Over the past week, Google has introduced new “tabs” to its Gmail inbox. No longer can we see our entire list of emails on one page — but we have to select a tab to see all of our mail. The mail has been automatically filtered into different lists — and guess who organized the list? Gmail. Gmail has decided it knows, better than we know, which email messages are:

  • Priority
  • Social
  • Promotions
  • Updates
  • Forums

I couldn’t even venture at guessing which of the emails I read could be classified for any of these categories — would news about the promotion I’m writing for The Green Mountain Coffee company be consided priority — or would Gmail assume it was a non-essential promotion? Gmail already has “filters” in place, which allows us to pre-select keywords in emails to filter particular messages into user-created lists. This feature has been working fine for years — so why the change? ¬†Giving Gmail control of the filtering is madness. The risk of missing an important email is running too high.

Getting your old inbox back, without the tabs, isn’t just a wish — it’s a matter of effiency. It’s to see the inbox, at a glance, and without worrying that something important isn’t here, because it’s in the wrong, Gmail-genereated tab.

Here’s how to get your old non-tabbed Gmail inbox back.

Open your gmail inbox, and over to the right hand side is a little gears button.

gmail tabs001

Click on that little arrow, and you will get a drop-down menu that looks like this:

gmail tabs002You will want to click on the words that say, “Configure Inbox.”

Click there, and a smaller window will open up:

gmail tabs003

 

Here, you can “select tabs to enable.” If you want to have all of your email in one list — just select one tab. I’ve chosen “Primary.”

Hit save, and the box will disappear, and all of your emails will appear under the priority tab.