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How to Add Multiple Inboxes to Gmail

Keeping Staff | December 9th, 2021

Sometimes, one inbox simply isn’t enough. There are many different scenarios in which you may need to use multiple inboxes to manage your workload. 

For example, if you are an account manager, you may want to create a separate inbox for each of your clients so you can keep your emails organized. 

If you work in customer support, you may need to monitor multiple inboxes on a regular basis. You may be responsible for managing your personal work email account in addition to your team’s shared customer support account. 

Fortunately, there’s no need to log in and out of multiple accounts in order to manage multiple inboxes. Why? You can add multiple inboxes to your Gmail account to keep all of your emails in one place. Here’s how:

Too many emails

How to add multiple inboxes to your Gmail account

Anyone with a Gmail account can add mini inboxes to their primary inbox. This makes it easier to organize your inbox into different sections based on the type of email, the project that it is related to or the person who sent it. 

Follow these steps to add multiple inboxes to your Gmail account:

  1. Log into your Gmail account and go to your settings.
  2. Click on “Advanced” in the menu at the top of the page.
  3. Scroll down to the “Multiple Inboxes” section and click on “Enable.”
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Save Changes.”

Now you can start setting up the multiple inboxes in your account. Here’s what to do:

  1. Go back to your settings and click on “Multiple Inboxes” in the menu at the top of the page.
  2. Scroll down to the section titled “Current searches for the multiple inboxes.” You should see two columns in this section: “Search query” and “Panel title.” In the “Panel title” column, type the name of the first multiple inbox you would like to add to your primary inbox. The name should describe the type of emails that will be sent to this inbox. For example, if you want to create a separate inbox for all emails sent from your manager, label it with your manager’s name.
  3. Now you need to define your inbox in the “Search query” column. To send all emails from a specific person to a multiple inbox, type in “from:name@yourcompany.com.” OR to send a specific email type to a multiple inbox, such as starred emails, type in “is:starred” into this column.
  4. Once you finish defining your multiple inboxes, scroll down to the bottom of the page. In the “Maximum page size” section, enter the number of emails you want to be visible in each of your multiple inboxes. This is the number of emails you will see in each inbox when looking at your primary inbox.
  5. Then, go to “Multiple inbox positioning” to choose whether you want your multiple inboxes to appear to the right of, above, or below your primary inbox.
  6. Click “Save Changes.”

This should automatically redirect you to your primary inbox. You should now see your multiple inboxes when looking at your primary inbox.

pros and cons

What are the pros and cons of using Gmail to create multiple inboxes?

There are a number of pros and cons to using Gmail to create multiple inboxes. Some of the pros include:

  • It’s easy to set up. It only takes a few minutes to create multiple inboxes so you can get started right away.
  • It’s free. You don’t need to pay to take advantage of this feature.

Some of the cons of this option include:

  • You can’t use this feature if you are currently using Gmail’s Promotions/Social/Forums tabs. You must disable these tabs if you want to set up multiple inboxes.
  • Using this option to add multiple inboxes can change the layout of your Gmail inbox. Some people think the multiple inbox layout is confusing and looks too cluttered.
  • This feature was not built for customer support teams, so it is not ideal for managing customer support requests. Adding multiple inboxes will not give you access to the other features you need to collaborate with your team on customer support requests.
  • There’s a limit on the number of inboxes you can add. Gmail only allows you to create up to five additional inboxes.

The bottom line? This is a great way to keep emails organized within your inbox, but it’s not ideal for customer support teams managing multiple inboxes.

How to add multiple accounts to your Gmail inbox 

Following the instructions above will make it easier to organize your emails by separating them into different inboxes. 

But what if you want to add multiple Gmail accounts to your primary inbox so you don’t need to log in and out of each account to see all of your emails? If this is your goal, follow these steps to add an inbox from another Gmail account to your primary inbox:

  1. Go to your settings and click on “Accounts” in the menu at the top of the page.
  2. Scroll down to the “Send mail as” section. Click on “Add another email address.”
  3. Type your full name and the email address you would like to add to your primary Gmail inbox. Click on the box that says “Treat as an alias.”
  4. Click on “Next Step,” and then “Send Verification.”
  5. Open another window and log into your secondary email account. You should have received an email from Gmail with a verification code. Copy this code and paste it in the “Enter the verification code” box back in your primary inbox.
  6. Return to your secondary Gmail account. Go to settings and click on “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” in the menu at the top of the page.
  7. In the “Forwarding” section, click on “Add a forwarding address.”
  8. Enter the email address of your primary Gmail account. Click “Next” and then “Confirm.”
  9. Return to your primary inbox and look for the confirmation email from Gmail. Click on the link in this email to confirm that you want emails from your secondary account forwarded to your primary account.

Now, every email sent to your secondary account will be automatically forwarded to your primary account. This way, you won’t need to log in and out of accounts to see all of your emails. Everything will be in one place: your primary inbox.

typing an email

What are the pros and cons of using Gmail to combine multiple accounts into one inbox?

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before using Gmail to combine multiple accounts into one inbox. Some of the pros of this option include:

  • It’s free, so you won’t need to pay to use this feature.
  • The setup is simple, so you don’t need to be tech savvy to get started.
  • It allows you to see all of your emails from multiple accounts in one place: your primary inbox.

Some of the cons of this option include:

  • It’s not ideal for customer support teams. Even though it does allow you to see emails from multiple accounts in one place, it does not give you access to other features you need to manage customer support requests.
  • Emails from both your primary and secondary account will appear in your main inbox. If you receive a lot of emails, your inbox can quickly become cluttered, making it harder for you to juggle everything on your plate.
  • There’s no transparency. If everyone is receiving the same forwarded emails from your customer support account, multiple people may respond to an incoming request without realizing that someone else has already handled it. This can lead to confusion and chaos for both your team and the customer.

Not ideal

What is the best way to manage multiple Gmail inboxes?

The cons of using Gmail to manage multiple inboxes or multiple accounts outweigh the pros. This is especially true if you are trying to manage multiple inboxes to keep up with incoming customer support requests. But fortunately, there is a better option available.

Keeping is a customer service tool that turns your Gmail inbox into a help desk. Unlike Gmail, Keeping was built specifically for customer support teams, so it has all of the features you need to effectively manage support requests as a team. You can use Keeping to:

  • Convert email requests into tasks that can be assigned to other team members.
  • Update the status of tasks to Open, Closed, or Pending.
  • See what someone else is working on so you don’t waste your time duplicating their efforts.
  • Create and share templates that can be used to respond to frequently asked questions.
  • Collaborate on tasks by sharing notes with your team.
  • Automate manual, time-consuming tasks involved in your customer support efforts.
  • Access data to evaluate how well your team is performing.
  • Pull data from third party tools into your Gmail inbox.

Keeping works directly within your Gmail inbox, so you won’t need to log in and out of accounts or learn how to use a new tool. Keeping is hands down the best way to manage multiple inboxes or accounts in your Gmail inbox. See for yourself by starting your free trial today.