How to Turn Off the Gmail Promotions Tab Step-by-step

by Steve on July 18, 2013 · 1 comment

Google has just updated the Gmail interface with a new tab system that sorts your email into a Primary, Social, Updates, or Promotions tab. I love Gmail, but I'm a big boy and I would like to sort my own email thank you very much.


I don't mind the social tab, which catches things like Facebook, and Twitter notifications. But as for promotional and marketing emails, I want to see the sales, coupons, and newsletters - I save money with them, I get tips from them. And as for Updates, I'd like them to appear at the top of my main inbox where I am used to looking for them.

Gmail's Promotions tab filters out mass mailings and funnels them into their own little "inbox." Inevitably, it will become a "junkmail box" full of forgotten emails. Among them, I've already found offers that I want among my regular emails. If I don't want promotions from a sender - I simply delete their email or unsubscribe. But I want to see it all, and sort my own email.


Why Turn Off the Promotions Tab? Or other tabs?

Isn't the Gmail Promotions Tab a good thing? Doesn't it eliminate spam? Why turn off the Promotions tab? Why turn off the Updates tab?

On the very first day of using the Gmail Promotions tab I thought I'd give it a try. I check my email through the day and respond on the fly. It was in the afternoon that I noticed I had new emails behind the Promotions tab, and also in the Updates tab that had been sitting for hours.

In short, I don't want my email behind several tabs - I want to see one screen and deal with it myself. Google is trying to fix a problem that - for many people - doesn't exist. But missing emails because their placed behind tabs IS a problem for me.

Here is how to disable the Promotions tab (along with any other tabs) in your Gmail account.

  1. Click the Settings icon (it looks like a gear in the upper right of your screen)
  2. Select Configure Inbox
  3. Deselect the Promotions option (and any other tabs you don't want)gmail tab options
  4. Click Save

The Promotions tab, and other tabs you don't want will now no longer appear on your Gmail page.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brock September 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I was skeptical about the new tabbed structure too when it first came out, but I’ve found it to be quite effective at stripping out the emails that didn’t fall into the category of ‘must read now’. For example, I’m signed up for the Chili’s email list, but there’s no reason to be interrupted during my day when one of their coupon emails pops up. If I’m headed to Chili’s, I know now to poke into my Promotions tab and see if there’s a recent coupon. I think I’ve found one or two total emails that I would have preferred to go into my main inbox out of hundreds of emails that have been filtered to the ‘update’ or ‘promotions’ tabs. For those ones, I’ve checked the box that says it’s important and now similar ones are properly left unfiltered.
Google is notorious for terrible UI updates, but this simply is not one of them.


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