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5 Hidden Features on Gmail

Gmail has a tonne of interesting and cool features. And given that Gmail is one of the most popular email services out there, it stands to reason that you might want to get a bit more out of your Gmail experience. 

“Unsend” an Email 

First, you’ll need to set up this feature. Go to Settings. In the General tab, you want to check the box that reads Enable Undo Send. Under this box is a field where you can set a send cancellation period, for up to thirty seconds. 

When you perform an action in Gmail you see a little black box in the bottom left hand corner of the screen that describes what’s happened (e.g., “drafts deleted,” “conversation moved to PTA Emails,” “message sent”). Now, after you send an email and get a black box that reads Message Sent, there will also be an Undo button. Click Undo, and the message doesn’t get sent. 

Here’s what is happening behind the scenes. By enabling this feature, you’re telling Gmail to send emails only thirty seconds after you hit the send button. That’s how you can “unsend” an email. 

Unsubscribe More Easily 

In Canada, mass mailings are legally supposed to have an Unsubscribe button somewhere at the bottom of the email. Gmail makes it easy by adding their own Unsubscribe button to mailing list emails. You can find it to the right of the sender’s email address at the top of the email. 

Confidential Mode 

If you want to send an email but make sure it’s as private as possible, use confidential mode. With confidential mode, the recipient can’t forward, copy, paste, download, or print your email. Emails sent this way also expire. 

On the same bar as the blue Send button, the Confidential Mode button is the furthest right and looks like a lock with a clock over it. Press it, and you will get a pop-up window prompting you to set an expiration date for this email. You will also have the option to set an SMS passcode for this email. 

Mute Busy Conversations

Are you stuck in an email thread with lots of responses that you don’t really want to pay attention to but also can’t leave? Simply mute the conversation. Select the email thread by checking the box next to the subject line on the left. Now, select the button that looks like three vertical dots. It’s next to the Labels button. You’ll get a down menu and the bottom option is Mute. Muted conversations will no longer show up in your inbox. To unmute a conversation, type is:muted into your search bar. Now you will see all of your muted conversations. Simply move a conversation back to your inbox, and it’s no longer muted. 

Figure Out if Someone Else Can Access Your Gmail 

At the bottom right of your inbox, you’ll see a field that reads Last Account Activity, followed by the last time you used your account. Under that is a button that reads Details. Click on Details, and you’ll get a list of all your recent activity with information like the type of browser or app that accessed your email, the location of that access, and when it happened. If you see activity that can’t be explained, it may be time for a new password. Note: this window also contains a button that lets you sign out of Gmail at any other location where you’re logged in. So if, for example, you had been signed in to your Gmail account at a friend’s house, you could sign in at home and use this feature to sign out of Gmail on your friend’s computer.