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Google has launched a small new feature for Gmail which is going to make a lot of people very happy. If you’re not a fan of the Gmail icon buttons, which are part of the Gmail’s new look, you can now have your text buttons back in seconds.

Gmail’s new look was launched in November Gmail's New Look Is Finally Here, Now Available To Everyone [News] Gmail's New Look Is Finally Here, Now Available To Everyone [News] 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... Read More , and among other changes such as thumbnails in conversations, new themes and a general look which resembles Google+, Google also substituted all the text buttons for icons. This change caused a bout of negative feedback from users, and as a result, Google has decided to give users the option to choose what their Gmail buttons look like.

So how do you make that happen? All you have to do is click on the cog button, choose “Settings”, and go to the the General tab. Scroll down to find the “Button labels” setting, and change it from icons to text.

Save the settings, and go back to your inbox. Your buttons should all be back to their original text form. Note that if you’re using a Google Apps account, you may not see this option yet. As things tend to roll out to Google Apps accounts in a slower pace, the setting will probably appear within the next several days/weeks.

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What do you think of icon buttons? Do you love them, or are you already rushing to change them back into text?

Source: +Gmail

  1. pc
    August 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    TEXT???? I just want a gmail icon on my yahoo HOMEPAGE!!!!
    Is it even possible?

  2. Lucy Holman
    August 22, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    What a crying shame to take so much of my precious time to try to find the SEND icon that was taken away from my gmail!!!!!

    And I am not sure I know how to on COG button. WHAT is a COG??

    I am planning NOW to get a new email account with hotmail or yahoo. Maybe those servers will not take away the Oldies, but GOODIES. It is GREAT to know others have had to same problem. Does google just enjoy mixing up the tried and TRUE??

  3. Fixit Mann
    May 3, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Tried this, the settings were there, saved it and now I have NO icons OR Words at all.
    I even unblocked everything on the page that I previously had blocked with NoScript on Firefox (11) and that didn't work. So, I guess it's back to nonsensical icons that are unusable, or nothing. I don't use the account much for that and other reasons (such as the privacy issue involved with anything Google, for instance, they read the content of my emails and their ads reflected it. NO THANKS)

    • Fixit Mann
      May 3, 2012 at 2:53 am

      OK I guess it DID work, but took a while to reset. Thanks!

      • Yaara Lancet
        May 3, 2012 at 6:04 am

        Sounds like an interesting bug, having no buttons at all. :) Glad it worked out at the end!

  4. IW
    April 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm


    My gmail finally got mandated to the 'new' look, ugh, this helps, but I'd still love to see a 'classic' theme that is exactly as the old was. I was about to switch to Thunderbird for e-mail.

    What's that old adage? Oh, yeah......

    IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Yaara Lancet
      April 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      LOL, yeah, Google like to keep fixing their interface. They're not alone in that, too.

      Don't worry, I had a hard time getting used to the new look at first, but having switched to it when it first rolled out, by now I've already forgotten what it looked like before. You get used to it. :)

      Try playing with the display density, the default looks horrible on my monitor, but compact looks great.

      • IW
        April 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm

        Yeah, I did the compact thing and also changed to the high contrast density, it's workable now, especially with the text tabs.

  5. Wayne
    March 20, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Pfft. My wife makes $6430943 an hour just by chatting on the phone with friends and sitting on the couch eating bonbons. Want to know how? Just check out my web site thisisdefinitelynotascam.nk

  6. nicoli
    March 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    NOTE: This feature has not been rolled out to Google Apps domains as of 20th of March 2012. I know my users would VERY MUCH appreciate this setting too!!!

    Spent months convincing exec to change from Exchange to Google Apps, just trained 300 people how to use Gmail, 3 months later the whole interface changes. Doh!

    • Yaara Lancet
      March 20, 2012 at 7:00 am

      Yes, I use Google Apps as well and don't have this new setting yet. As usual with changes in Google Apps accounts, we just need some more patience.

  7. RandyN
    March 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Nice that they offer the option to switch back. Another option, if you like the graphical buttons but would like to have the text also, is to use a user style. Here are a couple that add color and text to the buttons.

    • Yaara Lancet
      March 20, 2012 at 7:03 am

      Those are pretty cool, thanks!

  8. ndg
    March 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Sadly the option has not made it to my account (regular gmail, not an app account) yet.

    • Yaara Lancet
      March 19, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      I'm sure it will appear within a day or two. Google always roll out things gradually, although this is a small change. Are you looking in the General tab in the settings?

  9. bioadam
    March 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Excellent tip. If people can use e-mail, we can fairly assume they also know how to read. Just sayin'.

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