How to Move Emails from Promotions to Primary in Gmail

Most email users will at some point or the other come across a query that would have stumped them and halted all work right in its tracks. One such issue is the problem of having emails of interest being directed towards spam folders.

Some Background

It was in 2004 that Gmail was introduced with lot of hype surrounding the planned release. Between then and now there have been innumerable updates to the service ranging from functionalities to the look and feel of the entire application. The most significant redesigns were the creation of inbox tabs for various kinds of messages such as Primary, Social, Promotions and so on and s forth.

Google’s Algorithm takes care of sorting the messages according to the categories that are available. It is a known fact that Facebook’s algorithm for displaying items that hold the users interest is not completely effective and leaves a lot to be desired.

In Gmail, the Promotions tab is used for various kinds of marketing messages. There have been some major concerns regarding the redesign as mentioned earlier, mainly from the senders of such directed marketing messages. To such senders it meant that their messages would be less noticeable meaning they will be less read by their target audience. But even if one were to consider the target audience’s perspective, they would in certain instances also like to receive messages which are of particular significance to them. But since the Google algorithm sorts and brands such email as Promotional, they would get buried under tons of unimportant and irrelevant marketing messages, under the very same tab.

Some or even most users will know that they are able to turn off any given tab by going to Settings>Inbox and tuning off the respective tab. After doing this, all the messages that would have been sorted to the Promotions tab, will be sent to and filed under the Primary tab.

This isn’t a “smart bomb” approach and if a user wants only some off the messages to go to the primary tab, ten this approach will lead to an epic fail. It is for those users that are presented these set of options.

How to Change Emails Delivery from Promotions to Primary in Gmail

Since this is the most ubiquitous scenario, it is also the easiest of the lot. The frequency of ease will warrant and synthesize standardized approaches to getting this task done. The only catch to this approach is that you will have to set up Gmail on your desktop or laptop and not on your mobile. However if the mobile can host desktop settings, including flash settings then this can be done on a mobile as well.

How to Move Emails from Promotions to Primary in Gmail

There are two major ways to relocate a message from the infamous Promotions tab or any other irrelevant tab to the Primary tab.

• You can Drag and drop it right from the message list to the actual Primary tab.
• You can also Right-click the target message(s) and choose Move to Tab > Primary.

In both the scenarios, post moving the message, there will be a popup which will appear that will ask if the user wants to do this for messages in the future from that particular email address. Click the “Yes” link, which is where such messages will go to from that point on. Those messages will also show up in the Primary tab on other devices as well.


1. This is the simplest method to re-direct the mail as the user sees fit.
2. This is fast, easy to execute and highly customizable, therefore is widely used by people across the globe
3. This can be taught to others with a minimum amount of effort.


1. The fact that this is simple does not offer many options to customize
2. Since this is simple, there are greater chances of misfires, and re-directing of mails to the wrong tab.

Moving messages based on other basis

If you need messages to be moved into the Primary tab based on other

If you want messages to go into your Primary tab based on other benchmarks, (for example, when they have more than one email address) such as subject line and more, you will need to use a filter that has to be created.

• Go to Settings > Filters and Blocked Addresses.
• Click Create a New Filter.
• Key in the basis on which the items will have to be moved into the Primary tab, after this click Create Filter with this particular search.
• Click the Categorize As box and choose Personal from the available dropdown box next to it.
• As an option if you want all messages which presently meet the conditions, to be moved into the Primary tab, click the check box for Also Apply Filter to Matching Messages.
• Click Create Filter.

How to Move Emails from Promotions to Primary in Gmail

Now the messages which are important to you will be directly sent to your Primary tab instead of the Promotions tab


1. Even though this method is relatively complex, it offers many options for customization.
2. This method can be used to handle a wide variety of parameters to redirect emails to the right tab


1. This will take more time to learn and pass on the method to use it to other interested users
2. This is relatively harder to learn than the first method and the possibility of making a mistake is a lot higher than the first method.


While the methods given above are useful in sorting out emails according to priority, it is left to the user to customize where the mails will be moved to, by default. Both the methods given above are equally valid and can be used as necessary by the user.

This is an issue that plagues users across the world. This gains even more importance when it comes to professionals who need access to business information such as marketing emails at the ready. All-in-all this will increase the productivity of an individual if he/she uses this method of sorting mails in Gmail.

About the author

Kristy Fox

A passionate writer having 5+ writing experience on various subjects. Expertise in writing digital marketing & tech articles. Aspiring to be a Digital Marketing Expert.

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