Geek Den

10 Unknown Gmail Features

10 Unknown Gmail Features

Lets admit it, most people checked gmail out only because of the whole gigabyte space feature. But gmail is about other things too, infact it has revolutionized web-based email and here are 10 reasons why

1. Undo Send

Undo Send



Ever clicked the send button only to regret later? The “Undo Send” feature might save you a few blushes. When enabled, it holds the email for 5 seconds before it is eventually dispatched, giving you enough time for an “oh shit!” awakening.


How to enable:


Go to “Settings” in the top right, then “Labs”, scroll down and enable “Undo Send” by Yuzo F.

2. Getting Rid of On Behalf Of

Getting Rid of On Behalf Of

Many of us get that meek sidekick feeling at office when our authoritative sounding emails are sent with a humble “on behalf of” indication. The culprits behind this annoyance are the email clients like Outlook. Gmail allows you to send emails from a custom “From:” but the original sender is always included in the message header for protocol compliance and to avoid being marked as spam. However, many email clients pick this up from the header and add the “on behalf of” to the sender. Gmail has now solved this problem by routing the email through the custom email server, eliminating the need to add original sender information in the header and laying “on behalf of” to rest.


How to enable:


Go to “Settings” in the top right, then “Accounts and Imports”. In the “Send mail as” section, click on “edit info” and choose “Use your other email provider’s SMTP servers”.

3. Mail Goggles

Mail Goggles

To give you more time to contemplate rather than the drastic 5 seconds offered by “Undo Send”, “Mail Goggles” further tightens the noose around those drunken weekend escapades by asking you to solve some simple math problems before sending. This sanity verification feature is activated by default during weekend late nights but you can also adjust it to your liking.


How to enable:


Go to “Settings” in the top right, then “Labs”, scroll down and enable “Mail Goggles” by Jon P.

4. Multiple Inboxes

Multiple Inboxes

For label freaks who receive tons of emails, it still gets time consuming even with all the organization. The multiple inboxes feature gives you a quick view of the messages under different filters in separate panels.


How to enable:


Go to “Settings” in the top right, then “Labs”, scroll down and enable “Multiple Inboxes” by Vivi.

5. Email to Google Doc

Email to Google Doc

Trying to properly document an email conversation usually requires a lot of copy-paste labor. But now with Gmail, you can convert a conversation into a Google doc, ready for direct modification and sharing.


How to enable:


Go to “Settings” in the top right, then “Labs”, scroll down and enable “Create a Document” by Jeremie LE & David K.

6. Offline Attachments

Offline Attachments

For people under the morbid curse of the slow/unreliable internet, sending emails with attachments can become an epic struggle. Most bad connections like to kick the bucket as soon as the huge attachment has finally been uploaded. Now this problem can be resolved by using the Gmail outbox feature. Combined with gears, this feature enables Gmail to archive all your attachments which, in case of a connection failure, can be resent later.


How to enable:


Download Gears then go to “Settings” in the top right, then “Offline and “Enable Offline Mail for this Computer”. Offline attachments don’t work for inline images.

7. Got the wrong Bob?

Got the wrong Bob?

Sending some lewd videos to the wrong “Bob” can land you in a lot of trouble at office.  Gmail can now save your job by keeping an eye on the groups of people you email the most often. So if you usually send office gossip to a group of three co-conspirators, but accidentally add Fat Bob from HR instead of Bob the buddy, Gmail can warn you about this potentially fatal error.


How to Enable:


Go to “Settings” in the top right, then “Labs”, scroll down and enable “Got the wrong Bob?” by Assaf B.D. & Naty L.

8. Monitoring Account Activity

With a huge number of password stealing Trojans and Phishing scammers rampant on the internet, the chances of your inbox getting hijacked are brighter than ever. So if you happened to download a cool executable which didn’t do anything and after a while you started getting calls from your bank, it would be a good idea to check your account activity.


How to Monitor:


At the bottom of the inbox, you can see “Last account activity: …” in small print. Click on “Details” next to it and a new window will pop up with information about 10 most recent logins.

9. Alerts and Remote Sign out

Alerts and Remote Sign out

How often has it happened that you opened Gmail on a shared computer only to find out that the previous user had forgotten to sign out? This mistake has all the right ingredients to turn into a nightmare but you can still be saved by the “Remote Sign Out” feature (if you still remember that is). Gmail can also compare the different geographical locations you sign in from and alert you if the locations are widely separated and the sign ins happen in a short span of time, giving you an opportunity to make a dash for the password change before its too late.


How to Enable:


At the bottom of the inbox, you can see “Last account activity: …” in small print. Click on “Details” next to it and a new window will pop up. To sign out remotely, click on “Sign out all other sessions”. Then at the bottom, click on “change” next to”Alert preference: Show an alert for unusual activity” and enable it.

10. Location Signature

Location Signature

In addition to the regular name, Gmail can also add your location to the signature. The location is determined using IP Geolocation which is not always accurate. To increase the accuracy, you can use the Gears Geolocation API.


How to enable:

In Gmail, click on “Settings” on the top right. Then go to the “Labs” and then “Signature Preferences” and check “Append your location to the signature”.

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