How to Switch Back to Classic Gmail If You Hate the Redesign

James Hirtz Updated 27-12-2019

Do you want to go back to the old Gmail? While the new Gmail interface has many fans, you might consider an alternative design. Why? If you look around, you can see others take issue with the user interface, space allocation, fonts, and more.


If you’ve never considered its design before or used classic Gmail, you might find yourself curious about trying it. Rather than simply settle for the basic functions because it’s there, you can experiment with it and decide if it makes you more productive.

While Google no longer allows a classic Gmail revert from within, here’s how to almost go back to classic Gmail.

How to Go Back to Classic Gmail

For anyone wanting to try Gmail’s classic view in comparison to the new Gmail interface, two routes exist.

You can either modify Gmail’s appearance or use extensions to emulate the classic view. Do note that both options function as workarounds, so you won’t ever get an official Gmail classic view.

With that in mind, the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) extensions do an amazing job of replicating the past visual design. These serve as a great first stop without losing the full functionality of the new Gmail.


Use Extensions to Display Gmail’s Classic View

For those willing to try a small extension, your browser can help bring back the old Gmail feel. Right now, two extensions stand above the rest in terms of styling.

Each has slightly different installation routes, but both are pretty straightforward.

1. Agile Inbox’s Gmail Classic Theme

When it comes to looking for a useful workaround, you want it to be worth your time. Agile Inbox’s theme replicates ninety-percent of the classic Gmail interface. It’s a tiny, free download that helps bring back the readability, contrast, buttons, and menu style of the past version.

The only downside to this theme is its limited support. The theme only works with Google Chrome at this time. Still, if this doesn’t hinder you, the installation takes just a moment.


If you have any problems, just refresh your Gmail after downloading it. You can easily tell that the change back to classic Gmail has occurred if you’re using any labels as well.

Download: Gmail Classic/Old Theme by Agile Inbox (Free)

2. Andrew Powell’s Gmail Classic Theme (Google Chrome)

If you’re looking for a very straightforward return to classic Gmail, Andrew Powell’s theme does just that. On Google Chrome, you can simply download the extension and install it.

If you don’t see a change, refresh to make sure the changes have taken effect.


Download: Gmail Classic Theme (Free)

Andrew Powell’s Gmail Classic Theme (Mozilla Firefox and Opera)

A screenshot of Andrew Powell's Classic Gmail theme

The biggest advantage of Powell’s open-source code is that you can use it on other browsers too and go back to the old Gmail look. While no direct instructions for Safari, Edge, or Internet Explorer exist, Firefox and Opera users can alter the CSS with the Stylus extension that lets you tweak userstyles.

Simply follow the steps below to get the old Gmail running on your browser:

  1. Download and install Stylus for Firefox or Opera.
  2. On your browser’s toolbar, press the Stylus button.
  3. Press the Manage button.
  4. Under Filters, press Write new style.
  5. At the top, you’ll see Enter a name in a red textbox. Type in Gmail Classic.
  6. To the right, you’ll see an area called Code 1. You’ll copy the code from gmail.css.
  7. Click line 1 and hold down the Shift key. While holding the Shift key, scroll down to line 568 and click again to select the rest.
  8. Three dots will appear in a box next to line 1. Click it and press Copy line. You can also copy using your typical keyboard shortcuts.
  9. Return to the Code 1 text area and paste the gmail.css contents.
  10. Beneath the text area, press the + button next to Applies to Everything.
  11. In the drop-down menu, select URLs on the domain.
  12. Enter in the text box.
  13. In the top left, press Save.
  14. Try using your classic Gmail view!

Unlike the Google Chrome extensions, your Gmail shouldn’t require any potential refreshes. If you need to disable the style later, press the Stylus button and click the Turn all styles off checkbox. If you have more than one style on Stylus, you can select Manage and manually uncheck the Gmail Classic style.

How to Go Back to Classic Gmail Without Extensions

If you don’t want to use extensions, you can tweak the new Gmail interface to resemble the old Gmail. As a manual workaround, it serves as a trade-off for those with too many add-ons already.

Change Display Density

One of the biggest reoccurring complaints about the new Gmail interface involves email spacing. If you’re dealing with many emails at a time, you can remove excess spacing to keep more emails on screen.

A screenshot of Gmail's display density views

To change the spacing of Gmail’s new interface, do the following:

  1. Open in any browser.
  2. Click the gear icon in the upper-right corner.
  3. Select Display density.
  4. Choose Comfortable or Compact.
  5. Click OK.

Disable Hover Actions

A screenshot of Gmail's setting options

To save screen space, you can disable archive, delete, mark as read, and snooze commands when hovering over emails. You can turn this option on or off via Gmail’s settings:

  1. Open in any browser.
  2. Click the gear icon in the upper-right corner.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Under the General tab, scroll down to Hover actions.
  5. Choose Disable hover actions.
  6. Scroll down and click Save Changes.
  7. Gmail will reload, and the commands will disappear.

After the two changes, you can see a decent space difference. If you still have reservations, you might also want to consider fixing common Gmail annoyances with free extensions and apps Fix Common Gmail Annoyances With These 5 Free Chrome Extensions and Apps Gmail hasn't fixed several common annoyances and mistakes. These tools can fill the gaps and improve your email experience. Read More .

Going Back to Old Gmail: Is It Worth It?

Whether you prefer classic Gmail or the new interface, these options allow you to adjust and try different visual styles. Rather than choose one option, consider these extensions and tweaks for the kind of work you do in your inbox. While Google clearly felt its old Gmail variant had to go, nothing truly leaves the internet forever.

If you want options to improve your Gmail experience, make sure you’re using these powerful new Gmail features right now 5 Powerful New Gmail Features You Need to Start Using Right Now These new Gmail features from the Gmail redesign will help you manage your email better, faster, and with less hassle. Read More .

Related topics: Email Tips, Gmail.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. dan
    March 19, 2019 at 8:51 am

    There is a way to switch back, if you can disable javascript in your browser, and then access gmail, it will force you back to the old html Classic version, and there will be an option button to select to make that your default preference.

  2. rick~
    November 17, 2018 at 8:47 am

    HATE new interface...
    & that i can't go back ?_?

  3. rick
    November 17, 2018 at 8:46 am

    HATE new interace...
    & that i can't go back ?_?

  4. rick
    November 17, 2018 at 8:45 am

    can't switch back! ?_?

  5. carmen
    November 16, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    also I hate this new interface
    is so complicated
    they should change it back

  6. Lori
    November 16, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    I go to settings and there is no "Go Back to Classic Gmail".
    Is it located somewhere else?

    • Dan
      March 19, 2019 at 8:49 am

      If you disable javascript in your browser, and then go to gmail, it will force you to go back to the old Classic version and there will be an option button to make it your default setting.

      • Robert Crombie
        September 17, 2019 at 1:59 am

        Great tip.
        It switched me to 'Basic HTML' view which is great, and I clicked the button to make that my default.
        For others, I had to use FF's about:config to disable Javascript
        I re-enabled JS after making Basic HTML the default.
        I was a senior analyst in IT for 20 years.
        I found that our programmers (and even great programmers) generally are not great analysts.
        I suspect that MS and Google, got rid of their analysts years ago, and are allowing programmers to dream up (and implement) all sorts of crap.

  7. GmailHater
    November 8, 2018 at 9:25 am

    "Part of it simply comes down to an aversion to change. No matter what the changes may entail, there will always be a group of people that understandably prefer to stick with the older version"

    Or maybe, people just want the most basic part of their internet surfing, namely, checking your email, to be simple and load fast. I guess people earning 6 figures at these tech giants feel constant need to justify their income.

  8. Al
    November 2, 2018 at 2:18 am

    You can no longer switch back
    The new design is not a great improvement I would prefer the choice to to back

    • Lori
      November 16, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      I hate this look. It changed a few months ago and I was able to change it back but now I can't.

  9. Timo Pietilä
    October 26, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Sleek and cleaner? What drugs are you taking? The old one was sleek and clean - this is anything but.

  10. youkiddingme
    October 21, 2018 at 1:34 am

    Sleek? Is that what we're calling the Comic Sans of interfaces?

    Cleaner? What does that even mean?

    It's puffy, like a dead thing in the sun.


    • Harley
      November 15, 2018 at 3:27 pm

      It looks like shit now, looks like it was designed with 13 year olds in mind.

      +1 for the comic sans reference, spot on mate.

      Piss take.

  11. Ghica
    October 17, 2018 at 12:51 am

    It worked for a while. Not anymore. No option to switch back to classic view.

  12. russ
    October 15, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    The new layout is terrible, slow loading looks like something from preschool non functional, take note google its SHIT......., at least give us the option to turn back to normal gmail otherwise im leaving gmail for good along with all out business emails

  13. James M
    October 14, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Your solution for going back to "classic Gmail" apparently doesn't work. When you go to "settings" in the upper right hand corner under the icon, "go back to classic Gmail" is no longer a choice...Can't be done that way....perhaps it could a couple of months ago.

    Does anyone know how to change back to classic gmail as of 10/14/2018? Thank you.

    • Louis Drapeau
      October 15, 2018 at 1:05 pm

      No, it's not possible, Google rules, you better get use to it!

  14. Ron
    October 8, 2018 at 9:42 am

    This information is out of date Google have disabled the area of settings it relates to.

  15. Maureen Brunt
    October 5, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    I don't want this rubbish I just want to change back to original

  16. Matrix
    October 4, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Im finding it to be visually Sucky and super slow to load pages and do anything. Hard to follow with all the new "flashy" page enhancements. They really messed up on this one. I already hate most of who Google is, this pretty much sealed the deal.

  17. Jason
    October 3, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    I cannot go back to the old gmail, which was WAY BETTER! The new version was clearly designed for 6-year-olds learning to read. It is very difficult to read kiddie font all day long while working. Google screwed the pooch on this one!

      October 3, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      This. It new UI hurts my eyes.

  18. Paula Zentz
    October 2, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    The new format hurts my eyes and as I spend alot of time for work in my email program, I can't use this blurry bold format as it leads to migraines for me. I have searched for the switch back to classic and there is no option. What other email programs are recommended to use in place of gmail?

    • Deb C
      October 3, 2018 at 2:27 am

      Paula, if you don't find a new mail program to use, try some of the suggestions I posted a few comments below, especially the one for collapsing the left column. Good luck.

  19. Ron
    October 2, 2018 at 2:09 am

    I can sort of live with the new format, but why has functionality I use all the time been simply removed? You used to be able to hover over the sender's name and a menu would come up including "emails" Selecting this would display messages only from that sender, making it easy to do bulk deletes from sites that regularly send stuff, eventually filling up your inbox.

    This function has now been removed.

    • Elaine
      October 3, 2018 at 9:50 am

      I agree Ron. It was such a useful function. I sometimes wanted to check an email that someone else had sent but did not want to trawl through pages looking for it. This was so quick to do - why delete that option? Really maddening.
      I would prefer to go back to the old Gmail but that doesn't seem possible any more.

    • John
      October 9, 2018 at 2:30 pm

      Same here! They removed something super useful change and instead added stuff I don't need

  20. Barsa Ray
    October 1, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    My settings doesn't have the option to go back to Classic! What do I do?


    • Danny
      October 1, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      The option was there up until about a week ago. Google appears to have taken away the option.

      I'm curious if anyone else is finding the new format to be visually fuzzy, like my glasses for astigmatism are not on. No other sites or programs on my computers appear that way, but the text is unable to focus regardless of resolution, zoom, etc. Has been the main reason I keep reverting back to the old version after trying the new one out. Quite sad to no longer have that option.

      • Maureen
        October 2, 2018 at 6:01 pm

        yes, I keep readjusting the settings, with different fonts, backgrounds, overall all just seems off.

      • Karen
        October 8, 2018 at 12:13 am

        Yes, I have older eyes with multiple problems and this new format is not a bit comfortable. The option to switch back was removed before we were automatically switched over so I don't know why they claimed they would offer that option. I tried out the new format about a month ago, didn't like it, switched back with no problem. Now I have been "updated" and the option to switch back is gone. Shame on you Google!!!

    • George
      October 11, 2018 at 12:03 am

      Why don't I have the button to "Go back to classic Gmail"???

  21. lakawak
    September 30, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    For me, it has nothing to do with just not liking change. IT is the fact that like everything else, it appears to be designed for mobile devices with the butt ugly design that site designers smartly moves away with 15-20 years ago.

  22. Deb C
    September 30, 2018 at 2:59 am

    If you don't want to leave gmail then you can try one or all of these, I recommend all:
    *Go to Themes and change it to High Contrast.

    *Go to Settings, chose "Normal" text size and "Compact" view.

    *Click on the 3 stacked lines in the upper left corner of the page. The left column will collapse, making the mail subject/preview lines longer. I actually really like this option. better because it makes the mail list lines longer.

    * This is a "maybe" to try, if you have an extension that changes text size, decrease text size to 90%.

    If you are really bugged still by all the BOLD text, select "ALL" in the inbox and chose "Mark As Read". Bold text is gone. Uncheck the "All" box. Beware though, now you won't know which emails are new. It's a trade off.

    clicking on the 3 stacked lines in the upper left corner of the page will collapse the left column. I like this look better because it makes the mail list lines longer, more of the "snippet" shows. More snippets, which are in regular text, makes the bold text of the title less annoying.

    • Michael Leddy
      October 3, 2018 at 2:04 am

      The suggestion to collapse the left column is esp. helpful. Thanks!

    • Rosa
      November 14, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      I'm going to try some of your suggestions. I HATE that I cannot go back to classic gmail. Ugh. I was using it up until yesterday. So disappointed. :/ Thank you for the tips!

  23. Wil Henderson
    September 29, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Did the author of this article actually try to DO this before you wrote it? Thought maybe it was just me that couldnt find "Go Back To Classic Gmail" but after reading thru the comments

    But hey... it got him/her some hits for the website huh?

    I will now MAKE US OF the list I have of totally useless sites and add this one to it

    • Leslie Garnier
      September 29, 2018 at 11:21 pm

      I almost felt sorry for this website for requesting that I "whitelist" them from my Ad Blocker because they need the money to keep up their fantastic work. I'm glad I didn't do so -- this is a garbage article.

  24. Ryan
    September 29, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Select "Compact" view under "Settings > Display Density".

    This is AS CLOSE as you can get right now to what you're used to.

    • IHS
      October 1, 2018 at 1:05 am

      Thanks for that info!

  25. Austin
    September 29, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Doesn't work anymore. That's why I came to this article...

  26. Carol Sandiford
    September 29, 2018 at 8:23 am

    It isn't that people don't like change in their gmail. What they don't like is a service that ranges between very slow and not working at all. It appears to be not fit for purpose.

  27. Carole G. Moore
    September 29, 2018 at 12:20 am

    My settings do not have the option to "Go back to classic"...... what can I do? I hate the new one.

    • Mark
      September 29, 2018 at 1:52 am

      Get used to it because Google doesn't listen to the end-users. No matter how much you complain or how much other complain, they're going to do what they want to do. I HATE the new gmail design. I really do. I've been stalling the "update" as long as I could. I just logged in to check my email and behold, the new eyesore of a design that looks like something a sixth grader would do. Nowhere is there a way to revert anymore. I've been a Google user since when gmail accounts were invite only. Google is really beginning to piss me off with all their unwanted changes. They have no idea how to leave well enough alone. Someday, some company is going to offer a better service and google users will flock to it and maybe then google will begin listening to users.

      • Miriam
        September 30, 2018 at 8:22 am


      • Paula
        October 12, 2018 at 3:20 am

        Mark, that is exactly what I said in my [furious but clean] feedback after attempting the reversion we now all know doesn't work. Not that they care...
        But the day will come. As I also said, "When that happens, your users will defect in droves. I, a once-loyal user, will be one of them. You have yourselves to thank."

    • Maurice
      September 29, 2018 at 4:35 am

      Hope you're not a Republican as well, screwed twice then.

      • Paula
        October 12, 2018 at 3:54 am

        Oh, you're bad. But James Damore is an avowed liberal and they still – in the finest traditions of liberalism , cough – hung him out to dry...
        I extolled my twice-screwed status in my little thank-you/feedback msg to Google thus (I'm not at all that sure whoever reads it, if anyone in fact will, is capable of grasping the sarcasm, but oh well, I shot my little arrow of righteous spleen across the monolithic bow of SS Google) : "Thanks for the non-existent Go back to classic Gmail option that was supposed to be available until the 16th, and isn't. Great move for a company that worships the mantra of choice."

        That, and fifty cents, will make me feel so much better as I sit here frowning madly trying to focus on the blurry graphics & needlessly bolded text of Gmail, and hideously rounded layout of Chrome.

  28. Affableman
    September 29, 2018 at 12:10 am

    Sorry but this switch back doesn't work anymore!! So upset here!!!

  29. luis
    September 28, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    This is terrible. Embarrassing! It's time to drop gmail and go back to outlook.

    • Maurice
      September 29, 2018 at 4:36 am

      Yes, I never thought I'd be agreeing with someone, just hope Outlook doesn't have the same bias as well.

    • chris
      September 29, 2018 at 4:38 am

      And now there is no search engine box at the top, just search emails??? WTF

    • EarlD
      September 29, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      Check Protonmail. Very secure but the reason I use it is because they don't spy on you like how Google scans all your emails. In fact I'm pretty sure because of the way the encryption works with Proton that they don't even have access to your mailbox.

    • EarlD
      September 29, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      Did this a week ago and it said " you'll be switched to new gmail in 2 weeks". Didn't seem to have a choice about that. Figured I'd have to hit it again every 2 weeks. So yesterday it says "You have 1 week left before you're switched to the new gmail" or something like that. I had to choose between "upgrade now" or "in 1 week", clicked the 1 week. Today it's the slow, ugly, POS new gmail and I have no option to switch. So I guess to google 1 week means "whenever the F%^& we feel like forcing our crap down your throat"

      • Paula
        October 12, 2018 at 4:04 am

        Congratulations, Earl (and exactly right). You are now an expert in Googlespeak.

  30. Bonnie Kemper
    September 28, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    Nope. It doesn't have an option to go back to classic gmail. Had one yesterday because I did it

  31. FHC
    September 28, 2018 at 10:10 pm



  32. Magda
    September 28, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Dude if I had go back to old interface button, I would. I do not have a button like that. I think they just went postal on my account. What a biatch man!!!

  33. Denis Mainville
    September 28, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    yeah not liking it, just a blur of black and white, hard time making sense of stuff

  34. Denis Mainville
    September 28, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    yeah, not pleased

  35. cheri
    September 28, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    As of today, (9/28/18) the option to switch back to classic seems to have been removed. What is bothering me is that every place you mouseover jumps to the forefront. That bothers me on a high distractability level. It makes me feel anxius. All these other changes are great, but I'd love the option to stop the animation on the screen.

    • Susie
      October 1, 2018 at 12:28 am

      You can change this in the settings. Settings --> General --> Hover actions --> Disable

  36. Gabor
    September 28, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    You have 50 or so writers and 50 writers cannot check an accurate information?
    Thanks, but my adblocker stays. I shit better than you write articles.

  37. Richie
    September 28, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    This option does not exist any longer. Please delete/take down this ad-whore page.

  38. Jordan
    September 28, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    I'm partially colorblind and this new version is both a retrench of an earlier horrible version and extremely difficult for me to see. If I had a realistic way of changing my email account or the way I view emails, I would. This is really terrible.

    And, no, I am not averse to change. I'm averse to change for the worse.

  39. R. W. Russell
    September 28, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    This web page's much needed advice is apparently obsolete. The Classic option is now gone (late September 2018). Okay, webmaster, what now?

  40. anon
    September 28, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    now that the button is gone, i guess we'll have to wait for an extension

  41. Delving
    September 28, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Gmail SUCKS. Google BLOWS. Bring back CLASSIC gmail, Aholes!!
    btw, The new format has NO option to check Unread emails (in order to delete them in one batch). Now you have to check each one. Effing waste of time.
    EFFING Google sucks effing balls.

  42. john galloway
    September 28, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Except the option has now disappeared. Well done Googlista Mafia.

  43. G Devine
    September 28, 2018 at 6:27 am

    Though the fact that they're calling it "Classic Gmail" does give me hope that this is nothing but a New Coke Gambit intended to drum up business (not that E-Corp needs to drum up business)

  44. G Devine
    September 28, 2018 at 6:26 am

    There IS NO "Go black to Classic Gmail" in the settings menu

  45. Deb C
    September 28, 2018 at 3:41 am

    I am annoyed as well. The "new" gmail optics are hard to read, IMO. Too much bold text. The best I could do to make it readable was to go to
    Themes and change it to High Contrast.

    In Settings, I chose "normal" text size and "Compact" view.

    I have an extension on Chrome that will reduce or enlarge text, chose to decrease text size to 90%.
    To me, this made it a little more readable but still, the darn BOLD text was intrusive.

    My only solution is to select ALL in the inbox and chose "mark as read". Bold text was gone.

    I have to choose between the inconvenience of all mail being marked as read or the annoyance of the bold text. Until Google deems us worthy of a choice, I will have to go with marking it all read.

    • Deb C
      September 28, 2018 at 5:42 am

      Also, I just found clicking on the 3 stacked lines in the upper left corner of the page will collapse the left column. I like this look better because it makes the mail list lines longer, more of the "snippet" shows. More snippets, which are in regular text, makes the bold text of the title less annoying.

      • FYT
        September 29, 2018 at 5:43 pm

        Thank you thank you thank you
        This helps. Doesn't solve the crappy gmail problem but at least it looks more like the old gmail.

  46. Jim
    September 28, 2018 at 3:02 am

    Folks, the original article was published on May 1st. While I agree that the article is condescending, I doubt the author is reading your comments. People in think tanks are busy thinking, not living in the real world.

    Why the page is coming up in Google results as updated just a few hours ago today? No idea.

      September 28, 2018 at 11:16 pm


  47. RandomPoorPerson
    September 28, 2018 at 1:18 am

    This redesign is absolutely killing my browser and laptop. My connection is fairly slow, and I have an old laptop (and can't afford fancy new ones and a better connection). Now when I log in on Gmail, it takes at least twice as long to load and lags my entier browser; if I had a Youtube video open in another tab, it'll freeze, etc. and my laptop is constantly at the verge of overheating if I have the Gmail tab open... it also doesn't want to close, and after closing, my laptop goes CRAZY with the humming noise and heating and won't stop.

    This is absolutely unfair to people who can't afford new fancy computers or smartphones, or a fast internet connection... I complained using the "submit feedback" and hope everyone else does the same. They have to bring back the old design, if enough people complain.

    • Jim
      September 28, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      Switch to HTML for slow connections. It looks like classic GMAIL

      • Nick
        October 4, 2018 at 6:14 am

        That works except the text is blue on the page. Any way to change that to black?

  48. Bill
    September 28, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Doesn't work anymore...please delete this page so it doesn't come up in search results.

  49. Saul
    September 28, 2018 at 12:15 am

    "...for the time being, you can keep things just the way they are."

    Until Sept 26 2018, where the option disappeared entirely.

  50. smith
    September 27, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    except this option has now been REMOVED by the idiots at google. I have mild dyslexia and had no issues reading my emails expect maybe odd sentance i need to read two or three times.

    NOW i cant read anything, it gives me eye strain.. they messed up the chrome app on andoird with too much white, now they did it to gmail. its DISGUSTING

    • James Wright
      September 28, 2018 at 12:20 am

      Yeah the "idiots" @ google about sums it up. Now I have to find a new email provider. Some how I am still wondering what the real reason was for switching our email on us other than just another way to let us all know how much they dispise us all.

    • FYT
      September 29, 2018 at 5:45 pm

      I agree with you Way too much white. The ability to see a bunch of emails at one time is really important to my work so I like to see what looks like a list so I know what to read. This "happy" design stinks.

    • Paula
      October 12, 2018 at 7:34 am

      Smith, I have a TBI from an auto accident some years ago. I suffered from bad vertigo, visual disturbances & processing difficulties for years. The vertigo is mostly gone (the other issues not), but some things, blurry and/or badly-rendered graphics and interfaces chief among them, still trigger episodes. Want to guess what trigger now tops that list? But hey, it's only something minor. Like my three e-mail accounts and the browser I use daily for hours of historic and linguistic research...

      Obviously this company which blows so much hot air about accessibility, diversity, opportunity for the under-served, the disabled etc. (I consider myself differently-abled, not "dis-abled, but unf. that is how many people view others who live with beyond-average physical and/or mental challenges) either did zero research on the impact its "marvelous" new upgrades to Gmail & Chrome would have on those of us who live with such challenges, or else they don't give a rat's rump. Just this past August, the public were assured that "most of Google's accessibility efforts center on making all its digital products work better for people with disabilities".* Well, one would hope so...but the hype and the results don't match up.

      Google, where was your vaunted Accessibility Team when Gmail and Chrome's "great new look" was designed, then rolled out? Were they by-passed, or was their input ignored? Or does the corporate vision of ADA compliance only include some disabilities? Because if so, that ain't sayin' much for your idea of inclusiveness, folks. Either way, the outcome is this: Google, you are all talk and no walk. Your great new roll-out is FLAT-OUT DISCRIMINATORY to people who have certain physical, neurological or processing challenges. Lastly, the comments on this page being but a small sampling of more widespread user response, there is one thing about the new look that _is_ quite clear: it is a total FAIL.


  51. JP
    September 27, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    Yes, seriously, everybody needs to flood gmail with their complaints. There is a send feedback option under settings. Only takes a second. I had chosen the Go back to classic Gmail option, until today when it reverted back and the option is no longer available. This sucks and I totally hate it. Hope everybody will let Google know how they feel.

    • smith
      September 27, 2018 at 9:08 pm

      thats the first thing i did when it forced it on me, cant even read any emails without getting angry and eye strain

  52. Darkbreeze
    September 27, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    This feature, to go back to Classic inbox, is no longer available as of 9-27-18. So it's the loss of another incremental block on the road to reconstructing things we like, into things we don't like, with zero choice in the matter.

  53. Jasmina
    September 27, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    I hate new design, and there is no option to use the old one. This is SHIT!!!

  54. Donna
    September 27, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Not only is this article incorrect. It's condescending and obnoxious. So how do I get rid of this terrible design?

  55. Erin Downs
    September 27, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    I dont have the Go back to classic Gmail in my settings? I am on a Surface Pro. My husband has Mac and he still has that feature.. any advise?

  56. Dawn
    September 27, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Everyone needs to send feedback to Google instead of commenting on a webpage that they're never going to see. Flood them with complaints of the new interface

    • Mary
      September 29, 2018 at 1:52 am

      I've just done that. Hopefully everyone here will too!

  57. Kevin
    September 27, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    My calendar used to be a widget in the sidebar (MUCH more convenient than having to click on the icon which overlaps the page after a delay). I used to have multiple inboxes to have groups of labeled messages handy on one page (Feature now gone). I used to be able to read more than 3.4 subject lines without scrolling but apparently we need a mile wide desert of whitespace between each line. This UI SUCKS!

  58. Michelle Geschwind
    September 27, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    I submitted to Google my concerns/dislikes/complaints about the new Gmail when they first put it out and then reverted back to the old when that option was available last month. And I did it again today when I saw that you can no longer revert back to the old version. Agree this is not easy to work with and is very hard on the eyes. Not that it may change anything but I would encourage everyone to send concerns/dislikes/complaints to Google....found under settings and feedback

  59. Arturo Lopez Casas
    September 27, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    "Go back to classic Gmail" DOES NOT EXIST! Google thought their new version should be mandatory and they did remove it. But.....
    Being a tyrant dictator who imposes to others what he thinks or believes has never been a good option. One of the many mistakes of being like that is that you make people feel bad with you and you force them to leave you. There are other email choices. Google is NOT always right and in fact they make a lot of mistakes. Gmail is one of them. They really did it this time, I'm leaving them and let them do whatever they want with their slaves.

    • Paul
      September 27, 2018 at 5:38 pm

      I agree....I liked the old gmail, the new one sucks!!!

  60. vee
    September 27, 2018 at 5:19 am

    There isn't an option for that anymore.
    Ergo this article is not helpful any longer.
    And google doesn't care about their users because at least half the people I know who actually use their email daily hate the new design and the "bold" look for all the inboxes. They should have just given all their users an option.

    • Kathy Adams
      September 27, 2018 at 10:43 am

      SO so agree.

    • Paul
      September 27, 2018 at 5:39 pm

      I agree...hate the new design!!

  61. Laurence Marks
    September 27, 2018 at 4:45 am

    Your article is quite misleading. Disliking the new design has nothing to do with your condescending comment "aversion to change".

    The central problem with the redesign is that it is considerably harder to read. You only show a very simple page with Gmail's categories (which probably very few use). Most serious users have dozens of folders and subfolders, and don't care about forums etc (which are normally misidentified in any case). From a functional work viewpoint the redesign is shockingly bad. I am sure Apple is quietly laughing, as are competitors such as Outlook. Google is strengthening Microsoft's clunky Outlook by this mistake.

    • Kathy Adams
      September 27, 2018 at 10:44 am

      Agree, again!!

    • Paul
      September 27, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      I totally agree..the new look is terrible and hard to work with!

  62. Dean
    September 27, 2018 at 4:01 am

    Searching for updated article as this option is now obsolete.

  63. Kathy
    September 26, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    There is classic email setting. I'd go back in a heartbeat. HATE this new look. Why do they insist on 'fixing' something that isn't broken?

    • shadia
      September 27, 2018 at 2:12 am

      I hate this %&?¿@#¢ new gmail format with a passion. I am a senior and need to know if something works well and is not broken WHY IN HELL FIX IT!!!!! Where is the settings on this miserable format?

  64. Bobby Boucher
    September 26, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    There is no "Go Back to Classic" anywhere!

    • SJD
      September 27, 2018 at 2:38 am

      Amen, Bobby. I just noticed the same thing. Google apparently has decided to eliminate the option of "classic." The advice in this article is now out of date.

  65. mcbarker
    September 26, 2018 at 4:23 am

    I hate this new UI. My eyes aren't what they used to be, and this interface is difficult to see. It seems that Google is turning into Microsoft...

    "We know what's best for you, so grin and bear it... Besides, you don't have a choice - we removed that option".

    Actually, I can't change ANY of my Google settings anymore. The "Save Changes" button is grayed out.

  66. Diego
    September 25, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    On the same train, the new design is horrible. What were they thinking.

    • Paula
      October 12, 2018 at 7:47 am

      "Thinking"? Diego, that's being way overgenerous.

  67. SO
    September 25, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    This is terrible. I can't go back to the classic format. Read through the other solutions and sadly none of them can return my gmail back to normal.

  68. Eo
    September 25, 2018 at 11:33 am

    I went to "Settings" as instructed. Looked everywhere, but there is no "return to classic gmail" option. Now what do I do?

    • merchant
      September 25, 2018 at 8:12 pm

      They disabled it.

  69. Margie
    September 21, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Where on the Settings page do I find "Go back to classic Gmail."?

    Upper left? Upper Right? Lower Left or Right?


  70. Marie
    September 21, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Having a design degree, I can say that the update is horrible and visually difficult. I especially dislike the new way of indicating attachments. It wastes space and is hard to see, as does the general layout. I am returning to the old version and hope that it continues to be an option.

    Seeing as though it's just email, it doesn't need to be cutting edge or trendy. Just keep it the way it was!

  71. John Kay
    September 20, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    This new UI is AWFUL. I love new UI so it isn't that it just looks low budget and untidy.

  72. Teresa
    September 20, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Thank you, I dislike the new update of September 2018, its so hard to see. I tried it for a week and its horrible. Not a good update.

      September 28, 2018 at 2:31 am

      I hate this new design! I've been able to go back in the past, but not now. There has to be a way to change this. It bothers my eyes and it's very busy. I guess I have to find something else.

  73. John
    September 12, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    What Settings button? I use Firefox. There's no settings button. Gmail gives me no option to go back to the established design (about which no-one was complaining, by the way).

    The mystery about Google is, they are supposed to be state of the art cutting edge clever whizzes, but no-one has taken them aside and told them "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". They seem to have done no market research to find out how the end user would respond to this stupid, clunky , space-wasting design and its pointless spoon-fed replies. ('Cos we need the Googloids to think for us). If they had done that, they would have found how unpopular it was. Or maybe they did, but decided Henry Ford-Stalin style "You're gonna have it anyways guys, 'cos we know what's best for you better than you do."

    Google were the good guys against the Microsoft baddies till about 2007, when they launched the poxy Google toolbar that tricked users into installing it, only to find they couldn't uninstall it as it buried itself deep into the registry. They also launched their snoopy Street View camera vehicle program around that time, and shortly after got tangled up with China. According to Planet Google by Prof Randall Stross, 2007 was also the year they had stopped hiring just engineers and started taking on MBAs (to the distress of many staff in the canteen). Stross had to really badger the secretive Google for over 2 years to let him onto their campus. 2007 (or maybe 2006) was the year that Google turned into slavering corporate behemoths monetising everything in sight. Now we are 12 years down the road and the little user counts for nothing - especially the unpaying user.

  74. Margherita A. Flaherty
    September 2, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    I can't stand the new format. It is not helpful, very difficult to navigate. Please help me return to the old format.

  75. Margherita A. Flaherty
    September 2, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    How do I return to the traditional format for gmail? Directions were not provided.

  76. Ann Marie
    August 28, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    THANK YOU!!! I'm not shouting I'm just really really happy as I cannot stand the new format. I don't mind change so long as it doesn't hurt my eyes! Yowza. I am back to classic gmail, thank you so much.

  77. JuJuBees
    August 27, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    The new design is atrocious. It popped up out of nowhere like a monster in a horror movie and wreaked havoc on my eyes and efficiency.

    I love change if it's for the better. This new design is clunky and hideous.

    Back on classic gmail and all is well.

  78. Yvonne
    August 25, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Great. New GMAIL won't load on my work computer so can't check my emails during the day. Thanks Gmail : /

  79. Judy
    August 24, 2018 at 3:21 am

    Thank you so much. I couldn't find anything and the appearance was too hard for me to make a distinction between areas. I am so grateful to have the old format back.

  80. Pissed Off Paul
    August 23, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    I tried several times to switch back, it goes through the motions and when the screen loads I still on the "New" Gmail. BTW, I was on the Classic yesterday then today it came up on the new format on its own.

  81. BF McCune
    August 23, 2018 at 2:19 am

    There is no setting that says "classic." This is typical of every "improvement" to a software I've ever seen. Nothing works the way it's supposed to.

  82. Keith
    August 22, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Thank goodness there is still an option to go back to the old Gmail interface. The new one is ugly - cluttered, confusing, lots of useless junk, and way too much bold text. Whatever happened to simplicity? As in most software"' upgrades, over 90% of the changes are useless to me and utterly unnecessary.

  83. Mal Mc Donald
    August 21, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    T hank you for this very useful tip.
    (Why to programmers feel they have to "tweak" a working sytem?)

  84. Daniel F.
    August 21, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Thanks a bunch! I don't like the new look at all. It takes longer to load and just feels weird because of how comfortable I am with the original design. I just hope they always let this be an option, to still be able to use the older design.

    • Mal Mc Donald
      August 21, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      Hi Daniel,
      For info.... apparently if you click the Settings button.
      Then select Display density = Compact., the result is at least similatrto the old interface which we all like.
      (Just for future reference, if Google take away the option to use the old interface).

      • Nick Martin
        October 4, 2018 at 6:20 am

        That helped.

  85. Su
    August 20, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Thank you for the help of getting back to the previous look.
    I also felt lost in the new look.

  86. Thomas kk
    August 20, 2018 at 12:53 am

    the level of condescension in this article is rather large. The assumption is that this new format is the new benchmark of ''good practice''. Furthermore; that it is better. I fundamentally disagree.

    My inbox is a tool. I have learnt to craft my tool to suit my needs. Google has deemed it suitable to re-craft my tool to suit ??'s needs. I want a tool that meets my efficiency targets, not a tool that attends to an external set of priorities.

    In short, the redesign sucks - philosophically; technically (it is SOOO slow); and visually. On this last point, a screen space is a haptic space. A visual haptic, but nonetheless somatically driven and orientated. The redesign clearly arose from a bunch of male tech fundamentalists who have not encountered a rose garden in a while. I hope they find one soon. regards, Thomas

    • Court
      August 24, 2018 at 2:52 am

      Very well written Thomas...totally agree.

  87. Pam J
    August 17, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    Thank you so much!!!

  88. Jeanette Hanscome
    August 13, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Thank you so much for this helpful post! I am visually impaired and don't see in color, so I have a hard time adjusting when the look of something changes. The new Gmail did not cooperate with the high contrast setting on my computer (I noticed that it HAD a high contrast theme, but many of the buttons didn't show up.) I just switched back to Classic Gmail and my day is saved.

  89. Philip Tingley
    June 27, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    Not averse to good change, I am in IT. Yes as someone commented an email client is usually a much better route to go; however, sometimes you can't use that or just not worth the extra hassle.

    That being said I have found the new interface to operate much slower than the "Classic" interface. Tried it, think it is too cumbersome at this point, switching back. Maybe in another year if they streamline it. Hopefully they won't ditch the "classic" interface anytime soon and just leave it as an option.

    Besides slower response other main issue happened several times trying to open an email - get a message stating that the conversation can't be loaded...Worked on the "classic" version.

  90. BAS
    June 23, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    I don't hate the redesign, but all of my diligently saved and organized older emails that were put in folders in the old version have disappeared in the new version. Where did they go? How do I get them back. This won't work if I can't access these older emails.

  91. SJ
    June 7, 2018 at 9:03 am

    THANK YOU!!! for the help in going back to Classic Gmail.
    *I wasn't given the option of NOT having it!*

  92. Maya Ray Chaudhry
    May 30, 2018 at 9:32 am

    I am lost, can't find my Task folder which is more important than even the mails. Please can you switch me back to the original version.


  93. LisaMV
    May 13, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!
    I thought all was lost, after going round & round & round with no success...

  94. infmom
    May 1, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Just use an email client. Much more efficient and you're insulated against stupid random changes to Gmail.

    I personally stick with Eudora even though it hasn't been supported for a long time. It's still the best I've found. Thunderbird is more up to date and also works well.

  95. SnowFlake816
    May 1, 2018 at 11:53 am

    So glad I'm not the only one who hates the new Gmail

    • Miroslav
      May 29, 2018 at 11:06 pm

      Not only hate - I cannot back to Classic - THERE IS NO OPTION IN TOOLS !!

      • Kumbi Chiweshe
        July 17, 2018 at 11:50 am

        Me too - I don't have a settings button and now cannot change my email signature :((((((((