I would like to customize the priority inbox of my Google Apps email. The top section is already "Important and unread" and the bottom section "Everything else".

In the middle I would like to have the section "In Inbox and having [label]". It seems however that it's only possible to show all message of a certain label.

I also would be satisfied with "Unread in [label]", but also that I can't figure out how to put.

Is what I want possible?

  • You MIGHT be able to do something close to that if you use the Multiple Inboxes feature from Labs. I believe the rules for determining which inbox gets what is a little more dynamic, buy you'll lose the automatic prioritization that Priority Inbox offers.
    – ale
    Oct 7, 2010 at 19:05
  • I used Multiple Inboxes for this. It works so much better than Priority Inbox. I set up three inboxes with is:my-label AND is:inbox, and then an "Other" inbox with -is:my-label-1 AND -is:my-label-2 AND -is:my-label-3 AND is:inbox. The only issue is my cursor keeps focusing down in the (now-irrelevant) combined inbox at the bottom… Aug 28, 2017 at 2:25

6 Answers 6


Yes you can do this but not without a little bit of hacking around.

From my answer at Equivalent of 'archive' for priority inbox \ multiple inbox :

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.

Here is a list of alternative commands you can use. You can chain commands together with a comma.

^i = Inbox
^u = Unread
^io_im = Important
^t = starred
^f = sent
^r = drafts
^all = All mail (include archive)

ie. ^i,^u,Work = all emails in your inbox, that are unread with the label "Work".

  • 2
    I can only say, WOW. This answer is really good. How did you figure this out?
    – Peter Smit
    Jul 27, 2011 at 9:36
  • 6
    Really I just wanted to use the priority inbox this way, so I had a look at the inspector to see if I could made it happen. The ^i meaning inbox was just an educated guess based on the other codes from that list.
    – Ben
    Aug 2, 2011 at 5:14
  • 4
    Amazing! Note: ^u doesn't include archived e-mail unless you also add ^all to include archived mail. This is a perfect way to show IMAP mail from another account in a separate section of your priority inbox: ^u,^all,[email protected]
    – mltsy
    Apr 14, 2013 at 17:37
  • 6
    As a heads up this method does not seem to work with Gmails new interface. You can perform the same exact steps but it does not seem to produce the same results. For example I have a Youtube video label, I selected that and edited it to be "^u,Youtube Subs". Doing that does filter by the label, but it includes unread AND read emails unfortunately. If anyone figures it out with the new interface I would love them forever
    – labago
    Apr 27, 2018 at 15:30
  • 3
    I think the new multiple inbox feature may be useful to do this kind of thing although not 100% coverage like the original solution. I have 3 extra inboxes with filters like in:inbox label:Work for my first section and in:inbox !label:Work is:unread for my second section and in:inbox !label:Work is:read for my 3rd section. The 4th inbox has everything but I am just ignoring that for now :(
    – Ben
    Aug 2, 2018 at 7:49

Not currently possible without a bit of hacking. (See Ben's answer.)

Out of the box you can have Inbox and...

  • Important and unread
  • Important
  • Unread
  • Starred

OR all of a particular label.

Can't combine Inbox and a different label the way you're looking to do.


I had the same issue with Priority Inbox. When you select a label for a section, it automatically includes all of a particular label- both read an unread. I got around it by setting up two filters for items in the middle section. The rules for applying it are the same, but label names have (Unread) or (Archived) after it. Select the one with the unread qualifier for your section. When the message comes in, both labels are applied and it is filtered into the proper section in priority inbox. After I read it, I remove the (unread) label and leave the (archived) label. It is automatically removed from the priority inbox screen, but I can easily find it later.

Does that make sense?


Unfortunately, Ben's answer no longer works. I've done some investigation into making this possible again, but don't have a full answer yet.

In the settings, choose Priority Inbox, and click Save Settings. You can see the network request it makes request under the in the developer tools. In the request payload, the settings for priority inbox are under It will be a list of four items for the four inbox sections.

The 1 property of these items is the type of the section. The available types are:

 7 = ...
 8 = Important
 9 = Unread
10 = Important and Unread
11 = Starred
12 = ...
13 = All Important
14 = All Starred
15 = All Drafts
16 = All Sent

Types 7 and 12 are special. 7 represents "everything else", but it is removed from the list unless it is at the end. 12 looks at the value in property 2 to determine what it does, and the values for property 2 can be the values in Ben's original answer!

My goal in this investigation was to allow me put the "everything else" section in the middle, and I was able to accomplish that by using ^i in property 2.

This is not, however, a full solution to the original question since the 2 property does not seem to allow commas. Hopefully this can be of use to someone, though.


Settings -> In inbox type choose "Multiple Inboxes" Here you can make your own 5 search queries.

Queries that I have found:

is:unread - filtered unread emails is:read - filtered read emails is:starred - filtered starred emails in:archive - filtered archived emails is:drafts - filtered drafts label:my-label - filtered specific label emails -label:my-label - (added minus before) those labels won't be filtered

Query version: specific label and in the inbox: label:my-label in:inbox


Yes you can do this.

  1. Go to Settings > Priority Inbox
  2. You'll see four Priority Inbox Sections
  3. Click on Add section beside the Empty section (usually the third one)
  4. A menu will open and you can select the label you want, and your section will be about all Inbox items that have a particular label.

You'll later be able to choose how many items you'd like to display in your section.

I guess that's exactly what you want. I've tried it myself and it works.

  • No, this does not work. It shows all emails with [label] and not only the emails that are also in Inbox.
    – Peter Smit
    Oct 7, 2010 at 14:32
  • 1
    Sorry for that. I thought because "more options..." is in the part with "In Inbox and" that it works the same with labels so like "In Inbox and labelled [label]". It showed correctly with the label I used, because first 10 items were all in Inbox. Stupid of me. Oct 7, 2010 at 16:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.