How to Enable Tabs in Gmail: A Step-by-Step Guide

Enabling tabs in Gmail is a straightforward process that allows you to organize your inbox by categorizing emails into different tabs such as Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums. This feature helps you to focus on important emails and reduce clutter.

Step by Step Tutorial to Enable Tabs in Gmail

Before you get started, it’s important to know that enabling tabs in Gmail will help you to sort your emails automatically and make your inbox more manageable. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Open Gmail Settings

Click on the gear icon in the top right corner of your Gmail inbox and select ‘See all settings’.

In the ‘Settings’ menu, you’ll find various options to customize your Gmail experience. Make sure you’re on the ‘Inbox’ tab to proceed with enabling tabs.

Step 2: Select Inbox Type

Under the ‘Inbox type’ dropdown menu, select ‘Default’.

Choosing ‘Default’ as your inbox type is crucial because it is the only inbox type that supports tabs.

Step 3: Choose Tabs to Enable

In the ‘Categories’ section, check the boxes next to the tabs you want to enable.

You can choose from Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums, in addition to the Primary tab which is always enabled by default.

Step 4: Save Changes

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click ‘Save Changes’.

After saving the changes, Gmail will refresh, and you will see the selected tabs at the top of your inbox.

After completing these steps, your Gmail will be organized into tabs, making it easier to find specific types of emails. You can click on each tab to view emails categorized under that label.

Tips for Enabling Tabs in Gmail

  • Customize which tabs you want to see based on the type of emails you receive most often.
  • You can drag and drop emails between tabs to further organize your inbox.
  • If you change your mind, you can always go back to the settings and adjust which tabs are enabled.
  • Remember that some emails might be miscategorized, so check other tabs occasionally to ensure you’re not missing important emails.
  • Use the search function in Gmail to quickly find emails across all tabs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I disable a tab?

If you disable a tab, all emails that were previously under that tab will be moved back to the Primary inbox.

Can I create custom tabs?

Gmail does not currently support the creation of custom tabs, but you can use labels and filters for more personalized organization.

Will enabling tabs affect my mobile Gmail app?

Yes, the tabs you enable on the desktop version of Gmail will also be reflected in the mobile app.

Can I change the order of the tabs?

No, the order of Gmail tabs is fixed and cannot be customized.

How do I move an email to a different tab?

You can click and drag an email to move it to a different tab, or right-click on the email and select ‘Move to tab’.


  1. Open Gmail Settings
  2. Select Inbox Type as ‘Default’
  3. Choose Tabs to Enable
  4. Save Changes


Enabling tabs in Gmail is a simple yet effective way to declutter your inbox and stay organized. By following the steps outlined above, you can customize your inbox to suit your email habits and preferences. Remember, an organized inbox leads to a more productive email experience, and with Gmail’s tabs feature, you can achieve just that. Give it a try, and you might just wonder how you ever managed without it. Whether you’re a busy professional or someone who receives a lot of social and promotional emails, enabling tabs in Gmail is a game-changer that’s worth exploring.

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy