What can you do with classic Gmail?

With Gmail, your email are stored safely in the cloud where you can get to them from any computer or device with a web browser. You can also quickly organize and find important email, add your professional signature to email you send, and read and draft email when you don’t have an internet connection.

What you need:

account_circle G Suite account

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Switching from a different mail program?

Learn more from these guides: Switching to Gmail from Microsoft Outlook® or Switching to Gmail from IBM Notes®.

Note: If your G Suite administrator hasn’t already migrated your old mail for you, you may want to import your old mail before starting this tutorial.

What can you do with Gmail

Compose and send

Let’s start with writing and sending new email.

In this section, you learn how to:


Compose a new email

  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. Email you’ve started writing, but haven’t sent, are automatically saved in Drafts on the sidebar.
Compose a new email




Exit the screen

Shift +

Pop-out and resize

Exit full 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


Add recipients

Cc Bcc

Add recipients by copying or blind copying


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


Insert attachment


Insert file from Drive


Add images


Add links


Insert emoji




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 email:

  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 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_product Chrome browser only

If you install the Gmail Offline app, your messages will sync with your browser's storage on your computer. Any messages you write, archive, label, or delete while you're offline will be sent or moved when you’re back online.

Install the Gmail Offline app:
  1. In the top right, click Settings settingsand select Settings.
  2. Go to the Offline tab and click Install Gmail Offline.
  3. In the Gmail Offline page, click Add to Chrome > Add app.
  4. In Chrome, visit chrome://apps/.
  5. Click the Gmail Offline app.

    Note: After the app is installed, your messages will start syncing. If you close Google Chrome while your messages are syncing, sync will stop.

Use the Gmail Offline app:

  1. When you're offline, go to chrome://apps/ and click the Gmail Offline app.
  2. (Optional) To remove the Gmail Offline app, go to chrome://apps/, right-click the Gmail Offline app and click Remove from Chrome.
Email without internet connection

Reply to email

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

In this section, you learn how to:


View new email

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

By default, replies to email are grouped into conversations. It may take some time to get used to conversation view, but keeping all the email 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 email, you can unthread them:

  1. In the top right, click Settings 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 email

Save and print attachments

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

  1. See a full-screen view and print: Click the attachment to open a full-screen view. To print, click Print print.
  2. Download an image or save it to Drive: Hover over the preview and click Download file_download or Save to Drive drive.

Learn more about Gmail attachments.

Save and print attachments

Reply to email

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 arrow_drop_down to choose how to reply.
  4. Forward an entire conversation: In the menu bar above the conversation, click More > Forward all.
View new email

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 close next to an email address.
  2. Edit the email subject: Click Type of response replyarrow_drop_down 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 email.

In this section, you learn how to:


Switch to labels from folders

In your previous mail program, you might have stored email you want to keep in folders. In Gmail, you use labels to categorize your email. 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 email with that label (just like you used to open a folder).
  • Nest labels within labels, just like you did with folders.
  • Search for all email with a label.
  • See labels on email in your inbox to quickly identify different types of email.
Switch to labels from folders

Create and apply labels

1 Create a label:

  1. In the top right, click Settings 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.

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

  1. Select your messages.
  2. Click Labels local_offerarrow_drop_down.
  3. Check the labels you want to add to your selected messages and click Apply.

3 Add a color to a label:

  1. In your Labels list on the left, hover over the label and click the Down arrow arrow_drop_down.
  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 email that have a particular label, just click the label’s name on the left of your Gmail window.

Create and apply labels

Move email out of your inbox

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

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

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

Move email out of your inbox

Star important email

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

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

Star important email

Delete or archive unwanted email

If you no longer need an email, you can delete it by selecting it and clicking Delete delete. Deleted email 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 email to save space. So, we recommend that you archive them instead.

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

  1. Select the email you want to archive.
  2. Click Archive archive.
Delete or archive unwanted email

Find email

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

In this section, you 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 email, 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.

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 arrow_drop_down. 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 email you send.

In this section, you learn how to:


Create a signature

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

  1. Click Settings 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.
Create signatures

Next steps

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