Using Gmail is easy once you get the hang of it, but some basic tutorials will help you get off to a good start if you are new to the free email system.
Gmail’s simple and clean user interface and exceptional data capacity make it the choice of nearly a billion users. If you haven’t set up an account yet, read our previous article about how to create a Gmail account.
Reading and writing emails is fundamental to working in any email system, but there are some other processes that one needs to know. Take a look below to learn more about sending, receiving and managing your emails.
- Writing an Email
- Sending an Email to Multiple People
- Reading an Email
- Replying to an Email
- Forward an Email
- Deleting Emails
- Method 1: Delete an individual email
- Method 2: Delete an email or conversation from the list view
- Method 3: Delete multiple emails
- Permanently Deleting an Email
- Restoring Deleted Email
- Recover Lost Mail due to Compromised Account
Writing an Email
Since you have an email account now, it is imperative that you learn how to use it. First and foremost, learn how to write and send an email.
Click on the "Compose" button in the top-left portion of the screen. A new email window will pop up.
In the “To” section, enter the email address of the person to whom you are writing. You can send yourself a test email by entering your own email address. Type a “Subject” line, such as “Test” if sending to yourself or “New email address” if sending to others. Then, type your message in the body of the email window.
Step 2. Attach an item
To attach an item like photos or files (max 25 MB in size), click on the "paperclip" icon at the bottom of the window. A window will open for you to choose your file or photo. Select a file, click on "Open" and wait for the file to upload.
A progress bar will appear showing you the file is uploading and when the upload is complete.
Step 3. Send the email
When you’re all done, click on the "Send" button in the bottom-left corner of the window.
Gmail will give you prompts that the mail is sending and when it is sent.
Sending an Email to Multiple People
There are times when you want to send the same email to more than one person, either openly or discreetly. Not only can you send an email to multiple individuals, but you can also customize whose names show on the list of recipients. For example, a company may send an email to a client asking for product requirements, and add its vendors to the recipient list, but discreetly so that the client is unaware of the presence of a third party in the conversation.
Step 1. Click on Compose
In the left panel of the Inbox, click on the “Compose” button.
Step 2-1. Carbon copy
There are a couple of ways to send an email to multiple people when you don’t mind if everyone knows who else is receiving it.
You can type all the recipients’ email addresses in the “To” section.
However, if you want to differentiate between primary and secondary recipients, you can enter the primary recipient(s) in the “To” section and the secondary recipient(s) in the “Cc” section.
Cc is short for carbon copy and this section is usually used to indicate that the message is meant for information only and is not specifically directed to that individual. Simply click on the “Cc” icon in the top-right portion of the email window and enter the address(es) of the secondary recipient(s) in the Cc section.
Step 2-2. Blind carbon copy
If you want to discreetly send a copy of an email to additional recipients, click on the “Bcc” icon in the top-right portion of the email window. Bcc is short for blind carbon copy. Type the address(es) of recipient(s) that you want to remain hidden from others in the “Bcc” section.
Step 3. Type your email and send
Type the rest of the email, including the subject line and the body. Attach an item if required and click the “Send” button when you are done.
Reading an Email
You now know how to send emails, but what about reading those you receive?
Step 1. Received email
In the Inbox, you will see emails in the form of a list with the name of the sender on the left and the subject matter to the right of the name. Click on the email to open it.
Step 2. Read the email
Inside the email, you can see any typed message along with a thumbnail view of any attachments.
Replying to an Email
To continue a conversation with the person who sent you an email, use the “Reply” option. Your reply will appear in a conversation format, in chronological order, along with the previous email.
Step 1. Click on Reply
Open a received email, look in the box below the email body and click on "Reply". Alternatively, you can click on the drop-down arrow in the upper-right portion of the email window and choose “Reply” from the drop-down menu.
Step 2. Type your message and send
A message window will appear where you can type your reply and attach any items needed. Then, click "Send".
Forward an Email
At times, you may want to pass along an email to others, such as coworkers, family or friends. In this case, you can forward the email. It will forward the message exactly as you received it.
Method 1: Forwarding a single email
To forward the first email in a conversation, you can simply click on“Forward” at the bottom of the email window.
Step 1. Forward an email that is part of a conversation
To forward a single email that is part of a conversation of emails going back and forth, open the email you want to send and click on the drop-down arrow in the upper-right corner of the email window. Select the “Forward” option from the drop-down menu.
Step 2. Enter recipient(s) and send
The email will open in a new box below. Type the name of the recipients in the “To” section. You can add more than one recipient using carbon copy (Cc), and if you desire discretion, add them in a blind carbon copy (Bcc). If you wish, you can type an introductory message telling your recipients why you are forwarding the email. Then, click “Send”.
Method 2: Forwarding an entire conversation
Forwarding an entire conversation is relatively easy to forwarding a single mail out of a conversation.
Step 1. Click on Forward
Open the most recent email and simply click on “Forward” at the bottom of the email window.
Step 2. Enter recipient(s) and send
The conversation will open in a new box below. Type the name of the recipients in the “To” section. You can add more than one recipient using carbon copy (Cc), and if you desire discretion, add them in a blind carbon copy (Bcc). Type any message that you may want to add with the forwarded emails, then click “Send”.
Deleting old or useless emails is necessary to remove excess clutter from your Inbox. There are a number of ways to delete emails. You can delete complete conversations or individual emails within a conversation.
Method 1: Delete an individual email
If you want to delete an individual email in a conversation, you must remember that the email you wish to delete will be erased but any replies to it will remain. The conversation thread below the email won’t collapse.
Open the email in the conversation that you want to delete. Click on the drop-down arrow in the upper-right corner of the email and select “Delete this message”.
Step 1. The reply remains
If there was a reply to that email, it will remain unaffected.
Method 2: Delete an email or conversation from the list view
You can delete an email from the Inbox without opening it. This method will delete a single email or an entire conversation.
Step 1. Select the email or conversation
Click on the checkbox beside the name of the sender to select the email.
Step 2. Click the Trash Can icon
After selecting the emails to delete, options will appear across the top of your Inbox. Click on the “trash can” icon to delete the email.
Step 3. Mail is deleted
Your email is deleted and sent to the Trash folder. Gmail will permanently delete the email after it sits in the Trash for a month. This feature allows you time to restore an email if you decide you should not have deleted it.
Method 3: Delete multiple emails
You can delete multiple emails from your Inbox using the checkbox beside each message.
Step 1-1. Individual selection
You can individually select emails to delete by clicking on the checkbox beside each email.
Step 1-2. Select all
You can select all the emails in one time by clicking on the checkbox in the options that appear across the top of your Inbox above the list of emails.
Step 2. Click on the Trash Can icon
Click on the “trash can” icon that appears above the list of emails. All the checked emails will be deleted from your Inbox and moved to your Trash folder.