7 Gmail Tricks You Never Knew Existed

While Gmail is the world’s most popular email service, most Gmail users don’t venture below the surface of the features offered. From offline access to your messages via the web browser, to keyboard shortcuts, to un-sending emails, Gmail has a lot more to offer than most people ever know.

If you use Gmail for your email, you should definitely check out the 7 tricks for Gmail listed below. They will help you use Gmail to its fullest and give you the ability to make Gmail work exactly how you want it to.

1. Unthread Your Conversations

Threaded conversations can be great, but they can also be deceiving causing you to think there are fewer emails in your inbox than there really are. Also, threads may group emails together that don’t necessarily go together. You can turn off conversation threading in Gmail by going to Settings (the gear icon in the top right corner), then the General tab.

Under the Conversation View section of the page, set the radio button to off. This will turn off threaded messages in your inbox.


2. Drag and Drop Images

When attaching images to Gmail messages, you can simply drag and drop the image into a new message. Just click on the Compose button to start a new message, and drop the image you wish to attach over the compose window.

3. Manage Multiple Email Accounts Inside of Gmail

If you love using Gmail but have email accounts outside of it, you can manage other email accounts that you own inside of your trusty Gmail account. Basically this allows you to send and receive email as an outside email address but have all messages go to your Gmail account. This gives you all the features of Gmail without the need to notify people of a new email address.

For instructions on how to do manage multiple accounts inside Gmail, head on over to this Google support page that walks you through the setup.

4. Canned Responses

More often than not, when you reply to an email a standard response could be sent. This is known as a “canned response.” These can save time and save you from needing to type a personal email out for basic messages that really only need a few words.

This is a Gmail Labs feature, to turn it on, go to Settings, then the Labs tab. From here, scroll down until you find the Canned Responses item and enable it. Scroll to the bottom and click Save Changes.


Once enabled, it can be accessed in the compose window by clicking the down arrow in the bottom right corner.


The first time you use this, you’ll need to set up your first canned response. These can be updated and new responses added over time. Type what you want the response to be in the Compose window and click through to add the new Canned Response. Give the response a name and you’re all set for the next time you need to use it.


5. Un-Send A Message

It seems like you always remember that file attachment right AFTER clicking the Send button. Or worse yet is that feeling of remorse when you send a scathing email to a coworker or boss.

There’s hope for you if one of these scenarios sounds all too familiar. With the Undo Send Gmail Labs add-on, you can un-send an email a few seconds after it is sent.


To enable this, just head on over to the Labs tab of Settings and turn on Undo Send.

6. Filters

Gmail allows you to set up filters to better handle incoming messages. You can have Gmail automatically apply labels, mark the item as read, star it, or even mark it as important.

To set Filters up, just click the More button, then Create Filter.


Enter the information in the filter window you wish to use to trigger the filter. If you’re familiar with advanced searches in Gmail, this uses the same tool. Think of filters as a saved email searches. Once you enter the search information, click the Create filter link to continue.


With the triggers filled out, you can enter what you want to happen to the filtered messages. Enter the actions you want to apply to the matching messages, and click Create filter to finish.


Now, when emails that meet the criteria you entered are received, the actions you listed will be taken automatically.

7. Mark an Email as a To-Do Item

If you’re a fan of Inbox Zero, you can easily turn your emails into to-do items right from the inbox in Gmail. All you need to do is click the checkbox next to the message you want to be a to-do and click the More menu button.


When the menu appears, click the Add to Tasks option to set the email as a to-do item where it will show up in Google Tasks. Now the email is more than just a message in your inbox. It’s a full-fledged to-do item that can now get the attention it deserves.


This is just a sampling of the awesome features that Gmail has to offer. Want to learn even more tips and tricks? Check out Google’s Gmail Ninja page with tons of useful tips and features organized by level of difficulty.


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