Inbox Notifier displays a notification on your desktop when a new mail lands in your Gmail inbox

Oct 15, 2020
Updated • Oct 27, 2020
Software, Windows software

Gmail is probably the most popular email service available today. Most users use the mobile app for managing emails on their smartphone, especially on Android devices.

Inbox Notifier displays a notification on your desktop when a new mail lands in your Gmail inbox

But now with everyone working from home, having a desktop program that notifies you when a new mail arrives, can be very useful. While it is possible to use dedicated programs such as Thunderbird or Outlook, some users prefer something simpler.

Inbox Notifier is an open source program that does that. The software's installer includes an option to start the program automatically with Windows.

How does it work?

Inbox Notifier does not read your emails or password. When you run the program for the first time, it opens a tab in your browser to request you to authorize it with your Gmail account via OAuth. The only permission it requires, allows the program to view your inbox, but does not delete your mail.

Inbox Notifier OAuth

Inbox Notifier uses Gmail's API to obtain unread threads, spams, mails, drafts, labels from your account. The program uses CloudFlare's DNS for internet connectivity.

Inbox Notifier authorized

Before you start using Inbox Notifier....

By default, the program is meant to "enforce the user" to check their spam folder. In fact, it will not begin synchronizing your inbox until you have no remaining unread messages in the spam folder. This can quickly become annoying considering that junk mails can arrive at any time, which in turn blocks the inbox from syncing, and that kind of defeats the purpose of the program.

Inbox Notifier spam folder

The good news is that you can disable the "Spam" folder rule in a couple of clicks. Right-click on Inbox Notifier's tray icon, select Open and navigate to the "Notification" tab and uncheck the "Junk message (SPAM)" option and hit the OK button.

Inbox Notifier notifications

Or, if you don't mind the "spam folder" prioritization, right-click on the Inbox Notifier tray icon and select mark as read to "mark all spam mails as read". This will force the program to sync your inbox folder.

Inbox Notifier tooltip

Inbox Notifier displays a badge (double envelope icon) to indicate when a new mail has arrived in your Gmail inbox. It also displays a notification in the action center that contains the sender's name and the subject of the mail.

Note: If you have more than 1 unread mail, the program won't display the message's contents. Instead, it shows a banner that mentions the number of unread messages in your inbox.

Inbox Notifier multiple messages

Not interested in the new mail? Use the tray menu's Mark Read option to remove it from the notification, this also syncs the mail as "read" to your Gmail folder.

Double-click on the Inbox Notifier tray icon to load the new mail in your browser. Right-click on the tray icon and click on "New Message" to open Gmail with the compose window in focus.

Don't want to receive notifications for a short time? Enable the Do not disturb option 30 minutes, 1 or 2 or 5 hours, or indefinitely. You can still use the tray menu's "Synchronize" option to manually sync the program with the server.

Inbox Notifier tray menu

Click on the tray menu > Open, to load Inbox Notifier's settings. You may set the program to auto start with Windows from the General tab.

Inbox Notifier general

The Account tab lists the number of drafts, labels in your Gmail account, and also displays your email address. You can revoke access to Gmail by using the Sign Out option. I couldn't find a way to add multiple accounts in the application.

Inbox Notifier account

The next tab, Notification, allows you to toggle sound notifications, set the refresh interval, and the notification banner's click-behavior (Open, do nothing, open in simplified version, mark as read).

As I mentioned earlier, Inbox Notifier only displays the message sender's name and the subject. The Privacy tab has toggles to hide the content, or display the entire message.

Inbox Notifier privacy

The program can be configured to synchronize automatically at time and day of your choice, from the Schedule tab.

Inbox Notifier schedule

Bug: If you have 2 or more unread mails, and you read the latest one or archive/delete it but leave the other mails unread, Inbox Notifier will not recognize the change. It displays the notification banner for the most recent mail (the one you read), until you click on its notification and view the thread. Once you do that, the program will display the banner for the other unread mail correctly.

Inbox Notifier updates

Inbox Notifier requires .NET Framework 4.8 to run. It is compatible with Windows 7 and above, and supports 32-bit and 64-bit systems. You can read the program's Privacy policy at this page.

If you already use an email client, Inbox Notifier won't be of use to you. The only fault I can find is that it is limited to Gmail. If you need a universal program, check out Email Tray.

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  1. Xavier said on July 27, 2022 at 10:46 am

    Thanks ASHWIN for taking the time to test the software!

    About the bug you noticed, Inbox Notifier doesn’t work in two ways: which mean you need to synchronize the app locally to get fresh mail listing. So if you mark as read, delete, archive a message on Gmail side in the browser, Inbox Notifier won’t notice the change until you synchronize it.

    I am taking all comments and feedbacks into consideration to improve the software and implement new features inside Inbox Notifier.

    Big thanks for your post.

    Have a nice day :)

  2. Jim said on October 16, 2020 at 7:42 am

    Unless you can set it to only notify you when you receive mail from a specific list of people I can’t imagine it not getting annoying. If anyone knows of a program that can do that on windows please say something

    1. easy peasy said on October 18, 2020 at 10:43 pm


      To get only get notifications from those you want, simply allow just those email users to go through in Gmail, and filter out the rest to get dumped your spam box.

  3. Anonymous said on October 15, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    I use X-notifier extension.

  4. VioletMoon said on October 15, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    Inbox Notifier may be great, but I’ve been using Gmail Notifier for so long without problems that I don’t sense a need or desire to even try something different.

  5. Georgia Dawg said on October 15, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    GMail already has this feature built-in, and I have been using it for awhile now. It works great!

    Simply go into settings, and under the General tab, scroll down to Desktop notifications, and select New mail notifications on. You now will get a pop-up when a new email arrives.

    For obvious security reasons, I am not going to give any software access to my email. That’s just crazy!

    1. Anonymous said on October 16, 2020 at 1:24 am

      You need to keep opening Gmail page for the notification work, so it’s useless.

      1. Chuck E said on October 18, 2020 at 10:45 pm


        That’s not an issue for me. What system are you using Gmail on?

  6. Phylis Sophical said on October 15, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    ‘Pop Peeper’ 5.2.6 for me. What Tom Hawack said.

  7. Tom Hawack said on October 15, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    ‘Pop Peeper’ is far more advanced and complete, handles whatever email provider (Gmail included for those, many, who still worship Google), can act as an email client of its own (though I personally avoid that feature). Running here the free version (4.5.3 preferred to latest 5.0) which is far enough for simple email notification.

  8. Paul(us) said on October 15, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Do I understand it correctly that you only can open/configure one gmail account with the program inbox notifier and also that you cant have a second inbox notifier program running, at the same time?

    This for those who have a buissines email and also a privat email account for instans.

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