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Gmail App reporting incorrect unread count

I don’t know why, but this has been driving me nuts. Thanks OCD. When I check my Gmail on using the App on IOS or Android, it reports that I have 3 unread messages in my inbox. No matter how far i scroll down in the inbox using the app, however no unread messages are found. Furthermore, when I log into Gmail using a web browser from a computer, it shows that I have no unread messages in the inbox…so what gives Google/Gmail? Do I have unread emails or not?!

Here’s how to reset an incorrect unread email message count in the Gmail App for IOS and/or Android:

[the problem]

The Gmail App for IOS or Android reports unread emails in the inbox, but none can be found by searching the inbox. Also when logging into Gmail using a browser Gmail reports no unread emails.


[the solution]

[step 1] On desktop computer (PC or Mac), open your favorite web browser and log into Gmail.

[step 2] In the search box at the top, type label:unread and click the magnifying glass or hit Enter. This search will return all unread emails in your mailbox.



[step 3] Expand the select all checkbox and click All to select all conversations in the current view.


[step 4] IMPORTANT: If your search matches more than 50 conversations, you’ll notice a yellow bar at the top of your search allowing you to Select all conversations that match this seach link. Click Select all conversations that match this search to select all unread emails.


[step 5] Click the More button and select Mark as read.


That’s it. Check your App it should show the correct number of unread messages going forward.

April 17, 2014

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31 comments found

Comments for: Gmail App reporting incorrect unread count

  1. David K

    My OCD was killing me. But this worked. Now my curiosity is killing me. Where was the one stinking email that was causing the problem???? LOL

    1. Post author: 
      David Vielmetter

      haha, yea I was curious about that also. I did a bunch of searches for unread only messages in the mailbox before marking all as read but found 0 results. I chalked it off as a gmail problem and then spent the rest of the weekend doing analog things and forgot all about such first world problems 🙂

      1. Vipul

        Thanks David for saving my productive time by sharing it with us. It was really distracting me like hell. Couldn’t spot the email but good enough that it’s back to normal.

        Thanks again.

  2. Eric Huber

    Thanks for the information. This was helpful – although it initially didn’t solve my problem. my gmail app in my iPhone just started showing hundreds of unread messages – just within the last week. I would open the app, search for unread messages, but couldn’t find anything. It was driving me crazy. The browser was showing unread messages just fine.

    Then I realized that I recently added my son’s account on my iPhone as a second account and when I went to the account settings, I noticed that the unread messages were on his account and not mine. The app must aggregate unread message counts from all accounts and displays that count on the app icon. Problem solved.

    1. dvielmetter

      Bizzarre, but kind of makes sense i guess.

    2. Robin Jones

      THANK YOU! I totally forgot I had a second account configured…

  3. Pierce

    I followed the steps but the Gmail icon on my Droid Mini still shows I have 2 unread messages. Any other ideas how to clear that?

    1. David Vielmetter

      Does your gmail inbox show unread mail remaining? If not, the issue is likely just with android/the app. Maybe try uninstalling and reinstalling the app.

  4. skip

    Its because the little icon counter is missing an update somewhere… So what you want to is cause a change to the counter somehow… One way to do it is to check mark some messages then click the read, unread icon to change their status and this will be reflected on the icon.

    1. Red

      SKIP, that did it for me and I thank you. I recall reading a message then clicking to make sure it was unread so that I could return to it. I read it again but could never get that indicator off until I did what you suggested. Frustrating but thanks for the folks online, it’s resolved!!

    2. Lor

      Any other ideas? It’s still says 5 and nothing in the unread mail! Frustrating!

  5. Katie

    Thank you. This was driving me insane.

  6. Gordon

    While I was able to find the troublesome email in the all mail folder and mark it read, once a new email comes in it shows 2 unread, the new one and the same old one reverts to unread as well. It will remain read until a new email arrives, this is happening consistently. Running Android 4.4.4 and Gmail app, I don’t use any other email program. I’m hoping that you can help. I’d delete the pesky email, but It is important.

    1. David Vielmetter

      Couple of quick things you can try:

      1. force quit gmail, then reboot the device.
      2. make sure you have enough available storage on your device. View storage and ensure you have at least a couple of gigabytes free space.
      3. make sure you have no large items stuck in the outbox. It’s easy to accidentally share a video via gmail and it can get stuck in the outbox.
      4. try uninstalling and re-installing the app.

      If all that doesn’t work, try this:

      1. Open Settings for your device.
      2. Select the menu option similar to Apps or Applications manager.
      3. Find and select Gmail in the list. You may need to swipe to the right to find it under “ALL.”
      4. Touch Clear data.
      5. Answer OK when prompted.
      6. Restart your device.

      Hope it helps,

  7. KRJ

    Worked like a charm for me ! After I synched the gmail account on my iPhone, I no longer see any unread messages.


  8. Marie

    I can breathe again!!!!!! Oh and 35,000 unread messages in my promotions/social/spam boxes! Yikes.

  9. simon

    Thanks David. I searched everywhere but you’re the only one who knows how to fix the problem of the phantom unread email! It was driving me mad! You cured it (and me).


  10. Blogger

    This worked! I tried to clear the cache of the Gmail app, erase data and even uninstall it but no luck. Thank you

  11. Scott

    My android (Samsung galaxy S3) was doing the samething–saying I had unread emails yet when I went to my inbox it showed none–I went to my Settings, Scrolled down to the Application Manager and opened it and scrolled to my Gmail App, opened and deleted my data and as soon as I did this I refreshed my phone and I found all my unread messages.. Hope this helps

  12. Anya

    You are my hero! This has been bothering me for about a month and now I am finally FREE!!

  13. Daniel

    open gmail page
    then in the search box write label:unread
    select the messages and mark as read
    thats all

  14. Will

    This has changed my life. I can now actually tell if I have an email w/o having to open the app. Thank you!

  15. Bryan

    Yay!!! I’ve had 60 unread messages on the app side for 5 months….making sure I clicked the “Select all 4,096 conversations in All Mail”, then click Mark as read worked…

  16. Thankachan Smith

    Thank you Sir 🙂

  17. Kiran

    Thank you So much. This was so annoying to have those unread email count. This solution worked.

  18. Allan J

    Thank you big time lol

  19. Billy

    I had over 200 messages from dccc.com starting in december last year that I had to report as spam today.. I searched for all emails from that domain and it showed me 100 and said 143 more. After deleting the 100 It showed me another 100 and said 118 more!
    I had 143 – the 100 listed thats 43 I should have had, where did the other 75 come from to make it 118? And how come the last 18 became 45 after I deleted those 100? This problem has been happening for just about as long as I’ve had gmail. (ten years i think… I got my account when gmail was in beta stage and invitation only) I’ve given them feedback on the issue plenty of times but it’s as if they don’t care. A quick search online shows no one else with my issue but plenty of people with hidden unread messages that they are claiming is “gmail incorrectly reporting message count”.. Currently my inbox is at “Inbox (28326)” unread messages, so one or two hidden unread messages is not a concern to me. However, gmail incorrectly listing my message count when searching is a MAJOR concern to me as it affects the believability of gmail’s search and also extends the time it takes to search thru my messages (it’s never less than what it says but almost always more than the numbers state.

    1. David Vielmetter

      Hi Billy,

      Two things could be happening:

      1. Gmail will only show 50 or 100 emails at a time in any screen. This is a limitation of any web email user interface. So if you run a search that returns say 1500 messages in gmail, you’ll only see 50 of them at a time and when you select all, by default gmail will only manipulate 50 or 100 messages at a time. To get around this, try expanding the select all checkbox and click the word “All”. This will allow you then to select all conversations that match the search which would be 1500. Once all 1500 emails are selected, then deleting them will be just a single click.

      2. It’s possible that you’re finding your deleted emails. Gmail will search even the trash folder for your emails if you tell it to search all email. Try deleting your emails and then emptying the trash.

      Hope it helps,

  20. Terry

    Thanks a lot David, I’ve just got new phone running N and would never have found out how to do this but your method worked perfectly – brilliant!

  21. Mike

    Thanks very much. Was driving me crazy.

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