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Posted by on Nov 8, 2007 in google | 21 comments

GMail Unread Mail Shortcut

If you use FireFox and GMail a lot, you might appreciate this little shortcut to view your unread mail in GMail that’s now possible since GMail “upgraded”.

Saving of GMail Bookmarks

A couple of weeks ago, GMail upgraded their application to allow the bookmarking of the different areas of the application, such as:

Your Inbox:
Sent Mail:

and, of course, the most important of all:

Unread Mail in your Inbox:

The unread mail shortcut is generated by doing a search in GMail with the following query:

is:unread in:inbox

Creating a FireFox Keyword Shortcut

Now, to create the FireFox shortcut of GMail shortcuts (that’s supposed to sound GRAND!), bookmark the search results. Or, drag the link above to your bookmarks toolbar. You can save it anywhere you like, as long as you can find it again.

Then do the following:

– right-click on the bookmark
– click “Properties”
– type in the letters “gu” in the “Keyword” field

What you’ve just done is created a “URL” for FireFox.

It’s easy to test. Just try the following:

– Close your GMail tab (or close FireFox and start it up again)
– open a new, empty tab
– type the letters “gu” (without quotes) in your address bar
– press enter

You should be taken to your unread mail in your GMail inbox.

You can obviously choose any letters you like, including single letters. Just test the letters beforehand to see if they’re already in use.

FireFox Power User

And to bring you into the FireFox Power Users group, try this little keyboard combination:


What it does is:

– Opens a new tab
– puts the cursor in the Address bar
– type in your shortcut and press enter

How easy was that?


  1. Thanks– this is very helpful. One item worth noting for those of us who are slightly paranoid and also sufficiently delusional to think that ssl will protect us … the urls above can/should begin with https:// rather than plain-vanilla http://.


  2. Hi SH.

    Thanks for the comment, and the suggestion. I agree with you about the https. Though I must confess I don’t use GMail using https…

  3. my pleasure…

  4. James, you have saved many hours for many people, thank you.

  5. Why thank you… it’s nice to be appreciated 🙂

  6. thankx alot james it pretty well helped

  7. It’s always a pleasure to be helpful…

  8. I’ve been looking for a similar way but this way may be better for some of you.

    1) Go to Labs and enable Quick Link.
    2) Go to the search field in your gmail and type in any list you want… so in our case, it would be is:unread or (in:inbox and is:unread).
    3) Once this is done, click on Add quick link on the left hand side below the quick chat section and save the name as whatever you want (like Unread).
    4) You’re done. Just click on that quicklink now and it will display all your unread mail or whatever it is that you want.

    I personally like this option because sometimes I like to load gmail as is, and sometimes I like to see the unread mail and this is all through clicking.

    For more info…



  9. Outstanding tip! Many thanks.

  10. Great tip – just one simplification. Your search can be reduced to “l:^u” that is google’s shorthand for “label:unread”

  11. Nice, thanks for that. You’ve taught me something new.

  12. Awesome! Exactly what I was looking for (I’ve typed in:inbox is:unread into the searchbox one too many times). Thanks.

  13. If you’re using Goggle mail as part of a corporate environment it’s likely the URL will be different from the common one above: something like

    Following the advice still works (and great) as long as you start from the right place for your particular environment.

  14. Agreed. And thanks for pointing it out. Especially considering I use Google Mail for quite a few domains.

  15. Thanks buddy.. quite useful tip

  16. 76 years after Gmail’s launch and this blog post STILL saved my sanity. I can’t figure out what is so hard about improving the Gmail search features or integration between search/label/filters that they refuse to do it.

    Either way, thanks for this. The unread/inbox query is something I’ve been wanting for about 2 years and didn’t get frustrated enough to figure out how to do this until now.

  17. Ha ha ha… I’m really glad this helped you. I LOVE Gmail, so I’ve definitely set up a few things like this shortcut.

  18. Forgotten my password please assist

  19. Hi…

    PLEASE read this article and all its comments:

  20. thanks alot for your help…. cheers!


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