By now you probably have decided you either love or hate the new Gmail tabs, as they have been rolling out over the last couple of weeks. Either way, here are a few helpful tips, including how to turn them off completely.
1) Tabs are different from labels in that a tab view ONLY shows messages in your inbox. Once a message is archived, it will NOT show up in a tab. Remember, a tab is just a different view of your inbox. A label, however, shows all messages whether archived or still in your inbox.
2) You can choose which tabs to view on your primary inbox screen, or you can return to a tab-less view. To do this, go to your inbox, and to the very right of the tabs, double click the “+” icon. Another way to get to the same configuration screen, is to click on the gears settings icon, and choose “Configure inbox.” Select the tabs you want to enable. To return to your old inbox, don’t choose any tabs at all.
3) For more detailed how-tos, I recommend Melanie Pinola’s Lifehacker article. Or for a breezy introduction to tabs, here’s is Google’s video.