While correcting the classification errors, you can also satisfy your curiosity and get some idea of what prompted Gmail to classify a certain email as important.
Find Out Why Gmail Categorized a Message as Important
To get an idea of why Gmail thought a particular email was important enough to make your Priority Inbox:
- Move the mouse cursor over the importance marker displayed in front of the message in the list or following the Subject when you've opened the message.
- If you cannot see the marker, see below.
- Wait for hovering text to appear with a short explanation of Gmail's message assessment.
Potential reasons for categorizing an email as important include:
- Important mainly because of the words in the message. — You may have marked similar emails important in the past, or the message urges you to action.
- Important mainly because of the people in the conversation. — You've exchanged emails frequently with the sender, or have consistently marked their emails important.
- Important mainly because of your interaction with messages in the conversation.
- Important because you marked it important.
- Important mainly because it was sent directly to you.
- Important mainly because you often read messages with this label.
- Important according to our magic sauce. — You may see this for older messages marked as important.
Make Sure You See the Gmail Priority Inbox Marker for Important Messages
To enable the yellow priority tag for messages marked as important in Gmail:
- Follow the Settings link in Gmail.
- Go to the Priority Inbox tab.
- Make sure Show markers is selected under Importance markers:.
- Click Save Changes.
(Updated December 2011)