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Getting Started with Gmail

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Getting Started with Gmail

Welcome to Gmail – a new approach to email from Google. This guide will introduce you to many of Gmail's features, most of which are not offered by other webmail services. 

A new view of your inbox

The old way
When you read a message, you have to rely on your memory to recall what was said in previous emails about the same subject.

The Gmail way
Each message you send is grouped with all the responses you receive.

Grouping related messages creates meaningful 'conversations.' When you open a message in a conversation, all of your messages will be stacked neatly on top of each other, like a deck of cards. We call this 'Conversation View.' As new replies arrive, your stack of cards grows. Grouping messages this way allows you to quickly retrieve related messages and view all your messages in context.


A more flexible filing system 
The old way
You create an elaborate filing system of folders and subfolders, then decide where to file a single message.

The Gmail way
Instead of folders, Gmail uses labels to give you the functionality of folders, but with more flexibility. In Gmail, a single conversation can have several labels, so you're not forced to choose one particular folder for each message you receive. That way, if a conversation covers more than one topic, you can retrieve it with any of the labels that you've applied to it. And, of course, you can always search for it.

Don't waste time deleting messages

The old way
You have to delete messages on a regular basis so that you don't run out of storage space.

The Gmail way
With more than 2,500 megabytes of storage, the typical user can go for years without deleting a single message.

You never know when you might need a message again, but with traditional webmail services, you delete it and it's gone forever. With Gmail, you can easily archive your messages instead, so they'll still be accessible when you need them. If you decide you no longer want a message in your Inbox, just hit the 'Archive' button and the message will still be available in 'All Mail' or through a search.

2,500 megabytes

An easy way to see all your messages at once

The old way
You only have a few options for managing messages: file them, delete them, print them, or leave them in your Inbox.

The Gmail way
Gmail simplifies this process by placing your messages in 'All Mail' when you use the archive function.

'All Mail' is the holding place for all of the messages you've sent or received, but not deleted. When you delete a message, it's gone forever. With Gmail, you have enough storage space to last for years without deleting a single message. Just archive everything and all your messages will be searchable and easily accessible.

all mail

Search that actually works

The old way
You dig through your folders or search, but still can't find messages that you know are in your email.

The Gmail way
You have a variety of search options that return speedy, accurate results.

Gmail features built-in Google search, and as with Google's keyword-based web search, Gmail returns fast, accurate results. As long as you archive instead of delete, you'll be able to find any message you've ever sent or received. Having reliable search also eliminates the need to create elaborate folder structures. Now you can just stick a label (or two or three) on a conversation and search by label, keyword, date range or a host of other options.


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