-step workflow that ordinary Gmail users can use to work around this issue? Workflow examples might include, but are not limited to:
- Per-message or per-conversation handling / command sequences
- Installation and running of automated maintenance scripts
- Non-standard (non-intuitive) search queries
- Daily/Weekly (i.e. periodic) handling or procedures
- Creative uses of filters
- Labs features
Easily reproduce the issue yourself
- Send a test message to yourself.
- Open that new unread conversation that only has one message in it.
- Label that conversation with a new label "mylabel". Then go back to inbox.
- Search for "is:starred label:mylabel" and verify that nothing shows up because nothing is starred.
- Open the test conversation.
- Reply to that message and send. Then go back to the inbox.
- Open that test conversation and click a star on this second message in the conversation. Then go back to the inbox.
- We verify that there is a conversation that has a star and has the label "mylabel".
- Search the same search before ("is:starred label:mylabel"). We expect to find the test conversation there because it is both starred and has the "mylabel" label.
- BUG: No conversations show up.
But I'm still interested in finding the starred conversations that have that label.
List of documented cases and discussions
A blog post discussion.(Page not found, click here for a Wayback Machine copy)
- Also lifehacker.
- Unread counts
- More unread counts
- Inconsistent labeling