Updated: 05/06/2024 by Computer Hope
Inbox in Gmail

An inbox is where incoming e-mail messages are received and initially stored in an e-mail client or webmail service. Unless rules are set up to forward messages to another e-mail address, folder, or program, new messages reside in the inbox until moved. The picture shows the inbox folder selected in the navigation pane of a Gmail account.

All e-mail clients, like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird, and online e-mail accounts, like Gmail and, have an inbox folder. In the navigation area, where the e-mail folders are listed, the inbox is usually found near the top. Usually, when you open an e-mail client or log in to an online e-mail account, the inbox is selected by default.

How to view e-mails in the inbox

To view messages in the inbox, if not already selected, click the inbox folder in the navigation area. It is usually on left side of the window when you open your e-mail program or service. Once selected, e-mails residing in the inbox are displayed; click or double-click to view them.


Quick actions, such as those that delete or forward e-mails, are also usually available in the display area.

E-mail, E-mail terms, Internet terms, Mailbox, Outbox