If your Gmail uses the conversation view, then Gmail does not display the number of email messages in your account – it will display the number of conversations. Turning the conversation view off is needed to see the actual number of email messages in your Gmail account.

So here are step by step instructions on how to get the number of email messages in your Gmail account:

  1. Turn Gmail conversations view off. The instructions are here.
  2. Select All Mail in the label list on the left side of your email. There insturctions are here
  3. The number of email messages is shown in upper right corner of your Gmail