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All About Gmail | Latest Versions | FAQs | Tips

Google's Gmail is the go-to email service for millions.

Apps in this Guide

Gmail is Google's free webmail service, accessible through a mobile app as well as a browser. Users get 15GB of space for free, and the service is tightly integrated with Google Drive, Google Docs,more

Gmail is Google's free webmail service, accessible through a mobile app as well as a browser. Users get 15GB of space for free, and the service is tightly integrated with Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Calendar. Let's tell you all about it and show you some alternatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Google read my Gmail messages?
Google employs artificial intelligence to scan your emails for keywords, which it uses to create targeted display ads within the Gmail interface. (Business customers do not get advertisements). Someone in law enforcement with a search warrant may also be able to view the content of your Gmail account without your knowledge. If you want your email to be truly private, you need to use an encryption system such as Gpg4win for Windows users, or GPG Suite for Mac. GPG is a little more difficult to set up on mobile devices; for confidential email, users may want to consider a different email service altogether, such as ProtonMail.
Is there a Windows version of Gmail?
Gmail does not have a standalone desktop client. Instead, Windows and Mac users access Gmail from a web browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox:
Are there any Gmail settings that you would recommend enabling or disabling?
For desktop users, Gmail has a number of settings on the Labs tab that are worth checking out. When logged into Gmail click the gear icon in the upper right, choose Settings, and click the Labs tab. You will see a list of features that Google is experimenting with listed in alphabetical order. The Mark as Read Button can save you a lot of clicks over the course of the day, for example. If you prefer to put your Hangouts chat element on the right-hand side of your inbox, enable Right-Side Chat. When you're done making your selections, scroll down to the bottom, click the Save Changes button, and Gmail will reload with your Labs feature enabled. For Android users, tap the hamburger icon in the upper left corner of the app, scroll all the way down, and tap Settings. The General Settings section will affect all of your Gmail accounts, or you can tap a specific Gmail-associated email address to make changes that will affect only the email for that address. On the settings page for your specific account, you'll need to create a signature if you use one in the desktop version of Gmail; signatures don't carry over automatically. If you are looking for a useful setting, we recommend enabling "Confirm before sending." The iOS version does not have a General Settings section. Instead, open your iOS Settings app, scroll down to Gmail, and tap it to access Gmail's general settings.

Recommended Alternatives to Gmail

Inbox by Gmail

Inbox by Gmail

Inbox by Gmail is a more experimental take on managing your emails. The app attempts to automatically collect your incoming messages according to detected topics; integrate Google Calendar right into the interface; and employ a Save to Inbox feature where Google Chrome can send website links to your Gmail account in one click, rather than you manually emailing yourself those links.



While Gmail does a good job of protecting your privacy, it does scan your email to display relevant ads. (Google goes out of its way to tell you no human besides you is reading your email, however.) But if the thought of your email being automatically scanned makes you nervous, check out an email service like ProtonMail, which keeps your email encrypted end to end -- from you, to its servers, to your recipient.

Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook

But if you require something sophisticated, there's always Microsoft Outlook. (Outlook Express has become Windows Mail.) Outlook is available as a part of Microsoft Office Home & Business 2016 for $230, by itself for $110, or as a part of an Office 365 subscription (Windows, Mac) that starts at $7 a month or $70 a year.