Gmail Hides My Mail

Gmail Hides my Mail – a reader asks…

I recently switched to using Gmail for email, and am having trouble finding my mail. People send me email and I don’t see it in my inbox. What gives?

The problem you’re most likely experiencing is Google’s attempt to help you organize your email. Google designed the webmail interface to try to keep your inbox clear. So instead of just one inbox where all your incoming mail flows, there are several other boxes that Gmail automatically uses. These are organized by email type, e.g., Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums.

When you’re looking at the Gmail web page, your inbox will probably show several tabs at the top of the list of emails. The left-most tab is Inbox, and you can have up to 4 more tabs going across the top.


You’ll see that the webmail interface for Gmail has a lot of elements on it, and most of these are clickable. Look near the top-right for the gear icon – you can click that to open a settings drop-down menu. On that menu is the option to “Configure Inbox”. Click that and you can uncheck the additional tabs that mail gets moved to. Uncheck them all and you will be back to the older style of inbox, where everything is on one list – more like what you’re used to.

But before you do this, I suggest you give that method a try. Google is trying to help you focus on only the important emails, so it segregates emails according to those types for you. That makes your inbox smaller and more manageable, while still giving you the ability to see all your email.

One other thing you can do is to look at all your emails in one big list. That’s by selecting the label on the left-side “All Mail”. That’s near the top of the left-side, and you may have to scroll down that (use the right-side of that box’s vertical scrollbar).

The All Mail gives you everything that you’ve received, regardless of type. So you’ll see all your junk email in that list as well as all the email in your Inbox (and other mailboxes).

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