Productivity Hack: How to Change Gmail Tab Names – Updated

Productivity Hack: How to Change Gmail Tab Names – Updated

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NOTE: It came to my attention that this plugin is no longer working with recent Chrome updates. Rather than removing this post, I will keep track of the plugin to see if it gets fixed. If you know of a similar plugin, please let me know.

If you are like me and millions of other people you probably use Gmail as your primary tool for managing all of your emails. You also probably find it frustrating not to be able to rename default Gmail tabs to something more personal. Here is a quick hack for renaming Gmail tabs.

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Gmail tabs is a cool feature that can be very useful for filtering your email messages. Personally, I categorize all marketing type of emails and move them to the Promotions tab. I do the same with other tabs.
This allows me to filter all emails and divide them into different categories based on their urgency and what type of content they have. Previously I used Social tab for emails related to social media, Promotions tab for less important promo type of emails. I used Updates tab for useful design and SEO emails and Forums for news and other random stuff.

However, since Google doesn’t allow you to change these default tab names, I constantly had to remind myself what was in each tab. Unfortunately, Gmail on its own won’t allow you to change the names, forcing you to use their own default categories.

One way to bypass this, at least in Chrome, is by using Chrome browser extension, called Custom Tab Names for Gmail. (http://bit.ly/change-gmail-tabs).
(Please note, the change can only be done within Chrome browser. Your mobile devices and your other browsers will continue to display default category names).

Simply install this Chrome extension and once it’s installed, click on the icon at the top of your browser, enter your email and then expand Set Tab Name panel.

There you will see options for renaming the tabs. You can now change them to whatever you like and make them more personalized. My forum tab is no longer forum but News and my Updates tab is Design & Marketing tab, making it much more personal and easier to remember.

Obviously, this is not the ideal solution but hopefully, in the future, Google will address this issue and will allow users to rename and add their own tabs, but until then, you can use this handy Chrome extension as a temporary solution.

To be able to add and rename individual tabs inside the Gmail would be a great feature to have and would help tremendously in helping to prioritize and manage emails more efficiently. Imagine, having a tab dedicated specifically only to freelance related emails. Some of this can be done with labeling and tagging, of course, however being able to create customizable tabs would make the process of filtering emails much easier and more intuitive.

If you know of another way of renaming Gmail tabs or know how to add new category tabs, please share in the comments below.

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Jenya Armstrong

Gene is a freelance web developer and a founder of numerous websites including BigAppleMedia and All WellnessGuide.
Interested in being a guest blogger? Click here for more info

9 Comments
  • dav
    Posted at 20:47h, 02 January Reply

    did not work

    • Jenya Armstrong
      Jenya Armstrong
      Posted at 17:42h, 03 January Reply

      Thank you for letting me know. I haven’t checked in awhile. It’s possible Chome updated their software so it might not be working.

  • KC Bob
    Posted at 14:27h, 07 December Reply

    Does not seem to work on my chromebook.

    • Jenya Armstrong
      Jenya Armstrong
      Posted at 20:17h, 07 December Reply

      Sorry to hear. I think it’s supposed to work on all Chrome browsers. Everyone who emailed me said it was working for them.

  • Drake Hatfield
    Posted at 23:42h, 26 November Reply

    Thanks for sharing this. I know that Google released the tabs to facilitate filtering by known websites but I really hope they put in a permanent solution to allow us to fully customize the inbox. It is a step in the right direction. This extension is great though!

    • Jenya Armstrong
      Jenya Armstrong
      Posted at 17:53h, 27 November Reply

      Thank you for your comments. I’m glad it helped. Hopefully Google will be more flexible and will allow to change it without plugins.

  • Scout Kent
    Posted at 16:27h, 06 November Reply

    I’ve been trying to figure out how to do this forever, thank you.

    • Jenya Armstrong
      Jenya Armstrong
      Posted at 17:54h, 27 November Reply

      I’m glad it helped. Thank you for the feedback.

  • Samantha
    Posted at 14:45h, 18 October Reply

    Thanks so much. This is what I’m looking for to better organize the emails when they first come in not after the fact.

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