30 tips for Gmail

All our Gmail tips: find out how to schedule your emails, cancel sending an email, configure an automatic signature, send large attachments, etc.

Our tips and tricks for doing everything on Gmail. Credits: Google.

Gmail is a messaging system that is easy to learn. But there are plenty of tips to take advantage of all the features of Google messaging. You can plan to send an email, cancel sending an email, put an email on hold, add a signature, etc.

1. Cancel sending an email

When you have finished writing your email and clicked on “Send”, you can cancel the sending by clicking on the banner appearing at the bottom right of the inbox pane. You have up to 30 seconds to cancel a shipment. You can change this time in settings> General> Cancel send.

2. Schedule the sending of an email

To schedule an email to be sent, compose it in your new message window. When finished, click on the arrow next to the “Send” button and select the desired time and date.

3. Use keyboard shortcuts

To use keyboard shortcuts on Gmail, you must first activate them. Nothing could be simpler, just go to your account settings and activate the functionality.

By saving these settings, you will have access to over 60 keyboard shortcuts. Here is the list of the 15 main shortcuts; feel free to check out the full list of keyboard shortcuts on Gmail .

  • C:new message (SHIFT + C to open a new window)
  • K:go to the next conversation (N to go to the next message)
  • J:go to the previous conversation (P to go to the previous message)
  • O:open a conversation (ENTER also works)
  • U:go back to the conversations list and refresh the page
  • E:archive a message
  • R:answer
  • A:answer all
  • F:transfer
  • CTRL + S:save as draft
  • #:delete
  • /: go directly to the search field
  • TAB then ENTER:send the message
  • Y then O:archive a conversation then move on to the next one
  • G then A:open the All messages folder

4. Improve search within emails

Searching for an email is not always easy. When you cannot remember the subject, sender’s name or precisely the contents, it is best to use certain codes. They all work the same way: an identifier, a colon, and a variable. To display only emails sent by adress@provider.com , just include from: adress@provider.com in the request. Here are the main operators; do not hesitate to consult the page dedicated to advanced search on Gmail .

  • from,  to: – To filter messages according to senders or recipients.
  • subject: –To search only in email subject lines.
  • has: attachment – To display only messages about attachments.
  • after, before, older, newer: – To filter according to the date of the emails.
  • larger, smaller: –To display only emails larger or smaller than the chosen threshold.
  • circle: –To filter the participants according to the circles to which they belong.

5. Change the view of the inbox

On Gmail, there are several ways to display the inbox (to change the display type, go to settings, then in the Inbox tab):

  • Classic:very simply, the list of emails sorted in chronological order
  • Important first:split the box in half, the first section shows only important messages. The tool is based on the importance marker built into Gmail.
  • Unread First:Divide the box in half, the first section displays unread messages.
  • Follow-ups first: same principle, the first part showing the followed emails.
  • Priority inbox:this type of display allows you to completely personalize your inbox. You can create several sections, and choose how the received messages will be classified. A first section can contain unread messages, the second display important emails, several sections can be linked to configured labels… The tool is fully customizable, to be configured according to your daily use!

Note that it is also possible to adjust the display density by clicking on the toothed wheel.

6. Set up an automatic response

In case of absence, it may be useful to configure an automatic reply. To do so, nothing could be simpler: just go to the Gmail settings, and activate the automatic response. You can customize the subject and the message sent, choose the recipients concerned (all or only the contacts), as well as the dates during which the automatic response remains active.

7. Configure an automatic signature

Nothing could be simpler: go to the tool’s settings, activate the signature, and it will be added at the end of the next emails sent; even if they are automatic responses.

8. Manage multiple mailboxes

In the settings menu, go to the “Accounts and import” tab. Here you will have several possibilities:

  • Check other email accounts
  • Send mails as the account name you manage

Either way, you will need the password for the account you want to add.

9. Share access to your Gmail account without providing your password

Everything is in the title: Gmail allows you to delegate access to your Gmail account, without revealing your password. The tool is accessible via the settings (cogwheel), Accounts and import tab . You can share your account with 10 different people, and choose to synchronize or not the marking as read of the messages with all the accesses. The sender of messages sent by authorized persons will be indicated as follows: Your name (sent by Delegate) .

10. Display a preview pane

On your inbox, you can choose whether or not to display a preview pane by clicking the three lines next to the settings wheel. A single click on the icon allows you to show or hide the preview pane. By clicking on the small arrow to the right, you can select whether you prefer a horizontal or vertical pane.

11. Put an email on hold

Since the new version of Gmail you can also put a message on hold. With this feature, you can send an email to the top of your inbox several hours or even days after receiving it. You can choose one or more emails to put on hold by clicking on the small clock next to each message. These disappear from the inbox, but are not deleted. You can find them in the “Pending” section and cancel the functionality if necessary.

12. View attachments

On the new update of Gmail, it is now possible to see the attachments of an email with a single click. To do this, click on the settings gear> display density> Default. You can also display a smaller menu with “Normal” and “Compact”.

13. Remote logout

You can check your emails using many tools: browser, phone, tablet, dedicated software, etc. Your session can therefore be opened in many places.

In the lower right corner of Gmail in web version, a message indicates the time spent since the last activity on your account; the Details link allows you to view the open sessions, and disconnect them remotely. You can also receive alerts for unusual activity.

14. Create filters

To create search filters in Gmail, click the arrow at the end of the search bar. Fill in your criteria and click on “Create a filter” at the bottom of the window. Select the available filter options and click on “Create filter”.

15. Clean your mailbox

There are several ways to clean your mailbox:

  • Sort your messages by file size and delete the largest ones
  • Sort emails by date of receipt and unread emails
  • Clean up newsletters using apps like Cleanfox

We explain in detail all the possible steps in our article dedicated to sorting and cleaning your mailbox .

16. Change the default formatting of messages

Messages sent to Gmail all look the same: by default, they are written in black and white and use the Sans serif font. If you want to add a personal touch to the formatting of your emails, nothing could be simpler: go to the Gmail lab, and activate the option “Default text style”. Then, go back to the “General” part of your email settings to change the default formatting.

17. Standardized responses on Gmail

Need to save time and avoid boring copy and paste? You can create standardized replies in Gmail to instantly insert pre-written, formatted text into your email body. To create this standardized response:

  • Open a new email
  • Write your text, format it and delete your automatic signature if it is included, in order to avoid duplicates
  • Click on the three little dots next to the trash can and select Standardized Response> Save as Template> Save New Template
  • To reproduce the model in an email, go back to the path and select Standardized response> the name of your model

18. Block unsolicited messages

To block messages or accounts that you no longer want to receive:

  • Click on the relevant email
  • Click on More at the top right
  • Click Block [sender].
  • If you have blocked a sender by mistake, you can unblock them with this same method or go to settings> Filters and blocked addresses

19. Organize emails on Gmail

To easily find a conversation and follow messages, Gmail can identify them with a symbol. You can use more than one to distinguish between personal and business conversations, for example, or to highlight important conversations. This functionality is customizable via the general settings tab. In particular, you can choose the symbols you want to use. You just have to click one or more times on the star located on the line of the chosen email, in the inbox for example, to “mark” the follow-up. It is even possible to search for messages according to these symbols, thanks to the identifier “has”. Conversations marked with a blue star will be found, for example, using has: blue-star .

20. Find attachments on Gmail

To find an attachment in Gmail, there are several solutions:

  • If you know one of the key words of the file or the email that contains it, a simple search in the bar can help you
  • You can also use the command “has: attachment” in the search bar and “size: 3m” to specify the size of a file of 3 MB for example.
  • You can also search for attachments smaller or larger than a certain size with the commands larger: 5m or smaller: 5m for 5MB files.

21. Disable recording of a chat on Hangouts

On Gmail, you can easily chat with your contacts using Hangouts. With each conversation, Gmail automatically records the exchanges: this feature allows you to re-read your chats later. If you wish to deactivate this recording, simply switch to private mode, after having clicked on the “More” link in the window. Be careful though: the recording of conversations depends on each user, so your contact can choose to keep the history of your exchanges.

22. Disable conversations

By default on Gmail, email exchanges are grouped into conversations. So you can easily follow the exchanges by opening any message that is part of the same conversation. However, this does not always facilitate the search. If you prefer an email to remain an email, all you have to do is deactivate conversations, via the application settings. Each message will correspond to a single line in your inbox and your sent items.

23. Discreetly send the same message to several people

Sometimes you want to send the same message to several people; however, you don’t want the recipients to know about it. In some cases, you would like to send the same email to several people, without revealing to all the recipients, the email addresses used. The method to be used is quite simple: all you have to do is place all the addresses within the CCi field, corresponding to the hidden recipients. But beware, this technique is not intended to encourage spam; Also remember to respect the limits imposed by Gmail in all cases.

24. Access contacts on Gmail

On the new version of Gmail, to access contacts (on your browser), you must click on the icon located just next to your avatar, at the top right. All Google apps are gathered here, including Google Contacts. On mobile, just go to the bottom of the side menu to access contacts.

25. Access Gmail without being connected to the Internet

One of the advantages of Gmail is also its reliability: it rarely happens that the service is unavailable. However, not all of us have a foolproof internet connection, especially on the go. To access Gmail without being connected to the Internet (or when unfortunately Gmail is not available), just go to Settings> Offline and enable offline messaging.

26. Use alternatives to your Gmail address

On Gmail, you can use alternatives to your main address, using the “ +  ” operator  and the term of your choice just before “  @ gmail.com “. In this way, you can create filters and labels based on this function to organize your messages. Also, be aware that Gmail does not recognize dots or capital letters. A good idea from Google which reduces the number of errors in entering email addresses. In this way :

  • name@gmail.com = username@gmail.com
  • USERNAME@gmail.com = username@gmail.com
  • username+something@gmail.com = username@gmail.com

27. Customize the interface and change the theme

On Gmail, many themes are available. They are accessible by clicking on the cogwheel at the top right. You can simply change the color of Gmail, or further customize the tool. The themes offered by Google are varied, some display a different background randomly, while others are dependent on the time.

28. Integrate Calendar, Keep, Tasks and other applications

In Gmail, you have a side panel on the left allowing you to access other Google applications like Calendar, Task, Keep, but also Trello, Sortd etc. By clicking on the little “+”, you can in fact select the extensions dedicated to Gmail which can facilitate your navigation among your favorite applications.

29. Send a large attachment, up to 10 gigabytes

Sending heavy attachments with Gmail is now possible. Concretely, the messaging system will use Google Drive, in order to increase the volume limit of attached files. Without this ploy, the maximum attachment size on Gmail is 25 megabytes including email and transport encoding. To send a larger file using Google Drive, all you have to do is create a new message, then click on “Insert files with Drive”. The maximum size of the attached file depends on the chosen offer: using the free version of Google Drive will therefore limit you to 5 gigabytes.

30. Be alerted when an email is received on Gmail

To display a notification when receiving an email, there are several mechanisms. If all the solutions are effective, the best is to favor a single method so as not to be inundated with notifications.

Desktop notifications for Gmail

It is an alert system in the form of a Windows program, distributed by Google. He checks emails every two minutes. A Mac version is also available and allows you to obtain, in addition, notifications from Google Calendar: this is  Google Notifier .

A dedicated extension for Google Chrome

Google Mail Checker is a Chrome extension by Google, which regularly checks for receipt of emails. Once installed, a new icon slides to the right of the address bar. When a new message has arrived, it rotates on itself and displays the number corresponding to the unread emails.

A dynamic favicon for Gmail

This feature exists thanks to Google Labs: an idea lab, always available on Gmail, allowing developers to suggest improvements. To use it, the tab corresponding to Gmail must be open; but unlike the extension for Google Chrome, this method works with all browsers. Its operation is simple but efficient: the favicon (the icon displayed on the tabs) is modified for each email received or read. To activate it, go to your Gmail account settings, select the Labs tab , and activate the unread message icon offered by Manu C.


by Abdullah Sam
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