Make Gmail Work Like Microsoft Outlook With Chrome Extensions

Kayla Matthews 11-09-2017

Gmail and Outlook are two different beasts. Compared to the industry standard, Gmail is missing features and the look you may be used to.


What you may not know is there are several ways in which you can make Gmail mirror Outlook How to Use Gmail Like a Desktop Email Client in 7 Simple Steps Would you ditch your default desktop email client, if Gmail had more desktop-like features? Let us show you how you can set up Gmail to behave more like a desktop email client. Read More in its appearance, function, and operation.

In addition to various official features that you can enable through Gmail, you can also install browser extensions to change things up a bit. Here are eight Chrome extensions to help you make Gmail more like Outlook.

Note: If you want to completely switch from Gmail to Microsoft Outlook and currently use Office 365, you can import all Gmail content into Outlook.

1. Send From Gmail (by Google)

If Outlook is your default email app, Windows will automatically open it when you click on a “mailto:” link. In fact, Outlook usually opens the “compose mail” window and offers you a blank slate to start with.

send from gmail by google


Without Outlook, Windows will usually ask you to define what application you’d like to open “mailto:” links with. But you can use the Send From Gmail extension, developed by Google, to ensure that any and all “mailto:” links How to Change the Default Email Program for Mailto: Links If you don't use the default mail client on your computer, you can easily make the mailto: links in your browser open in your regular email program. Here's what you need to know. Read More open that “compose” window in Gmail, instead of another app.

This saves a ton of time and makes things much easier when working with Gmail. It also adds a button to your browser toolbar that allows you to forward web content through a Gmail message Share Links With Friends Using Send From Gmail [Chrome] Ever since Google created the email wonder known as Gmail, people have been raving all about it, and it doesn't look like there's an end in sight because of Google's continual updates to the service... Read More . You could, for instance, send an article you found to yourself to read later or recommend it to a colleague. You could say that this extension offers a two-for-one benefit with the features it adds.

Download: Send From Gmail (by Google) (Free)

2. Rapportive

In Gmail, when you open a correspondence with someone, you’ll notice there’s a unique sidebar that includes more detailed contact information. This sidebar is only populated if the necessary information is available through Google’s services. If the contact email of the person reaching out is not connected to any extra details, the sidebar will simply be useless.


Rapportive lets you populate that sidebar when using Gmail, which will help you manage details relating to your contacts. This is similar to Outlook’s contact management, but with a much smoother integration.

rapportive gmail extension

Owned by Microsoft and LinkedIn, Rapportive includes a ton of useful information such as your contact’s LinkedIn profile, social connections, Skype name, personal website and brand affiliations, and even recent status updates from social networks.

But the extension takes it a step further, allowing you to add personal notes and reminders Please Note This Email! Some Super-Useful Tools To Help You Add Notes & Annotate Your Gmail Threads Threaded conversations and smart labels were a start. The former really helped to have end to end conversations, and the later came into it later as an email organizational tool. But what if you want... Read More to yourself that only you can see. This allows you to organize and keep track of detailed info that may help you during communication. Marketers, for instance, can make a note why they reached out to a particular contact and what company they are associated with.


Download: Rapportive (Free)

3. KeyRocket

One of the most productive features of Outlook is that you can learn keyboard hotkeys and shortcuts to do things quickly. Once you learn the hotkeys, you can call up any action or function without messing with added menus.

keyrocket gmail extension

Gmail has similar features, but some of the hotkeys The Best Ways to Learn All the Keyboard Shortcuts You Will Ever Need There are many keyboard shortcuts you aren't using. We bring you all the right resources to teach you everything you need to know about keyboard shortcuts. Memorize keyboard shortcuts for instant productivity. Read More are tough to discern, and the documentation for the platform can be extensive and complicated. That’s where KeyRocket for Gmail comes into play. As you use your email to do things, the extension will show suggestions. These recommendations include keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys.


Say, for instance, that you’re always opening a new compose window. The extension would tell you how to do this with just a couple keystrokes. In time, you learn the suggested shortcuts and become a Gmail pro, just as you were with Outlook.

The extension is free for Chrome, but there is a premium version that makes the tool available for other programs, like Microsoft Office.

Download: KeyRocket (Free)

4. Checker Plus for Gmail

One of the many benefits of using a third-party software is that you can leave the app open in the background and you’ll still receive notifications when a new message arrives in your inbox. With the Checker Plus extension for Gmail, you can see notifications no matter what you’re doing, and you don’t even have to leave Gmail open in a window or tab.

checker plus for gmail

It will tell you when new content is available, offer brief details like the sender and subject, and you can even mark content as read, archive it or delete it.

Of course, the newest versions of Chrome have notifications enabled for various apps and services, so you can go that route as an alternative.

Download: Checker Plus for Gmail (Free)

5. Blade Signatures

In Gmail, as with the original Outlook, you can set up and designate signatures for each of your email accounts. The problem is, they look rather boring unless you’re handy with web design.

blade signatures gmail

The Blade Signatures extension allows you to set up attractive and colorful email signatures that look much more professional than a stock signature. You can add a personal photo or avatar, website, social profile, and personal contact info.

With the free version of the extension, you can set up a total of two signatures and switch between them seamlessly. If you need more, you can purchase a premium subscription or setup custom signatures in Google Drive.

Download: Blade Signatures for Gmail (Free) [No Longer Available]

6. Gmvault

This tool isn’t exactly a browser extension or add-on for Gmail. But it is a desktop application that you can use to install and access Gmail content offline, just like you can do with Outlook.

gmvault extension

Here are some of the things you can do with GMVault:

  • Back up emails locally to access offline.
  • Encrypt saved emails for added security.
  • Restore emails to any Gmail account.
  • Access open-source community and support.
  • Customize the interface and platform.

As with most open-source projects, you do have an option to donate to the community to support its future development, but it’s not required to download, install, or use the app.

Gmvault is available on all platforms including Mac, Windows, Linux, and more.

Download: GMVault (Free)

7. Gmelius

Gmelius is a premium, all-in-one solution for Gmail that converts the look and functionality of the service. It overrides updates to Gmail, like the new sorting feature that sends emails to various labels such as promotions, updates, social, and primary.

gmelius gmail extension

It adds so many features that we don’t have room to explain them all here, so we’ll touch on the most useful ones. With this extension you can:

That’s just a portion of what this tool offers. You can see why we don’t have time to explain everything!

Pricing varies from $0 to $10 per month (billed annually) depending on the features you need. The extension is always free to install, however.

Download: Gmelius (Free, $5/mo Premium, $10/mo Business)

8. Chrome Like Outlook 2016

This Chrome browser extension is the most direct way to make Gmail more like Outlook. It changes the entire Gmail experience to be more like Microsoft’s email service.

chrome like outlook gmail extension

What is it exactly? It’s a browser theme, which you can use to convert the colors and style of the window and various elements onscreen. Sadly, it doesn’t add any functionality to the browser. It does, however, make the transition much easier if you’re used to the visual theme, style, and colors of Outlook and would like to see that used for Google Chrome and Gmail.

Note: While this extension received its last update back in November 2016, it functions great as-is.

Download: Chrome Like Outlook 2016 Theme [No Longer Available] ($0.99)

What Outlook Features Will You Add to Gmail?

Getting through your emails How Bill Gates Manages Email with Two Screens Bill Gates uses a specific routine to maximize his productivity with email. Let's explore his technique and pick up some ideas on how to manage emails. Read More each day is a daunting enough task. Why add to it the annoyance of an inbox that doesn’t work How to Blast Through Your Emails in Microsoft Outlook Don't let your emails monopolize your day, use these Outlook tips to take back control of your Inbox. Read More exactly the way you want it to?

Now that you know some ways you can make Gmail more like Outlook, what aspect of your Gmail inbox would you change? Tell us in the comments!

Image Credit: via

Related topics: Browser Extensions, Email Tips, Gmail, Google Chrome, Microsoft Outlook.

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  1. MC
    August 6, 2019 at 5:59 am

    Integrate GMail with office - and use all the Microsoft formatting inside GMail, and give us as many distinct signatures as we may want, and let us import selective email histories, signatures, and contacts into GMail and have as many contacts as we want in GMail contacts (not merely 5000 or 18000.

  2. Penny Dewey
    March 12, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    I would like the “Read Receipt” option to know when someone has read my email message.

  3. Jeff
    September 14, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Another great extension is Deskun, it lets you schedule emails, snooze, create message templates and manage tasks. Check it out.

  4. dragonmouth
    September 11, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    All I want out of GMail is to be able to sort my emails by column headings (Sender, Topic, Date). Oh, that's right, GMail does not provide column headings! Outlook and other email applications have had column headings for over 20 years.

  5. GompuGuru
    September 11, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    I use some Lab features making gmail look like outlook with Folder Lists and preview pans.