Introduction to Gmail

Compose and send


Let’s start with writing and sending new emails.

In this section, you'll learn how to:


Compose a new email

Begin sending emails:

  1. Open your Gmail inbox.

  2. In the left sidebar, click COMPOSE. A new email opens near the bottom corner of your Gmail window.

  3. Choose a window size that’s right for you using the buttons in the upper corner of the compose window.

  4. Just start typing to compose your email. Emails you’ve started writing, but haven’t sent, are automatically saved in Drafts on the sidebar.

Compose a new email


Shift +

Pop-out that you can resize or move around your screen



Add recipients, attachments, images, and more

Add attachments, emphasize key points with font styles, include different kinds of recipients, and more—right in the compose window.

New message mini



Gmail formatting options

Font styles (font, size, bold, color, alignment, bullets, indents)

Gmail attach files

Insert attachment

Gmail insert files using Google Drive

Insert file from Drive

Gmail insert photo

Add images

Gmail insert link

Add links

Gmail delete


Gmail more options

More options


Send and Undo Send

If you make a typo or change your mind about sending an email, you can take back an email using the Undo Send feature.

Undo sending emails:

  1. Send your email.
  2. Click Undo at the top of the page.

Depending on your settings, there's a limited amount of seconds to click Undo before it disappears.

Make sure Undo Send is enabled, or change settings:

  1. In the top right, click Settings and select Settings.

  2. Click the General tab.

  3. Scroll to Undo Send and check the Enable Undo Send box.

  4. Set the cancellation period.

  5. At the bottom, click Save Changes.

Send and undo send

Email without Internet connection

Chrome browser only

You can read and draft emails when you don't have an internet connection, and they'll be sent when you're back online.

Note: This feature is available only if your administrator has turned on Offline access for your organization or team.

  1. In the top right, click Settings and select Settings.

  2. Click the Offline tab.

  3. Select Enable Offline Mail for this computer.

  4. At the bottom, click Save Changes and follow the directions from there.

Email without Internet connection

Reply to emails


Next, we’ll take a look at how to reply to the emails you receive.

In this section, you'll learn how to:


View new emails

Unread emails are bold. To open an email, simply click it in your email list.

By default, replies to emails are grouped into conversations. It may take some time to get used to conversation view, but keeping all the emails in a thread makes it easier to keep track of them and reduces inbox clutter.

However, if you prefer to separate all of your existing and future emails, you can unthread them:

  1. In the top right, click Settings and select Settings.

  2. In the General tab, scroll to Conversation View and select Conversation view off.

  3. At the bottom, click Save Changes.

Reply to emails

Save and print attachments

When someone sends you an attachment, such as a photo or document, you’ll see a preview of the attachment at the bottom of the email.

Download an image or save it to Drive: Hover over the preview and click Download or Save to Drive .

See a full-screen view and print: Click the attachment to open a full-screen view. To print, click Print .

Learn more about Gmail attachments.


Reply to emails

To reply to an email, just click in the box below the email and type away. Or, you can choose exactly how you want to respond:

  1. Reply or forward: To respond to an email, open it and in the box under the email, click Reply, Reply to all, or Forward.
  2. Respond inline: To see the previous email within your reply, scroll down and click Show trimmed content .
  3. Respond to an earlier email in the thread: Select the email you want to reply to. Then, click the Down arrow to choose how to reply.
  4. Forward an entire conversation: In the menu bar above the conversation, click More > Forward all.
View new emails

Change recipients and subjects

Here are some of the other ways you can change parts of your reply:

  1. Add and remove recipients: Click the recipients field when you’re replying. Add recipients by typing more email addresses, and remove recipients by clicking Remove X next to an email address.
  2. Edit the email subject: Click Type of response next to the recipient’s name and select Edit subject.
  3. When you’re done composing your reply, click Send.
Change recipients and subjects

Organize your inbox


Now that you’ve learned how to use key Gmail features, let’s get your inbox ready for business by organizing your emails.

In this section, you'll learn how to:


Switch to labels from folders

In your previous mail program, you might have stored emails you want to keep in folders. In Gmail, you use labels to categorize your emails. Labels are like folders, but with a twist: you can apply multiple labels to an email, then later find the email by looking in any of its labels.

You can also:

  • Open a label on the left of your Gmail window to see all emails with that label (just like you used to open a folder).

  • Nest labels within labels, just like you did with folders.

  • Search for all emails with a label.

  • See labels on emails in your inbox to quickly identify different types of emails.

Switch to labels from folders

Create and apply labels

Create a label:

  1. In the top right, click Settings and select Settings.

  2. Click the Labels tab.

  3. Scroll to the Labels section and click Create new label.

  4. Enter the label name and click Create.

You can even create nested labels, which are like subfolders.

Tag one or more emails with a label you’ve created:

  1. Select your emails.

  2. Click Labels .

  3. Check the labels you want to add to your selected emails and clickApply.

Add a color to a label:

  1. In your Labels list on the left, hover over the label and click the Down arrow .
  2. Hover over Label color and choose a color. Or, click Add custom color.
    The change is instantly applied to all messages with that label.
  3. (Optional) To remove a label color, hover over Label color and click Remove color.

To see all the emails that have a particular label, just click the label’s name on the left of your Gmail window.

Create and apply labels

Move emails out of your inbox

You can also move your emails out of your inbox and into labels the same way you used to with folders.

  1. Select your emails.
  2. Click Move to .
  3. Select the label you want to move your email to.

The emails no longer appear in your inbox, but you can find them by opening or searching for the label.

Move emails out of your inbox

Star important emails

Want to flag an important email? Click Star next to an email in your inbox or an email within a conversation.

To list all your starred emails, just click Starred in the left sidebar.

Star important emails

Delete or archive unwanted emails

If you no longer need an email, you can delete it by selecting it and clicking Delete . Deleted emails are moved to Trash and then permanently deleted after 30 days.

But with 30 GB of storage or more in your G Suite account, you don’t need to delete your emails to save space. So, we recommend that you archive them instead.

Archiving removes emails from your inbox to keep it clutter-free. But, the emails stay in your account so you can find them later. It’s like moving emails into a filing cabinet for safekeeping, rather than putting them in a trash can.

  1. Select the emails you want to archive.

  2. Click Archive .

Delete or archive unwanted emails

Find emails


It can be hard to browse through all your old emails just to find the one you need. So, try searching Gmail instead.

In this section, you'll learn how to:


Search your inbox

You can search for one or more keywords that appear anywhere in the email—in the subject, body, or sender name. At the top of your Gmail screen, simply type the word you're looking for in the search box.

To help you search faster, Gmail suggests search terms as you type based on your emails, contacts, labels, or past searches. You can click one of the suggestions to open it or to see a list of results, click Search .

Search your inbox

Narrow your search with advanced options

To narrow down your search even further, at the right of the Gmail search box, click the Down arrow . This opens more Search options.

Here, you can enter specific search criteria. For example, you can find an email from Alice that has an attachment and was set within a particular time frame.

Narrow your search with advanced options

Create signatures


Finally, you can automatically add a professional email signature to emails you send.

In this section, you'll learn how to:


Create a signature

Your signature might include your name, title, and contact information.

  1. Click Settings and select Settings.

  2. On the General page, scroll down to the Signature section and compose your signature. Use the format bar to add text colors, styles, links, and even a picture.

  3. At the bottom, click Save Changes.

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