How to Stop Marking a Gmail Conversation as Read with a Simple Click

Ever been frustrated by your Gmail marking your emails as read just because you accidentally clicked on them? Worry no more! In just a few simple steps, you can stop this from happening and keep your emails marked as unread until you’re ready to deal with them.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Stop Marking a Gmail Conversation as Read if You Click on it

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what these steps will do for you. By changing a setting in Gmail, you’ll be able to click on an email without it being marked as read. This is super handy if you’re someone who likes to keep things organized and unread until you’ve had the time to properly engage with the email.

Step 1: Open Gmail Settings

Click on the settings gear icon in the top right corner of your Gmail account.

In this step, you’re looking for a little gear icon that’s usually in the top right corner when you’re looking at your inbox. Clicking on this will open up a menu, and from there, you’ll see an option for ‘See all settings’. That’s where you want to go next.

Step 2: Go to the ‘General’ Tab

Once in settings, ensure you’re on the ‘General’ tab.

The ‘General’ tab is usually the first tab you’ll see when you enter the settings menu. It’s where most of your basic and most essential Gmail settings are held.

Step 3: Find the ‘Preview Pane’ Section

Scroll down until you find the ‘Preview Pane’ section.

This section might be a little lower down on your screen, so don’t worry if you need to scroll a bit.

Step 4: Change the ‘Mark as Read’ Setting

Change the ‘Mark as read’ setting to ‘Never’.

In the ‘Preview Pane’ section, you’ll see an option that says ‘Mark as read’. This is where you can control when Gmail marks your emails as read. You’ll want to change this setting to ‘Never’, so that you can click on an email without it changing to read.

Step 5: Save Changes

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

Don’t forget this step! If you don’t save, none of your changes will take effect. Once you hit that save button, you’re all set.

After completing these steps, you’ll notice that your emails won’t be marked as read when you click on them. This means you can come back to them later, and they’ll still be marked as unread. This can help you keep track of which emails you’ve fully engaged with and which ones still need your attention.

Tips on How to Stop Marking a Gmail Conversation as Read if You Click on it

  • Keep in mind that changing this setting will apply to all emails, not just new ones.
  • If you use Gmail on different devices, you’ll need to change this setting on each device.
  • Remember that emails you’ve clicked on but haven’t marked as read manually will still be considered unread.
  • Make sure to periodically review your unread emails, so you don’t miss anything important.
  • Consider combining this setting with other organizational tools like labels and filters for maximum email management.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change this setting on the Gmail mobile app?

No, this setting is currently only available on the desktop version of Gmail.

Will changing this setting affect my email notifications?

No, this setting only affects how emails are marked as read within your inbox.

Can I still manually mark an email as read?

Absolutely! You can always click the ‘Mark as Read’ button or use the keyboard shortcut ‘Shift + I’.

If I change my mind, can I revert this setting?

Sure! Just go back into your settings and adjust the ‘Mark as Read’ option to your preference.

Does this setting work with all email types?

This setting works with all standard emails, but certain automated emails may still be marked as read based on different criteria.


  1. Open Gmail Settings
  2. Go to the ‘General’ Tab
  3. Find the ‘Preview Pane’ Section
  4. Change the ‘Mark as Read’ Setting to ‘Never’
  5. Save Changes


In the digital age, managing your inbox can feel like a full-time job. But with these simple steps, you can take back control and stop marking a Gmail conversation as read if you click on it unintentionally. This not only helps to keep your inbox organized but also ensures that you don’t accidentally overlook important emails. As someone who has battled with keeping an organized inbox, I can attest to the relief and efficiency that comes with making this small but significant change to your email settings. So go ahead, give it a try, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your emails will stay unread until you’re good and ready for them.

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