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How to Keep Important Emails Out of Gmail’s Promotions Tab

Don’t miss a critical email if it lands in the Promotional tab in Gmail. Use these tips to move important emails to the Primary tab instead.


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Whether you’re applying for a new job or signing up for a newsletter you’re highly interested in, keeping emails out of your promotions tab in Gmail can be crucial to getting the content you need. Let’s learn how not to lose your important emails in the bog of the Promotions tab.

Drag and Drop Emails Into the Primary Tab

The simplest way to stop important emails from landing in your Promotions tab is to drag and drop that email into your Primary tab.

  1. Open Gmail and find the email in your Promotions tab.
  2. Drag and drop the email from Promotions to Primary. You’ll see the Primary tab turn red when you’ve done this successfully.

Dragging email from promotions to Primary tab in Gmail

This should ensure that any future emails coming from this email address sender will now be sent directly to your Primary tab instead of the Promotions tab, but this method is not a permanent solution.

Make sure to open any emails that are from this sender when they arrive in your Primary tab. This helps Google understand that you value these emails and they deserve to be in the Primary tab.

Otherwise, Google could assume that as you aren’t opening these emails, they are promotional and should be automatically categorized under your Promotions tab.

Creating a Filter

You can add a filter for the sender’s email address to ensure all the emails you don’t want to miss end up in your Primary tab.

  1. Find the email in your Promotions tab and click it open.
  2. Click on the three dots and then click on Filter messages like this.

    filter message options in gmail

  3. Double-check the sender address to ensure it is correct and click the Create filter button.

    Filtering message options in Gmail

  4. Check the Never send it to Spam and Categorize as options from the list.
  5. Select the Primary option from the dropdown list next to Categorize as.
  6. Click on the Create filter button.

    Selecting filtering options for messages in Gmail

Once you have created this filter every single email that is sent from this exact address will be automatically sent to your Primary tab. You have the option to edit your filters later if you need to adjust your settings.

If a company or person you know is sending emails to your inbox but they keep ending up in the Promotions tab, add them to your contact list so that all future emails will be sent to your Primary tab.

  1. Open the email in your Promotions tab.
  2. Hover your mouse over their sender address and click on More Info.

    Sender address more info in Gmail

  3. Click on the icon that has a person with an addition symbol next to them.

Adding sender to contacts in Gmail

Once you click on the icon it will add that sender address to your personal contacts and you’ll see a popup at the bottom of your screen confirming the action.

You can always manage these contacts in Gmail at a later time if you decide in the future, you’d like to remove the sender from your contacts.

At the left-hand side of your screen in your email inbox, you’ll see default and custom sections for all your emails. Learning the different terms and areas of your Gmail inbox will make it easier in the future to navigate and find what you’re looking for.

  1. Click on the Categories section to expand.
  2. Click on Promotions.

    Accessing promotions tab through Categories

  3. Find the email and click to open it.
  4. Click on the Not “Promotions” button at the top left.

    clicking not promotions option in gmail

This will keep any emails from this sender from ending up in your Promotions tab. You won’t be able to see the button in your regular Promotions tab so you will have to navigate to this specific section of your inbox to see this option.

You’ll notice that this section has all the current emails in your Promotions tab but it also includes all the emails sent to your Promotions tab over time. It’s a great chance to delete the older messages you no longer need and clean up some space in your inbox.

You to disable your Promotions tab altogether if none of the above options work out. This solution is the last resort as disabling the specialized tab will drive all promotional emails into your primary tab.

Though, this option will give you the ability to filter your own messages without relying on Google to do all the work for you.

  1. Click on the gear icon next to your thumbnail picture.
  2. Click on See all settings.

    Quick settings menu in Gmail

  3. Navigate to the Inbox section of your settings.
  4. Uncheck the Promotions option. You can also manage other tabs you want to show in your inbox.

    Inbox settings in Gmail

  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.

    Saving changes in Gmail settings

Now you can click back into your inbox and double-check that the Promotions tab has been disabled. All your emails should funnel directly into your primary tab from here on out and it will be up to you to filter out the emails you don’t want.

You can always navigate back to this area of your settings to manage your tabs if you decide it’s too much to filter out all messages on your own.

Disabling your Promotions tab may help you manage your inbox more effectively if you’re receiving emails you don’t want by unsubscribing and decreasing the number of emails you receive.

You have several options for keeping important emails out of your Promotions tab depending on who the sender is and your relation to them. You can add them to your contact list for a more permanent solution or you can simply drag the email where you want it for a temporary solution.

Knowing all your options will help you fine-tune your email filters so that Google doesn’t take free reign of your inbox.


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