Gmail (opens in new tab) is one of the best email providers (opens in new tab) on the market today. However, the power and versatility of the platform can make things confusing if you’re trying to access a new feature.
Today, we’re here to respond to the most commonly asked Gmail questions. After you’ve read our responses, you’re sure to be a Gmail pro, able to harness a whole range of shortcuts and hacks.
1. Where does Gmail archive mail?
When you archive an email, Gmail doesn’t move the message to an Archive folder. Instead, it removes the Inbox tag which new incoming messages are marked with. That means you can find archived messages in the All Mail folder.
To see the All Mail folder link, scroll down the left-hand sidebar Gmail and click ‘More’.
2. How do I create a Gmail account?
To open a Gmail inbox, you’ll need to sign up for a Google Account account, which can also be used for other services such as Google Drive and YouTube. To do that, head over to the Google Account creation page and follow its instructions. You’ll need to find a unique username, add your name, and create a strong password.
3. Where are Gmail contacts stored?
When composing a new email, you can insert a contact by clicking on the word ‘To’ in the address field. Alternatively, you can manage, edit, and add new contacts by opening your Google Contact list at contacts.google.com.
4. Is Gmail encrypted?
Transport Layer Security (TLS) is used to encrypt Gmail messages in transit, but only if the recipient’s email provider supports it. For enhanced protection, you can also enable S/MIME on your Gmail account and then encrypt messages using a public key from your recipient.
5. Is Gmail free?
Gmail is completely free to use, but some features are restricted. Free storage space, for example, is capped at 15GB. Google also offers a range of Gmail Business email accounts through its G Suite products, which begin at $6 per user per month.
6. Does Gmail delete old emails?
No, Gmail does not delete old emails. Gmail automatically retains all messages except emails in your Trash or Spam folders. Messages in those folders are automatically deleted after 30 days.
7. Is Gmail HIPAA compliant?
By default, Gmail is not HIPAA compliant, and using Gmail to send Protected Health Information (PHI) without additional encryption violates the Gmail Terms of Service. However, you can use an extra encryption service, such as the Google Apps Message Encryption tool, to make Gmail HIPAA compliant.
8. Are Gmail addresses case sensitive?
Gmail addresses are not case sensitive. You are free to enter your Gmail address with or without capital letters when you log in. Also, you can give out your Gmail address to contacts with any capitalization you wish to use.
9. Does Gmail have a spam folder?
Gmail automatically detects junk or phishing email messages and moves them to a Spam folder. Messages which have been left in the Spam folder for 30 days are automatically deleted.
10. Can Gmail send fax?
Google has not built any fax functionality directly into the Gmail platform. However, the best online fax services can automatically translate emailed attachments into fax messages. These platforms work with Gmail as well as other email providers.
11. Do Gmail accounts expire?
Since 2017, Google’s Gmail Program Policies page has made no mention of terminating inactive accounts. In other words, Gmail accounts do not expire. Google had previously said accounts would be deleted after 9 months of inactivity, but that policy has itself now been terminated.
12. What is Gmail’s Incoming Mail Server?
To read and send your Gmail messages through clients such as Apple Mail, you will need to activate the IMAP access setting in your Gmail account. You will also need to add Gmail’s Incoming Mail Server address, imap.gmail.com, to your external client.
13. Who owns a Gmail account?
There’s no straightforward way to find out who owns a Gmail account. It is possible to submit a civil request for user data to Google, but the process is likely to be lengthy, expensive, and fruitless unless you have a strong legal argument as to why Google should reveal the account owner’s name.
14. Can Gmail be sorted by sender?
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to sort your Gmail inbox by the sender. However, you can perform a search of the form ‘from:firstname.lastname@example.org’ to see only messages sent by a single address.
15. Does Gmail have a desktop app?
Sadly, Google is yet to release a downloadable desktop Gmail client like Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail. However, in the Gmail settings menu – click ⚙ and then ‘See all settings’ – you can enable offline mail storage. This will enable you to view and draft messages offline.
16. Can Gmail send text messages?
Google has discontinued Gmail’s text messaging functionality, so no, it’s not possible to send text messages from Gmail. However, Google Voice and Google Messages can both be used to communicate via SMS.
17. Can Gmail get full?
Gmail can get full. When you open a Google account, you get a free 15GB of storage which is shared between Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. If your Gmail gets full, consider deleting emails with large attachments or bulky files from Google Drive or Photos.
18. Can Gmail translate emails?
Yes, Gmail can translate emails. Normally, when Gmail detects that an email has been received which isn’t in your default language, a translation bar will be added to the top of the message. You can activate translate manually by clicking the three dots next to the reply button and then hitting ‘Translate message’.
- Read our guide to the best email providers