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Switch from Microsoft Outlook to Gmail

Write & send email

This guide helps you switch from Outlook to Gmail on computer. If you're switching to Gmail on mobile, or need detailed instructions for troubleshooting, visit these Gmail topics instead.

In both Outlook and Gmail, controls are available on the new message window. And you can right-click messages in your inbox to view options. Gmail automatically saves messages you're working on in a label named Drafts.

On this page

Note: The instructions in this guide are primarily web only. Get switching information for mobile devices.


               

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Open your email


  • In Outlook: Open Outlook on your computer.
  • In Gmail: Go to gmail.com in any browser.

 

Learn how

Open Gmail

Open Gmail from...

  • Any web browser—Go to mail.google.com.
  • Most Google pages—In the upper right, click the App Launcher  and choose Gmail.
  • Android devices—Install and open the Android app.
  • Apple iOS devices—Install and open the iOS app.

Tip: Create a browser bookmark for Gmail

  1. In Chrome Browser, go to the site you want to visit again in the future. For example:
    • mail.google.com for Gmail
    • calendar.google.com for Google Calendar
  2. To the right of the address bar, click Star and thenAdd Bookmark .
  3. Choose an option:
    • To exit, click Close .
    • To rename your bookmark or access it from a different folder, choose an option and click Done.

Tip: Add a Gmail shortcut to your desktop

  1. Go to your desktop and right-click. 
  2. Choose Newand thenShortcut
  3. Type the web address as the location. For example:
  4. (Optional) Name your shortcut.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center


Write & format email


Draft email

  • In Outlook: Click Homeand thenNew Email, then click Save.
  • In Gmail: Click Compose. Drafts are saved automatically. To find a draft, go to the label named Drafts.

 

Learn how

Compose in a Gmail popup

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. At the top left, click  Compose.
  3. In the "To" field, add recipients. You can also add recipients:
    • In the "Cc" and "Bcc" fields.
    • When you compose a message, with a "+ sign" or "@mention" and the contact's name in the text field.
  4. Add a subject.
  5. Write your message.
  6. At the bottom of the page, click Send.

Tip: To add individual recipients and groups of contacts you created with labels, click To:

Compose in a Gmail new window

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. On the left, click Compose.
  3. (Optional) Choose a window size with the buttons in the top right:
    • Full screen
    • Exit full screen
    • Open in a new window Shift
  4. Add a subject and recipients (To, Cc, or Bcc).

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

Get writing suggestions

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. In the top right corner,  click Settings  and then See all settings.
  3. Under “General,” scroll down to "Smart Compose."
  4. Select Writing suggestions on or Writing suggestions off

Note: Smart Compose is available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. Smart Compose is not designed to provide answers and may not always predict factually correct information.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

 

Get writing tips

  • In Outlook: Use grammar and spelling checkers.
  • In Gmail: Get grammar, spelling, and personalized writing suggestions.

Learn how

Turn grammar and spelling tools on or off

  1. On your computer, open Google Gmail
  2. Click Settings  and then Settings.
  3. At the top, click General.
  4. Turn the following tools on or off:
  • Grammar
  • Spelling 
  • Autocorrect

Turn writing suggestions on or off

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. In the top right corner,  click Settings  and then See all settings.
  3. Under “General,” scroll down to "Smart Compose."
  4. Select Writing suggestions on or Writing suggestions off

Note: Smart Compose is available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. Smart Compose is not designed to provide answers and may not always predict factually correct information.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

Format email

  • In Outlook: Apply text formats in the message window.
  • In Gmail: Apply commonly used text formats in the message window. For advanced formatting options or tables, edit and send email from Google Docs.

Learn how

Format your email

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. Click Compose.
  3. At the bottom of the message, click Formatting options .

Change your default text style

You can create a text style that will be applied to all new emails you write.

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings and then See all settings.
  3. Scroll down to the "Default text style" section.
  4. Change the text in the box to be the style you want for your emails.
  5. At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.

Draft email in Google Docs

  1. On your computer, open a Google Doc.
  2. At the top left, click Insert > Building blocksEmail draft.
    • You can also type "@email" in the doc and press Enter.
  3. To add recipients in the "To" field, type "@" and search your contacts, or type out email addresses.
  4. You can add a subject line, write text in the email body, and format your draft.
    • Tip: You can collaborate with others in your doc to write an email draft. Learn more about how to share access to your doc.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

Set up email signatures

  • In Outlook: In the message window, click Messageand thenSignature.
  • In Gmail: In the message window, click Insert signature .

Create a new signature in Settings.

Learn how

Create a signature

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. At the top right, click Settings and thenSee all settings.
  3. In the General tab, scroll to Signature and click Create new.
  4. Name your signature, then click Create.
    This name is not your actual signature, but is a name for the signature template.
  5. In the text box at the right, add your signature text.
  6. (Optional) To add text colors, links, and images, use the format bar.
  7. At the bottom, click Save Changes.

Make your logo and signature appear side-by-side

  1. On your computer, open a Google Doc.
  2. Click Insertand thenTable and create a 2x1 table.
  3. In the left cell, insert your logo.
  4. In the right cell, enter your signature.
  5. Right-click the table and select Table properties.
  6. Click Color and change the table border to white.
  7. Click Editand thenSelect all.
  8. Click Editand thenCopy.
  9. Open Gmail and go to the signature you created.
  10. Right-click and paste your logo and signature.
  11. Scroll to the bottom and click Save Changes.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center


Mark email you send as important


  • In Outlook: Select the high importance marker. Importance markers don't appear in messages sent to Gmail accounts.
  • In Gmail: Highlight the message's importance in the subject field.

Learn how
  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Click Compose.
  3. Add recipients.
  4. In the Subject field, add a descriptor, such as:
    • [URGENT]
    • [REPLY BY DEC 1]
    • [APPROVAL NEEDED]
      Note: You can paste in a red exclamation mark before the descriptor to mark email you send as important.
  5. Compose your message and click Send.

Forward or attach email messages to other messages


  • In Outlook: In the message window, insert an Outlook item, or drag an item into a message.
  • In Gmail: Forward a message as an attachment, or drag a message into another message.

Learn how

Forward one email as an attachment

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. Select the emails that you want.
  3. Click More and then Forward as attachment.
  4. In the “To” field, add recipients. You can also add recipients in the “Cc” and “Bcc” fields.
  5. Add a subject.
  6. Write your message.
  7. At the bottom, click Send.

Note: To forward as an attachment, you can also right-click on a message or drag and drop the file into the body of your message.

Forward multiple emails as attachments

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Click Compose.
  3. Check the boxes next to the messages that you want to attach and drag them to the new message window.
  4. Enter a recipient, subject, and any message text.
  5. Click Send.

Reply to an email with an attached mail

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. Open the email and then click Reply. 
  3. At the top right of the email, click the Pop out icon Open in new (pop out) .
  4. From your inbox, select the email you want to attach. 
  5. Drag the email into your message. 
  6. At the bottom, click Send.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center


Choose delivery options


Send now

  • In Outlook: In the message window, click Send. Then click Send/Receiveand thenSend All.
  • In Gmail: In the message window, click Send.

Learn how
  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. At the top left, click  Compose.
  3. In the "To" field, add recipients. You can also add recipients:
    • In the "Cc" and "Bcc" fields.
    • When you compose a message, with a "+ sign" or "@mention" and the contact's name in the text field.
  4. Add a subject.
  5. Write your message.
  6. At the bottom of the page, click Send.

Tip: To add individual recipients and groups of contacts you created with labels, click To:

Send later

  • In Outlook: In the message window, select Optionsand thenDelay Delivery.
  • In Gmail: In the message window, click the Down arrow next to the Send, then click Schedule send.

Learn how
  1. On your computer, go to Gmail .
  2. At the top left, click  Compose.
  3. Create your email.
  4. At the bottom left next to "Send," click the Down arrow More send options.
  5. Click Schedule send.

Note: You can have up to 100 scheduled emails.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

Send email to a group

  • In Outlook: Use contact lists or mail merge.
  • In Gmail: Use contact lists, groups, or mail merge.

Learn how

Email a contact or contact group from Gmail

  1. In Gmail, click  Compose.
  2. In the To field, start typing the address of the person or contact group. A list of matching addresses appears as you type.

    Note: To see a group mailing list address in the auto-complete list, you might have to send a mail to the list once.

  3. Click the address you want. For contact groups, each group member is added to the To list. If you don’t want to send the message to everyone in the contact group, click Remove  next to their name.

Use mail merge to send personalized emails

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. At the top left, click Compose.
    • You can also open an existing draft.
  3. In the "To:" line, add recipients.
  4. On the right of the "To:" line, click Use mail merge .
  5. Turn on Mail Merge.
  6. In your message, enter @.
  7. Select a merge tag:
    • @firstname
    • @lastname
    • @fullname
    • @email
  8. To insert the merge tag, press Enter.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

Enhance message security

  • In Outlook: In the message window, select Optionsand thenEncrypt.
  • In Gmail: In the message window, turn on confidential mode.

Learn how

Important: If you're using Gmail with a work or school account, contact your admin to make sure you can use confidential mode.

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. Click Compose.
  3. In the bottom right of the window, click Turn on confidential mode .
    Tip: If you've already turned on confidential mode for an email, go to the bottom of the email, then click Edit.
  4. Set an expiration date and passcode. These settings impact both the message text and any attachments. 
    • If you choose "No SMS passcode," recipients using the Gmail app will be able to open it directly. Recipients who don't use Gmail will get emailed a passcode.
    • If you choose "SMS passcode," recipients will get a passcode by text message. Make sure you enter the recipient's phone number, not your own.
  5. Click Save.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

Know when someone opens your email

  • In Outlook: In the message window, click Optionsand thenDelivery receipt.
  • In Gmail: At the bottom of the message window, request a read receipt.

Learn how

Important: To receive a read receipt in your inbox, the recipient of your email may need to approve it first.

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. Click Compose.
  3. Compose your email as you normally would.
  4. At the bottom right, click More options and then Request read receipt.
  5. Click Send.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center


Undo send


  • In Outlook: In the message window, go to Fileand thenMessage Resend and Recall.
  • In Gmail: In the Message sent notification, click Undo within the cancellation period.

Learn how

Recall an email with Undo Send

  1. In the bottom left, you'll see "Message sent" and the option to "Undo" or "View message".
  2. Click Undo.

Choose an amount of time to recall a message

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settingsand then See all settings.
  3. Next to "Undo Send," select a Send cancellation period of 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds.
  4. At the bottom, click Save changes.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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