To unclutter my various email boxes I'd like to hide read messages. Anyone know how I might do so? I've tried all I can imagine and no luck. I'm sure there is an easy answer but not to me!

2 Answers 2


You have basically three options to view your unread mail.

  • First option is to have Gmail sort by unread mail first. This option does not hide read mail but rather moves it down from the point of prominence. All unread messages will appear before any other messages.

    1. From your inbox hover your mouse over the Inbox label and a dropdown arrow will appear to the right (see image).
    2. In the dropdown select Unread first.

    Unread first selection

  • Your second option would be to simply use the is:unread search. This will show you all unread messages from anywhere in your Gmail. As you can see in the image below this will show you unread messages from your inbox as well as other labels.

    is:unread search

  • Your final option is more of an addition to the second option. By searching for is:unread label:inbox you will only get unread messages that are in your inbox. This will also allow you to view only unread messages in other labels as well if you modify the label: portion.

    is:unread label:inbox search

  • 1
    Perhaps I'm not being clear (it happens, even to me 😊): Once read a message "grays out" but is still visible. I'd like it to disappear instead
    – greenber
    Dec 24, 2015 at 18:56
  • Moving the read message to some other label is okay, too.
    – greenber
    Dec 24, 2015 at 19:07
  • @greenber All you have to do is simply refresh the page every couple of emails and those you have read will no longer be in the list. Dec 25, 2015 at 1:44
  • 2
    @greenber You can click the archive button to remove emails from your Inbox. This would retain your emails (so you can still search through them), but also only show your unread emails in your inbox. Dec 25, 2015 at 4:51

Just use the view 'Unread Mail' all the time.

You will only see unread mails, and once you read it, it will disappear. You can always go back to the 'real' inbox if you want to see them all.

  • But thrn I [apparently] lose my mailboxes??
    – greenber
    Dec 25, 2015 at 22:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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