Google Mail FAQs

FAQs for using Google 
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General Mail Calendar Contacts Guardian  
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Contents

  1. 1 FAQs for using Google Have a question about using Google? We just might have the answer!General Mail Calendar Contacts Guardian   Use your browser's search command to search these FAQs.
    1. 1.1 How much space do I have for mail messages? Can I run out of space?
    2. 1.2 Can I access my mail offline?
    3. 1.3 Can I stop messages from being grouped into conversations?
    4. 1.4 How do I mark a message as "unread" in my Inbox after I open it?
    5. 1.5 I've heard Gmail search is really powerful. How does it work?
    6. 1.6 Can I make Gmail the default email program when I click email links?
    7. 1.7 I am trying to send a mass email - are there limits to how many emails I can send?
  2. 2 Conversations and Messages
    1. 2.1 Can I reply to or forward just a single message in a conversation?
    2. 2.2 Can I  forward multiple messages?
    3. 2.3 Can I delete a messages from a conversation?
    4. 2.4 Can I open a message in a separate window from my main Mail window?
    5. 2.5 How can I spell-check a message I write?
    6. 2.6 How can I mark a message as urgent or important?
  3. 3 File Attachments
    1. 3.1 Is there a size or type limitation for file attachments in Gmail?
    2. 3.2 Can I drag and drop a file to attach it to a message?
    3. 3.3 How can I copy a file attachment from one message to another?
    4. 3.4 Can I attach a message or conversation to a new message?
  4. 4 Labels
    1. 4.1 There are no folders in Gmail. How do I organize my messages?
    2. 4.2 How many labels can I create?
    3. 4.3 Can I apply more than one label to a single email message?
    4. 4.4 Can I nest labels like I nested folders in old mail program?
    5. 4.5 Does deleting a label delete any messages that have that label?
  5. 5 Archiving and Deleting Messages
    1. 5.1 When should I delete a message vs. archiving it?
    2. 5.2 How long do messages stay in my archive?
    3. 5.3 How long do messages stay in the Trash?
    4. 5.4 How do I move a message out of the Trash?
    5. 5.5 Why does a message I archived or deleted show up again in my Inbox?
    6. 5.6 Should I delete or archive message in my Sent folder?
  6. 6 Email features
    1. 6.1 Does Gmail have an Out of Office feature?
    2. 6.2 Can I share my email with another employee?
    3. 6.3 Does Gmail have keyboard shortcuts?
    4. 6.4 Does Gmail support shared mailboxes?
    5. 6.5 Does Gmail have a "tasks" feature that lets me add messages to a list for follow-up?
    6. 6.6 Why do pictures that people have sent me keep showing up in my mail? I am concerned about privacy issues. 
  7. 7 Spam
    1. 7.1 How long do messages remain in my Spam folder?
    2. 7.2 How do I prevent messages from specific senders from being tagged as spam?
  8. 8 Compose
    1. 8.1 What if I don't like the small window of the new compose?

How much space do I have for mail messages? Can I run out of space?

Your account has 30 GB of storage. You'll probably never run out of space. In fact, a heavy email user who sends and receives lots of file attachments and archives all messages might use up to 5% of this space a year (usually less), so it would take decades to use up all of the available space. Also note that Google Apps restricts the size of file attachments to 20 MB, so you don't have to worry about a few large files using up your storage space.

Can I access my mail offline?

No, Guardian does not support offline access.

Can I stop messages from being grouped into conversations?

Yes. Click Settings in the upper-right corner of your Gmail window and, on the General tab, scroll down to Conversation View.

  • If Conversation View is off, new messages won't be grouped into conversations, and any existing conversations are ungrouped into separate messages.
  • If Conversation View is on, you can't separate the messages in a conversation. However, if you want to send a reply but don't want it to be added to the conversation, you can simply change the subject line in your reply.

How do I mark a message as "unread" in my Inbox after I open it?

Select the message. Then, in the More drop-down list, select Mark as unread.

I've heard Gmail search is really powerful. How does it work?

To search for messages, type a word that the messages contain. Note, however, that Search matches "whole words" only—that is, it doesn't recognize partial or similar matches. For example, if you search for benefits, Search won't find benefit or benef. Also, Search doesn't recognize special search characters, such as square brackets, parentheses, currency symbols, the ampersand, the pound sign, and asterisks.

By default, Search doesn't look in your Trash or Spam folders. To search those folders also, click Show search options next to the Search field, and then, in the Search drop-down list, select Mail & Spam & Trash. You can find more information about using Search in the Gmail Help Center.

A list of the advanced search operators is available in the Gmail Help Center. You can also print out this reference sheet.

Can I make Gmail the default email program when I click email links?

Yes, if Google Talk is enabled for your domain. In that case, specify Gmail as your default email program as follows:

  1. Open Google Talk.
  2. Click Settings in the upper-right corner of your contacts list.
  3. In the General dialog box, select Open Gmail when I click on email links.
  4. Click OK.

Note, however, that this setting doesn't work for all email links.

I am trying to send a mass email - are there limits to how many emails I can send?

Yes, for external addresses in a 24 hour period  the limit is 3,000 messages. In addition, on any one single message only 500 external email addresses can be added to  the to, cc, and bcc fields (combined).  For a message sent within the domain (internal), the limit is 2000 recipients per message.

What can I expect to happen if I hit the mass email limit?

You will get a popup window stating they you reached your daily limit and the message will not be sent. You will need to wait until 24 hours later to send the email. Obviously, being without your email for a full 24 hours is not acceptable, so we do encourage you to not use your email account to send mass email.

What are your recommendations for sending mass emails, given the Google limits?

You should either create a personal Google group or request a distribution Group be created for your mail purposes by contacting the Help Desk at 800-499-8820. Another option, if you subscribe to SmartOffice, would be to use the mass communication function within SmartOffice (which uses an SMTP server and will not impact your Google email limits). 

    Conversations and Messages

    Can I reply to or forward just a single message in a conversation?

    Yes. Open the conversation and expand the individual message. From the drop-menu at the top-right of the message, click Reply or Forward.

    Can I  forward multiple messages?

    Only if the messages are contained within the same conversation. If they are separate messages, this cannot be done.

    Can I delete a messages from a conversation?

    Yes, you can delete one or more messages in a conversation as follows:

    1. Open the conversation and expand the message you want to delete.
    2. Open the drop-menu at the top-right of the message.
    3. Select Delete this message.

    Can I open a message in a separate window from my main Mail window?

    Yes, if your browser is set to display pop-ups in a new window, you can do the following:

    • If you're reading a message, click the New Window icon in the upper-right corner of the message.
    • If you're composing a new message, click the New Window icon in the upper-right corner of the message.

    How can I spell-check a message I write?

    Click Check Spelling at the top of the message you're composing. Misspelled words are highlighted in yellow. Click a misspelled word to see suggested corrections.

    How can I mark a message as urgent or important?

    Google is designed so that the recipient of messages determines their importance. If you wish to indicate that a message is urgent or important, we recommend you place that word in the subject line. 

    File Attachments

    Is there a size or type limitation for file attachments in Gmail?

    Yes. To help prevent viruses, Gmail won't accept file attachments that are executable files. There's also a 20 MB size limitation for attachments. For details, see the Gmail Help Center.

    Can I drag and drop a file to attach it to a message?

    No. You must browse to a file to attach it.

    How can I copy a file attachment from one message to another?

    Because Gmail is a web-based system, you can't drag a file attachment from one message to another. As a workaround, you can do the following:

    1. Open the message or conversation that contains the file attachment.
    2. If the file is attached to a single message, click Forward (from the drop-menu at the top of the message). If it's attached to a message in aconversation, click Forward all on the right.
    3. Delete all the "forwarded" content from original messages, which appears at the bottom of your new message. Note that the file attachment remains with the forwarded message.
    4. Then compose your new message and send it.

    Alternatively, you can download the attachment and then upload it to another message.

    Can I attach a message or conversation to a new message?

    No, you can't embed one message into another directly. As a workaround, you can do the following:

    1. To attach a single message, open it and click Forward (from the drop-menu at the top of the message). To attach a conversation, open it clickForward all on the right.
    2. Then compose your new message and send it. The earlier message will be included below your new message.

    Alternatively, you can copy the text from the earlier message and paste it into a new message.

    Labels

    There are no folders in Gmail. How do I organize my messages?

    Instead of folders, Gmail has a "labels" feature. Labels are similar to folders, but are more powerful and flexible, because you can add multiple labels to a message to categorize it in several ways. For details, see the Gmail Help Center.

    How many labels can I create?

    You can create up to about 200 labels.

    Can I apply more than one label to a single email message?

    Yes, you can apply any number of labels to a message: Select the message in your Inbox, or open it, and select one or more labels in the Labels drop-down list at the top of your Mail window.

    Can I nest labels like I nested folders in old mail program?

    Yes. For details, see Create nested labels

    Does deleting a label delete any messages that have that label?

    No. All it does is remove the label from the messages.

    Archiving and Deleting Messages

    When should I delete a message vs. archiving it?

    Deleting or archiving a message removes it from your inbox. If you delete a message, it's placed in the Trash and then permanently removed from your Google Apps account after 30 days. If you archive a message, it's moved to All Mail (your archive), where you can easily find it in the future, using Google's powerful search feature. Since you have plenty of space for storing all your mail (25 Gb), we recommend that you archive messages rather than permanently deleting them.

    How long do messages stay in my archive?

    Messages remain in your archive forever, unless you choose to delete them

    How long do messages stay in the Trash?

    Messages remain in the Trash for 30 days. After that, Gmail permanently deletes them.

    How do I move a message out of the Trash?

    Find the message in the Trash and select it. Then, in the Move to drop-down list at the top of the Mail window, select Inbox.

    Why does a message I archived or deleted show up again in my Inbox?

    If someone replies to a message you archived or trashed, that message reappears in your Inbox as a conversation, bringing the message you archived or deleted, with it. If the message has already been permanently deleted from the Trash, you'll see an option at the bottom of the message to view the deleted messages in the conversation.

    Should I delete or archive message in my Sent folder?

    There's no need to delete or archive messages in the Sent folder. Messages remain in this folder forever, unless you delete them. But, because you have 25 GB of storage space, you can keep messages in this folder to refer to them later, if needed. Also, note that messages in the Sent folder are actually archived in All Mail, so even if you archive these messages, they stay in the Sent folder.

    Email features

    Does Gmail have an Out of Office feature?

    Yes, in Gmail, you can set up your "vacation responder," which is similar to the Out of Office feature in Lotus Notes. You can find this in your "Settings" under "General".  For details, see the Gmail Help Center.

    Can I share my email with another employee?

    Shared mailboxes aren't supported. However, you can easily set up an email filter (rule) to forward specific types of messages to another employee.

    Does Gmail have keyboard shortcuts?

    Yes, Gmail includes a full set of keyboard shortcuts. First, you must enable keyboard shortcuts:

    1. In the upper-right corner of the Mail window, click Settings.
    2. Under Keyboard shortcuts, select Keyboard shortcuts on.
    3. Click Save Settings.

    Then, to see the shortcuts, press SHIFT+? while viewing your list of messages in the main Mail window.

    Does Gmail support shared mailboxes?

    Not exactly. But as a workaround, you can create your own mailing list (called a "group") for all the employees who want to share an email address. This requires your administrator to enable User-Managed groups for your domain. If user-managed groups aren't available, then you should ask your Google Apps administrator to set up a mailing list (group) for all the employees who want to share an email address.

    Or, if email delegation is enabled for your domain, you can use that to allow up to 10 other users access a single email account.

    Does Gmail have a "tasks" feature that lets me add messages to a list for follow-up?

    Yes, the Google Task gadget is available in Gmail and Calendar. For details, see Using the Task gadget.

    Why do pictures that people have sent me keep showing up in my mail? I am concerned about privacy issues. 

    You do not need to be concerned about this, as this information is displayed only to you via the People Widget. For information click here to view the Google Help topic: About the People Widget  To turn off the People Widget, go into the General tab of your settings and click the button in front of "Hide the people widget"

    Spam

    How long do messages remain in my Spam folder?

    Messages remain in the Spam folder for 30 days. After that, Gmail permanently deletes them.

    How do I prevent messages from specific senders from being tagged as spam?

    If messages from a sender outside your domain are being incorrectly tagged as spam, you can prevent this from happening by creating an email filter using the Never send it to Spam option:

    1. In Gmail, click Settings > Filters > Create a new filter.
    2. Enter the person's address in the From field, and then click Next Step.
    3. Select Never send it to spam, and then click Create Filter.

    Compose

    What if I don't like the small window of the new compose?

    Beginning 8/28/13, the new Gmail Compose became the default, and users can no longer switch back to the old compose. For text details on the new compose, click HERE. For a video of the functionality, click HERE. If you wish, you can use the new compose in full-screen view by default. For details, click HERE