Internet Productivity

5 Powerful New Gmail Features You Need to Start Using Right Now

Dann Albright 27-04-2018

Pretty much everyone has a Gmail account, so it’s a big deal that Google decided to overhaul the interface. The new Gmail redesign has started rolling out, and many users are already able to take advantage of some cool new features.


Many of the new Gmail features will be familiar to users of the email-management-focused Inbox by Gmail 10 Super Efficient Ways Inbox by Gmail Saves You Time Inbox by Gmail is Google's most recent approach to email organization and management. It can give you a simpler email workflow. Find out if Inbox by Gmail can be the better choice for you. Read More , but some are totally new.

Not all of the features have been released yet, but the ones that are available are great. We’ll give you a run down of how to use them and take a look at what’s coming soon.

How to Get the New Gmail Redesign

If you haven’t activated the redesigned Gmail interface yet, all you need to do is click the Settings cog and select Try the new Gmail:

Try the new Gmail button

The page will reload, and the new Gmail will appear.


Here are some of the cool features you’ll get:

1. Smart Reply in Webmail

If you’ve used the Gmail or Inbox mobile apps, you’ve probably seen Smart Reply.

Google uses machine learning algorithms 3 Magical Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Save Your Time Artificial intelligence is cutting edge. But the ultimate goal is to simplify our lives We look at how AI can write your emails, schedule your meetings, and save you time. Read More to learn the patterns of your replies and presents you with three options that it thinks you might use. And it’s surprisingly good at picking reasonable replies.

The Gmail redesign brings this feature to your browser.


To see your Smart Reply options, just scroll to the bottom of an email. If there are options available, they’ll be clearly displayed:

New Gmail smart reply

Click one to start a reply with that response, add whatever else you want, and send it off.

Gmail won’t always display Smart Reply options. It’s best at suggesting responses to simple questions.


2. Take Actions Faster From the Inbox

To take an action from your inbox before the Gmail redesign, you’d have to select an email and choose the action from the top of the window. It wasn’t hard, but Google has made it even easier.

Now, you can hover over the right side of an email in your inbox to see those options:

New Gmail inbox actions

Archive, Delete, and Mark as Read are easily accessible (so are add-ons and snooze, which we’ll talk about in a moment).


It’s still faster to select numerous emails with your mouse and use a Gmail keyboard shortcut The Most Useful Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts Everyone Should Know The easiest way to boost your Gmail productivity is to start using keyboard shortcuts for common tasks. Read More to manage your emails, but this is definitely an improvement on the previous system.

You can also open attachments from the inbox view instead of opening the email first.

To do this, though, you’ll need to set your display density to “Default.” Click the cog in the upper-right corner, select Display density, and choose Default:

Set Gmail to default display density

You won’t see as many emails without scrolling as you would with Comfortable or Compact density. But you do get to see attachments, which is great if you tend to open a lot of them:

New Gmail inbox attachments

Just click one of the attachments and it will open, either in a lightbox or in Google Drive.

3. Collapsible Right Sidebar

One of the new Gmail features that you’ll notice right away is the collapsible sidebar on the right side of your inbox. By default, there are icons for Google Calendar, Google Keep, and Google Tasks.

Just click one of them to open a thin sidebar:

Opening Google Calendar in new Gmail right sidebar

You can easily check your calendar, kept files, and tasks from your inbox. (Now it will be easier to take advantage of Google Keep and its creative uses 10 Creative Ways to Use Google Keep Every Day Google Keep is a simple note-taking app. But its simplicity hides its usefulness. Here are ten tips and ideas to use Google Keep for the little everyday things in life. Read More !)

4. Email Snooze

Many email clients (including Inbox) have a snooze function. You click snooze, tell the client when you want the email to reappear in your inbox, and it disappears. When the time comes, it returns.

It’s a great option for emails you can’t deal with right away. Before the Gmail redesign, you’d have to archive an email and remember to go back and find it later. It wasn’t nearly as convenient.

Now, though, all you have to do is hit the snooze button from your inbox and select a time:

New Gmail snooze feature

The same button also appears above your email when you’re viewing a message:

New Gmail snooze button in email view

5. Better Add-On Management

Gmail add-ons have always been a great way to get more out of Gmail’s browser client. There are add-ons for scheduling emails, adding signatures, attaching items from project management software, and more.

And now, when you’ve added one of these add-ons to Gmail, you can see its icon in the right sidebar and on applicable emails:

New Gmail add-on display

Click on the icon in the sidebar to fire up the extension. Click the icon on the message to activate the extension and take an action with that email.

Add-ons are still available in the bar above the email view, too.

More Gmail Features Coming Soon

At the time of this writing, the above features are widely available. The features listed below, however, haven’t rolled out yet. Google says they’ll be bringing them out to users within the next couple weeks.

By the time you read this, some or all of these features may be available:

New Features for Browser Gmail

The most interesting feature that we’ll soon see in Gmail recalls Snapchat more than Inbox. Gmail’s Confidential Mode will let you “remove the option to forward, copy, download, or print messages.”

New Gmail confidential mode

It seems likely that there will be ways around this, but it’s a step in the right direction for Gmail security How to Secure Your Gmail Account in 6 Easy Steps Having your Gmail account hacked could be devastating. Don't let that happen! Learn how to secure your Gmail account right now. Read More . You can also set an expiration date after which the email will disappear. And revoke access when it’s necessary.

In case you’re curious, this works essentially by storing the content of the email on Google Drive and sending a link to your recipient. You then control the access permissions on that link.

Another feature that’s being brought over from Inbox is the “Nudge.” If you receive an email and haven’t responded to it within a few days, Google will remind you about it:

New Gmail nudge feature

New Features for Mobile Gmail

Google hasn’t said a whole lot about what’s coming with the Gmail mobile app redesign, but it has teased two new features: custom notifications and unsubscribe suggestions.

Custom notifications let you get notifications on a subset of emails that matters to you. It’s a great way to pare down notifications without missing anything important.

Gmail notifications and unsubscribe mobile

And Unsubscribe suggestions are exactly what they sound like: if Google thinks you don’t care about one of your subscriptions, it will suggest that you unsubscribe.

Hopefully, you’re managing your subscriptions well already—but if you’re not, Google will help.

The Future of Gmail and Inbox

Many of the new Gmail features were ported over from Inbox, Google’s experimental email app.

So what’s in store for Inbox now?

The lead product manager for Gmail told The Verge that it’ll become a testbed for new features. That’s sort of what it was in the past, but it sounds like the general plan will be to introduce new features to Inbox, see how they work, tweak them, and then bring them over to Gmail.

It might seem like Google would have included all of the features you could possibly want in an email client, but they continue to bring new ideas to the table. These new Gmail features are a subtle—but important—step forward, and Google is sure to keep innovating.

Until then, keep checking Gmail 21 Ways to Check Gmail You Probably Never Considered There are many ways to check your Gmail inbox. Here are several methods to take a peek at your email on every device possible. Read More in the many ways you can.

Related topics: Email Tips, Gmail, Google.

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  1. Nancy Miller
    September 28, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    How do you switch back to classic e-mail for gmail>>????

  2. Alex R
    September 27, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    I wish they stop changing things and instead fix gmail for android which is TERRIBLE and became worst with every change. I do not need anything from new design and want to see it as it was (maybe snooze function make some sense but it is very easy to replace by folder).

    GOOGLE, STOP MAKING things worst! All your improvements are actually degradation! Keep things as is and make NEW FEATURES optional.

    Improve address book, make it 'automatically collect book from your emails' working at android, make possible to see email source on android, and DO NOT BREAK things which works. We already have a lot of things broken in Android version, now the same geeks from Google try to broke web versions.

  3. Paco Blanchart
    June 21, 2018 at 8:12 am

    I miss a feature that I used a lot: when you hovered over a sender's name, you got a card with the option Messages, that listed all the messages from that sender.

    I don't know why this has been removed. I will stick to the old design until it's brought back.

  4. ishtiaq
    May 7, 2018 at 5:44 am

    this latest design of Gmail is awesomeee!!! I can really feel the design... :) #Loveit

  5. LynnSuzanne
    May 6, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Can anyone tell me why Google is rolling out all these fine features, without at least addressing basic sorting capability?
    I use Outlook at work, and GMail for personal.
    There is no way I'd ever say that GMail already has all the features you would need. At least not compared to Outlook.
    For starters, sorting capability is intuitive and seamless in Outlook. But in GMail... well...

  6. Richard Wheeler
    May 5, 2018 at 9:08 am

    How about taking care of basic capabilities such as sorting messages before adding bells and whistles?

    • Paco Blanchart
      June 21, 2018 at 8:02 am

      Totally agree. One of the most missed features

    • Alex R
      September 27, 2018 at 10:45 pm

      Not only. Sorting do not work well; threads... I disabled them on work because they made many things I do not want; I have problem all the time if I delete 1 message and suddenly it appear to delete the whole thread or when I reply and system do not archive reply because ' it is deleted thread', filters are very strange; search do not work properly in some cases. Instead, they add bells and whistles (with strange dumb icons so that I need to change it to TEXT). The whole thing is maybe not bad but new version did not add much value. And Android version is far, far behind web version (the same for gmap)!

      • Richard Wheeler
        September 28, 2018 at 7:36 am

        Oh, yeah, I hate the way, if you delete a message after replying to it, Gmail deletes the reply from the Sent folder! I think you can avoid this by exiting from the message back to the Inbox and THEN deleting it.

        Also, I've started checking messages by moving the cursor through teh whole text, one character at a time. If the cursor doesn't move, I've hit a hidden characters that will mess up the formatting at the recipients' end or even insert a spurious CR/LF in replies or forwards.

  7. John Smith
    May 4, 2018 at 9:05 am

    For me, it is buggy, annoying, forced inline popups in ugly black small windows that I am not interested in seeing, buggy side bar, a market place they encourage you to use and install extensions and apps that won't work, even with the limited amount of them being available, still can't get emptying of Trash and spam working correctly without forcing users to click the Empty link several times, and the color choices of the default folders/labels cannot be uglier.

    No thanks.
    Switched back to the current one.
    I will wait until someone releases a custom style or a 3rd party inteface if Google would force this as is on us, or put one together myself.

    I am already consider moving away from Google and all its services and forcing this interface on me in Gmail would be another step in that direction.

  8. dragonmouth
    April 28, 2018 at 1:53 pm


    "Smart Replies"
    Just checked my emails for suggested Smart Replies. Very few of the suggestions have anything to do with the text. The suggestions are also too simplistic.

    "Take Actions Faster From the Inbox"
    Only if working on one email. To do anything with multiple emails, you still have use the bar at the top of the page.

    ROTFLMAO! How can you have a "Confidential Mode" with Google reading and recording every email?! For real security Google would have to keep its nose out of emails.

    "Spam Management"
    All I want out of Google spam management is an option where if an email matches the filter criteria, it can be sent directly to SPAM, not just deleted.

    “Email snooze"
    I don't see its purpose. I want to dispose of emails ASAP, not postpone the decision to a later time.

    "Collapsible right side bar"
    It may be collapsible but it cannot be turned off.

    "It might seem like Google would have included all of the features you could possibly want in an email client"
    Why would they? This way they can dribble new features every couple of months and proclaim another New GMail Update.

    All in all, this highly trumpeted Gmail Update is nothing to write home about IMO.