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After giving us a preview several months ago, Gmail is now launching its brand new look and will automatically update all accounts soon. The new look is keeping up with other Google+ themed changes that have been happening all over Google products (like Reader Google Reader Receives Update - Adds Google+ & New Design [News] Google Reader Receives Update - Adds Google+ & New Design [News] It feels like it has been a long time, but Google finally updated their popular RSS reader with a new look and some minor new features. The first and most obvious change is the overall... Read More , for example), and comes packed with new features on top of the aesthetic changes.

The change will happen automatically for everyone, but if you can’t wait or just want to see what it’s all about, you can choose to switch by clicking the “Switch to the new look” link on the right side of your Gmail screen (if you use the Gmail tasks feature on the right side of your screen, you will have to close it to see the link).

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One of the most prominent changes is to the themes. Gmail has got a brand new set of themes, and the one you’ve been using is most likely gone, so be prepared for a real change when you switch to the new look. Google has chosen a clean, straight-lined look which resembles Google+, and the old toolbars have been changed into icon-based ones.

Among the new features you’ll also find an improved conversation view complete with profile pictures, a new, customizable search box, more control over the content you see (like labels, chat, etc.) and adjustability to monitors of different sizes.

Watch this short video for a recap of the changes to Gmail:

For now, you can go back to the old look if you don’t like it, but it won’t stay available for long.  Let us know what you think of it in the comments below.  A big improvement or a horrible mess?

Source: Gmail Blog

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  1. negar
    April 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    how can chage it?with which button?u know I accidently change it to old look?how can I chang it because I liked that more.

    • Yaara Lancet
      April 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      I believe the old look is no more, so all there is is the new look.

  2. J.
    December 24, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I guess I'll be using an email client form now on. I do wish google would leave things alone. I also wish they'd stop hassling me to use new services, such as google+, as well. I appreciate that they're a commercial enterprise but google are just becoming too annoying now.

  3. G
    December 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I hate the new format! Can't scroll at all! Don't know how to fix the problem either. Please go back to the old way!

  4. Ronald Perry
    December 22, 2011 at 12:52 am

    I can't figure out how to make new lables on the new look

    • Yaara
      December 22, 2011 at 8:00 am

      Click the cog on the top right, choose Mail Settings, go to the Labels tab, scroll down and click on the "Create new label" button. Voila!

  5. RW
    December 6, 2011 at 9:22 am

    The "new" look is a nightmare!  Why did you guys mess with a good thing?  I am also a software developer, and I would NEVER force my users to switch to an entirely new interface wihtout asking them if they approved first.

    And don't feed us the line that the old look is incompatible with the new platform.  Instead, put together a team of your best programmers and find a way to incorporate the old look into the new platform.

    You got it right the first time, Google.  Do not pull a Microsoft on us.  And, remember, DON'T BE EVIL...


  6. John
    November 22, 2011 at 7:18 am

    I like the photos but almost everything else is a usability nightmare: 

    -can barely note a faint line indicating extra emails in a thread, 

    -would prefer the page scolls as a whole than tiny iframe scrollbars (which makes it hard to get to a label at the bottom), 

    -chromatic themes make it hard to differentiate things

    -have to think each time which chromatic icon represents what (archive looks like a camera, ! for warning means spam???, even the garbage can is poor and doesn't indicate action of throwing it in the trash). 

    I can't believe much user testing was done. Same with Reader, much poorer usability now. 
    My theme was desktop before and fun; not very nice now, just dark wood.

  7. Al Samsa
    November 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    God awful ugly. Much prefer the old look. I went back in a hurry.

  8. input44
    November 4, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    I have also sent Google feedback and encourage all unsatisfied customers to do the same before we are all forced to use the new look. 

    Some of my complaints:

    1. TOOLBAR:a) Prefer text instead of icons - having to hover over icons
    or to memorize icons is inconvenient. b)Prefer to see options before
    clicking on message. Entire toolbar should be visible at once (at least as a lab feature). c) casual users like my grandparents will have a difficult time adjusting to the image icons lacking text.
    2. AD
    PLACEMENT:  I understand that ads are a necessary evil in free e-mail.  However, the look makes the ads much more imposing than before, creating a cluttered look.  a) Advertisement is similar color as e-mail messages, which
    is visually confusing and reduces readability. b)Deleting messages is somewhat more cumbersome- distance to delete button is greater - have to go above advertisement to
    delete. c) Advertisement is placed where toolbar used to be so accidental ad clicks are occurring.

    3.E-MAIL VIEW: Prefer old format.  Profile pics reduce readability and take up too much space. Looks very unprofessional. Brightly colored names were MUCH better and looked cleaner. Prefer not to pay attention to people's profile pics anyway (contacts using identical images, contacts who change profile pics often etc.) This has made it more confusing to see who is saying what on an e-mail thread. Looks sloppy.

    • Yaara
      November 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      The ads are really much more prominent now, and their new presence sure takes some getting used to.

      I solve the toolbar problem by using mainly keyboard shortcuts. Then I don't have to remember which button does what all the time. :) But this is something I was doing before, it doesn't make sense for people to do this just because the toolbar is confusing.

  9. Anonymous
    November 3, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Here are the comments/complaints I've sent Google (so far) on the "new look".

    Can't scroll the whole page down anymore, just the email list. In the old version, I can hover my cursor over the delete button which is always visible, then scroll the page up so it's over an email in the list, click on the email so I can see it, click the delete button, then I'm back on the list with my cursor over the next email, all without moving the mouse. This is impossible in the new version, both due to the scrolling issue and because the delete button isn’t always there. I hate this.

    I just put my name in the body of an email I was sending to someone who asked me to put my name in the email. The result is that my name and everything I typed below it is now "trimmed content" ie. hidden unless you click on the "..." link. I don't recall this happening in the old version, it was just quoted text that got hidden and my signature was greyed. This looks terrible and is a stupid idea.

    Conversation view with pictures looks dopey. It assumes that most emails come from Gmail users which is not true, and that most Gmail users have put up pictures which is also not true. The overwhelming majority of my Gmail contacts have no picture. The result is that a long conversation with many participants just shows a stack of generic “no picture” icons, which are faintly color coded, interspersed with my picture beside each of my emails. Brightly colored names were better. This is not Facebook or Google + where everyone has a picture, this is an email client.

    Many of the new themes make it very difficult to read text, particularly if the chat contacts have been moved to the right side. Poor contrast on some, too dark on others.

    Buttons at the top now have symbols which are not clear or obvious to casual users. Hovering over the button reveals a text label. Why not just leave the text on the buttons?

    • Yaara
      November 5, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      I believe what you wrote about it clipping everything after your name used to happen before as well. I remember my name always being greyed out, even if it weren't used as a signature. Maybe they developed this feature further somehow.

      I also agree about the themes, they just don't look good! Hopefully there will be some new ones added in the future.

  10. Mark O'Neill
    November 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    I like the new conversation thread design with the thumbnail photos of the person sending the email. That's neat.

    However, the themes are terrible in my opinion and only the "compact view" for the inbox is OK.  The other two options make my emails look as if they are drowning in a sea of white.

    • Yaara
      November 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      I agree about the themes. I really miss my old theme. None of the new ones really look right. And nothing bu compact view works for me as well, and even that took some getting used to.

      But I guess all changes to something we use on a daily basis are hard. In general, I like many things about this change.

  11. lee
    November 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Thumbs up!

  12. phritzg
    November 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    when a message is selected and shows in the preview pane, the refresh button disappears; it should be visible at all times

  13. Eduardo Hernandez
    November 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    There is no “Switch to the new look” link for me

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm

      If you have something else in the right hand side, such as the Gmail Tasks list, then you need to close it. My link was hiding behind my Gmail Tasks :-)

      • Ann
        December 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm

        I don't have a Gmail task list... Should I make one and then close it?... Please answer soon.

        • Tina
          December 30, 2011 at 10:48 pm


          did you find the switch to the new look link in the meantime? Maybe something else is covering it. Did you maximize your browser window?

  14. Sanjanataylor99
    November 3, 2011 at 6:39 am

    I loved it :)

  15. Allendaw
    November 3, 2011 at 2:42 am

    i love it. its GMAIL 2.0