Browsers Internet

Customize Gmail’s Online Interface With Gmelius [Firefox, Chrome & Opera]

Justin Pot 03-05-2012

customize gmailRemove features you don’t like from Gmail, leaving behind only the things you do. Gmelius is a simple extension for Chrome, Firefox and Opera that lets you turn off parts of Gmail you’re not interested in, including ads.


Gmail’s interface is great, and largely clean, but recent changes at Google leave minimalists pulling their hair out. Maybe you don’t like the people widget in Gmail. Maybe you find the Google + notifications at the top of the screen a great way to become completely unproductive online How To Be Completely Unproductive Online [Opinion] Did you know, that the Internet can also make you alarmingly unproductive? It's true! It may be hard to believe, but constant access to all the world's information - from the average flight velocity of... Read More . Or maybe you’ve always hated the wasted space in Gmail’s header.

Whatever your passionate Gmail dislikes may be, Gmelius in all likelihood has you covered. The cross-browser extensions lets you remove the things you don’t want to see anymore, and is very easy to use.

Tweaking Gmail!

Before we get started, let’s install this thing. Head to Gmelius and install the plugin for your browser. As I said earlier, there is an extension for Chrome, Firefox and Opera. Basically, anyone using a cool browser should be covered. Internet Explorer and Safari users – I regret to inform you that your browser is not cool. Sorry it took you this long to realize that.

Anyway, once you’ve installed the extension you can get to the fun of customizing your Gmail interface. The settings screen looks different depending on your browser, but basically consists of a series of checkmarks. Here’s how it looks in Firefox:

customize gmail


As you can see, there is a lot here to go through. Some settings have obvious functions–”remove ads”, for example, removes ads, and “remove chat” remove chat. Duh.

You can discover what everything else means for yourself, though I do have a few personal favorites. For example, you can save a lot of screen real estate by removing the header from Gmail. This will hide the Gmail logo, the search bar and the Google + notifications in one go, leaving less space between the top of the browser and the thing you’ve actually opened Gmail to see – your email. Here’s how that looks:

customize gmail inbox

A simple link at top-right labeled “Search and Share” brings those features back, quickly.


I also love being able to “standardize fonts”. Some people insist on using terrible fonts in their email, because no one informed them the current year is later than 1997. If someone in your life is exposing you to dangerous levels of pink comic sans, click this option to restore sanity. It will turn this:

customize gmail inbox

Into this:

customize gmail


Note however that this setting improves only the font of emails received, not how intelligent said emails’ content is. Sorry.

You get the idea. There are settings allowing you to turn things on and off. Play with them until Gmail is exactly how you like it, then dance with the joy of a thousand chinchillas. You’ve earned it.


Like I said: feel free to explore the settings to really find out what Gmelius can do. I think you’re going to like having control over your email interface. I know you have questions. Below I’ll attempt to answer them preemptively.

Q. Didn’t you review something like this a year ago?

A. Wow, you’ve got a great memory, and spend way too much time on this site! I did; it was called minimalist for Gmail 8 Tiny Tweaks For An Instant Minimalist Browser Experience After a few attacks here and there, a few full-frontal assaults, and some minor skirmishes, I end up with a Zen-like minimalist browser. Here's how I go about it. Read More . It’s since been replaced with the (slightly more complicated) minimalist for everything, which I hope to review sometime soon.

Q. Is there something like this for Google Reader?

A. Yep! It’s called Google Reader Readable How to Easily Strip the Unnecessary Clutter From Google Reader Flush away the crap you don't need in Google Reader and get back to what's important - reading. "Google Reader Readable" is both a Chrome extension and a userstyle that removes basically everything from Google... Read More , and I’m a big fan. Try it out.

Q. Why would I want to do this?

A. Because it’s cool! Or because you’re a control freak. Whichever.

Q. Where are the comments? I want to point out a similar extension, or make fun of you for an error.

A. They’re below! Just scroll down a little. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Explore more about: Email Tips, Gmail, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox.

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  1. Paul-G
    May 3, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Until either Google or an app developer comes up with a way of sorting messages by sender, subject, size etc. I will continue to use a client such as Thunderbird.

    I have seen countless forum threads about this but Google refuse to acknowledge the users needs.

    • Julie
      May 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      I took wish I could click and sort by column instead of having to do a search to find what I'm looking for... it's so annoying. I have a few different gmails (my regular account though my isp, one through my college, and one that I've had for eons and eons) I need to figure out what program to use to access them all at the same time with out completely getting lost in emails!

      • Paul-G
        May 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm