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20 Best Gmail Tips

20 Best Gmail Tips

20 tips to optimize your Gmail experience...

In it’s early days, Gmail was on available for user who had been invited, now it’s open for anyone to sign up.

If you’re looking to optimize your Gmail experience, here are 20 of the best Gmail tricks:

Gmail Screenshot

  1. As part of Gmail’s security, most .exe and .dll files are blocked. If you have to send an executable file you can use one of many free file sending/sharing site out there: yousendit, sendspace, filesavr, pipebytes are just few that come to find.
  2. Gmail allows the user to open documents directly in their web browser, supported file types include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, RTF files and even MP3’s.
  3. Gmail can retrieve emails from your old accounts, even from those which are not Gmail. To do this navigate to:
    • Settings > Accounts > Add another mail account.

    You will be prompted to give your old email address and password, once these details are configured, Gmail will fetch the messages from your old account.

  4. A tool called Google Email Uploader can also help you transfer old emails stored in Outlook, Outlook Express or Mozilla Thunderbird to a Gmail account – even creating labels from folder names.
  5. If you have several email accounts all forwarded to one main Gmail inbox, things can quickly get cluttered. But Gmail doesn’t use folders to organize your emails, it uses labels.
  6. Labels are similar to tags and can be applied manually by selecting:
    • More Actions > New Label from the drop down menu.
  7. The More Actions menu also enables you to create Google Calendar events from emails… Select the mail in question then choose Create Event from the menu.
  8. You can also configure labels to be applied automatically. To do this go to:
    • Settings > Filters > Create New Filter
    • From here you can assign labels to a specific email address
    • Enter the email you want to assign labels
    • The click Apply the Label > New Label > Then type the name of the label > Click Create Filter to finish.

    Now any email from that email address will automatically be labeled as you specified.

  9. You can also color code the labels for quick reference. To do this click on the color square next to a label name in the Labels sidebar box.
  10. You can also configure your Gmail account so you appear to be sending mail from any email address you own. To do this click:
    • Settings > Accounts > Send Mail As
    • Navigate to Add Another Email Address, Then enter the address you want to use in the text box.

    Once this is configured Gmail will replace your email address in the From: field, with your chosen email.

  11. Gmail has a smart reply feature, so it automatically knows which address to use in the From: field.
  12. To manually select between your email addresses navigate to the drop down menu next to the From: field in the Compose Mail window.
  13. If you are searching for a specific email, Gmail lets you search in much the same as Google:
    • To search for an attachment, type:
      • has:attachment, or
      • has:attachment filename:doc
    • To search for emails by name of sender, type:
      • to:name of recipient or
      • from: name of sender
    • To search by labels, type:
      • label:label name

    You can also exclude words from your search in the same way you would using a Google, with the – symbol.
    For example, if you typed ‘work -deadline’ your search would return results for all items tagged work, but would emit any results tagged deadline.

  14. You can set Gmail to be the default email client when you click outgoing email links.
    • To do this in Internet Explorer you need to download a tool called Gmail Notifier, During the installation, check the box labeled Use for outgoing mail. The setting won’t show up in Windows Internet Options dialogue, but Google Mail will now be configured as your default email service.
    • To do this in Firefox go to:
      • Tools > Options > Applications > then navigate to the default configuration for mailto: links.
      • From here select Use Google Mail from the drop down menu. You may need to upgrade Firefox if the option does not appear.
    • Alternatively you can download and install Google Talk, Go to:
      • Settings > Open Gmail when I click on email links.
    • That will set your registry so that Gmail is launched in your default browser whenever you click on a mailto: link in ANY web browser.

  15. Gmail has a bunch of shortcuts to help speed up your work flow. Popular ones include:
    • c to compose a new message
    • / to place the cursor in the search box
    • ! to report Spam.
    • j and k to navigate up or down
    • x to select
    • n to go to the next message
    • p to go to previous message
    • o or Enter to open
    • r to reply’
    • Ctrl +s to save
    • to move message to trash
    • . to show more actions
  16. You can set up Gmail to run faster on slow connections. To do this go the bottom of the page:
    • Select Basic HTML > Set Basic HTML as default view.

    Now Gmail should load in half the time.

  17. For an even faster experience, you can use Gmail mobile.
  18. If you want to track where spammer got your address from? Use this little known Gmail trick.
    • Insert a + symbol in your email address and Gmail will ignore everything between the + and @ symbols. For example – if your Gmail address is you could tell Amazon that it’s The mail will still be routed to you…

    You can even use filters to capture mails sent to addresses containing the + symbol, enabling you to give different addresses to each of the online services you use, then filter them accordingly. For example, add a receipt label to all mail from PayPal.

  19. Gmail ignores periods in email addresses too. So, if you signed up as – you can send mail to or even and it will still go to the same address.
  20. Also, it doesn’t matter whether mail is sent to you or – they both route to the same domain.

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  1. Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again, subscribed to your feed also, Thanks.

  2. You are a very smart person!

  3. Hello Guru, what entice you to post an article. This article was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

  4. What is captcha code?, pls provide me captcha code codes or plugin, Thanks in advance.

  5. Pls advice when a mail is sent some one from gmail how to know that mail is opened by them?

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