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7 lesser-known Gmail features you should be using

Gmail offers several useful features that are not in the face and so you might have missed. Here is a list that will help you become an email ninja.

August 28, 2020 / 11:56 AM IST
(Image courtesy: Stephen Phillips -Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash.com)

(Image courtesy: Stephen Phillips -Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash.com)


Managing your inbox is not easy given the number of mails you receive and those that you have to send every day.

From scheduling mails to sending messages in bulk, here's a list of some of the most useful features available in Gmail for you. These will help you save time and manage your email more efficiently.

1. Schedule Emails – This feature was added to Gmail last year, but even now, the majority of users don’t know about its existence. Gmail now gives you the option to schedule an email to be sent out at a particular time on your chosen date.

Just click on the small arrow button on the right side of the large blue-coloured send button at the bottom of the compose window to schedule an email. Once you click the schedule option, you will see a few pre-set options for data and time to choose from, or you can manually pick the date and time of your preference using the “Pick Date & Time” button at the bottom.

2. Smart Sentence Suggestions – Gmail added the smart compose feature a while back, but most people still don’t use or know about it. The smart compose function uses machine learning and AI to offer suggestions for your sentences when you type.

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So the next time you start composing an email, Gmail will show you suggestions based on what you have written so far. You can switch the smart compose off by clicking on Settings > See All Settings, and go to the General section. In this section, you would see the option of smart compose, and you can choose if writing suggestions are on or off (we need them switched on for smart compose to function).

Gmail (Image courtesy: Yogas Design on Unsplash.com)

3. Confidential Mode – As per its name, Gmail's confidential mode lets you protect sensitive information when sending it via email by locking it with a password. With this mode, your email can only be viewed by authorised people who know the password. Moreover, once you enable confidential mode for an email, it cannot be forwarded, copied, downloaded or printed.

To enable confidential mode for an email, you need to click on the lock icon that has a clock visible in the bottom row of icons. Once you click on the confidential mode icon, you will be able to view the option to choose the expiry date and set a passcode.

Also Read: Five lesser-known WhatsApp tricks

4. Locating Email With Large Attachments – Even though Google gives you over 15GB of free storage space, it is shared between your Gmail, Drive and Photos. Due to this, most of us tend to quickly reach the storage limit and then spend time finding photos, files, or large emails to delete.

Thankfully, in Gmail, it is now a simple process to search for emails with large attachments using the advanced search. Click on the small arrow on the right side of the search box in your Gmail to access the advanced search function. Here, you will see the option to search for an email that is of “size greater than” – in this option, you can start to look at emails above 25MB in size and deleting the unnecessary ones to gain storage quickly.

5. Automatically Move To The Next Email – This is a feature that is highly recommended for all users. When you delete or archive an email, Gmail's default action is to bring you back to the inbox screen. However, with auto-advance enabled, when you delete or archive any email, Gmail takes you to the next email instead of taking you back to the inbox, which saves a lot of time.

To enable auto-advance, click on the Settings icon on the top and then open All settings. Go to the advanced section and enable Auto Advance. Next, in the general section, you will see the option to enable Auto Advance along with the choice to either go to the next email or the previous email as per your preference.

6. Mute Email Threads – All of us have one or the other group on WhatsApp that we cannot quit, but since we don’t want to be involved in the group, we choose to mute it in order to avoid being bothered by messages. You can do the same thing on Gmail for email conversations that you cannot be active in and cannot leave.

To mute an email thread, select the thread in your inbox and tap on the “three dots” more options button on the top. In the options menu that opens, you will see the option to Mute – Click on mute to enable it. The same procedure is to be done if you want to unmute an email thread.

Also Read: How to breathe new life into your old gadgets

7. Unsend Emails – How many times have you been in a situation where you sent an email, only to immediately realise that you missed adding something or sent it to the wrong email address. While earlier you could not do anything about it, now Gmail offers a handy Undo Send function to take care of this issue.

To enable this feature, click on settings on the top and select All settings. In the general section, you will see the option to Undo Send and an option to set the cancellation period – you can choose between 5 to 30 seconds. Now, every time you send an email, you will get the option to undo send on the left side of the screen and tapping on that will stop the message from being sent.
Karan Bajaj is a senior tech journalist based in Delhi.
Karan Bajaj is a senior tech journalist based in Delhi
first published: Aug 28, 2020 11:50 am

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