Why You Could be Missing Gmail Emails and How to Avoid

Undoubtedly, smartphones have revolutionalized our email handling experience in the past decade. Are you aware you could be missing Gmail emails?

Particularly, you could be missing important emails on updates, notifications, and offers among others.

How and why? We will answer this using 3 scenarios. Perhaps, you might have ever experienced any of the following scenarios.

Scenario 1

Your bank tells you they send a notification to your Gmail email you provided on policy change that is affecting your account. Then you can’t remember seeing such a mail despite reading your mails daily.

Scenario 2

You may have tried searching for a mail in your Gmail inbox certain email in your inbox for hours in vain. It is more painful if you require the email is time-bound like a discount offer. You will be very frustrated to find the email later in a different folder than your inbox.

Scenario 3

This is for those who have activated desktop notification in their Gmail account. If so, you may have seen an email notification pops up. Because you are busy, you decide to read it later when you are free. When you get to your inbox later, you can’t find it.

Guess why two reasons the above scenarios are happening?

  1. You might be missing Gmail emails because you have not organized your Gmail account Tabs correctly. 
  2. You don’t know how to check Gmail inbox tabs or not checking the tabs regularly. 

Don’t worry. Read to the conclusion to understand how to organize your inbox settings to avoid missing any important email.

How to Organize Gmail account Tabs

Login to your Gmail account. Locate and click the setting icon (wheel-shaped) on the top right.

A window will pop up with various options that include display density, configure inbox, settings, themes, Get ad-on, send feedback, and help.

Let us look at various Gmail inbox tabs and what emails they filter.

Gmail Inbox Tabs

Primary Tab

Note that Primary tab is the default inbox that opens when you log in to your Gmail account. When you have only Primary option is selected, you will only have a single tab in your inbox.

In that regard, you will receive all manner of emails from social media notifications, promotional messages, and regular messages

The main advantage of Primary tab is that all your emails will be in one tab so you will never miss an email.

The disadvantage is that since you receive all messages, it is easy to miss a very important email among the notifications and promotional emails.

You have to keep on perusing through each email to avoid missing an important email among the notifications sent.

Social Tab

Enable this tab by checking Social Media option. Emails directed here are notification emails from social websites that include media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, dating sites, media sites among others.

The advantage is that you will separate important emails from social media notifications that are sometimes not necessary.

The disadvantage is that you will be required to keep on monitoring this tab separately. In most cases, you will forget to check this folder.

Promotions Tab

Enable Promotions options to enable Promotions Tab. Emails directed here are marketing notifications that include offers, deals, and discounts among others.

Some of these notifications may include blog articles, offers, discounts, and links among others.

The advantage of the tab is that it is not compulsory to accept a promotion hence can be avoided. You can read the messages promotions at your own time.

The disadvantage of the tab is that offers are very time-limited. If you are interested in some offers, you have to keep on checking this folder often.

Updates Tab

Updates tab will contain auto-generated personal updates like bills, statements, receipts, bills, notice, and others.

Why personal updates? Details of these mail notifications are retrieved based on the status of your personal account registered in the sender’s systems.

You must have an account with the sender to receive update emails. Examples include bank statements, Sacco statements, electricity bills, water bills, Uber receipts, defaulter notice, among others.

Updates notification emails are very important since they reflect personal accounts. Missing an update may lead to a penalty or even loss.

The advantage is that you can easily find all you update in this tab. But if you will be able to see them in time.

Thus, you have to keep checking this folder often to avoid missing very important updates that may affect you.

Forums Tab

Enable this tab by checking the Forum option. Google directs notifications from the subscribed mailing list, discussion boards, and online groups here.

Such notifications are mass emails sent to a group or all registered members thus not very urgent. The Advantage of the Forums tab is that you can read all discussions later when you are not busy.

The disadvantage is that it is easy to ignore this tab especially if you have a very busy schedule.

Which of the Gmail Tabs should you activate?

Which tab to activate depends on which email notifications you need and how frequent. There are two ways to stop missing Gmail emails

  1. Filtering all emails in the inbox in the Primary Tab.
  2. Filtering emails to different Tabs and checking them regularly.

Directing all Emails to a single tab (Primary Tab)

If you want all your emails to get into your inbox You need all your emails in only Primary Tab. Remember this is the default tab thus you don’t need to activate it.

Primary Tab: If you need to see each notification from social sites, marketing offers, sites you have subscribed to, and from a personal account, then you may need all your emails in the same tab. In that case, you need to only check Primary and uncheck all other tabs.

Directing Emails to different tabs then Checking them regularly

Other Tabs: If you prefer to separate emails based on the advantages highlighted above, you may activate accordingly.

Note you can have several tabs concurrently. For instance, if you want to have separate emails for social media sites and all other emails in the inbox, you can activate Social tabs.


When you activate multiple tabs you need to frequently check the tabs to avoid missing Gmail emails over important updates.

If you believe we have added value to your email management, kindly leave the thumbs up message in the comments section below.

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