View Only Your Unread Messages in Gmail

If you read my post from last week, Preview Gmail Messages Before Opening Them, you'll recall that I've been using the Web interface to access my accounts, rather than my preferred option, Outlook. I wouldn't do this unless absolutely necessary, because I find Gmail's interface to be, well, awful. I don't like the look, the lack of a preview pane, the lack of folders...shall I go on? Make no mistake, I love Gmail--just not its UI.

Anyway, another problem I've encountered is that unread mail keeps getting pushed off the page by newer messages. And you know what they say: out of sight, out of mind. I need a way to view only my unread messages, without having to click through several pages' worth of mail.

Gmail doesn't have a view option for this, but there is a solution:

In the Search field, type is:unread and then click Search Mail.

Presto! Now your inbox will show only those messages you haven't read. (When you're ready to go back to the standard view, just click your Inbox link.) Want to save a few keystrokes? You can also type l:^u. (The letter "L" in front is an abbreviation for "label.")

Are you looking for ways to make Gmail easier or more accommodating? Send your questions to me at the address below and I'll do my best to find answers! (Be sure to check the Hassle-Free PC Blog, as the volume of mail I get prohibits me from answering individually.)

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.com, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums.

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