Change Gmail settings (Android)

This information is for the Gmail app for Android 4.0 and up.

The Gmail app for Android has two types of settings:

  • General settings that apply to all accounts on your device.
  • Account settings that only apply to a specific account.

In the Gmail app, touch menu Menu, then Settings.

General settings

Here are the available settings when you go to menu Menu > Settings > General settings.

Gmail default action (archive or delete)

Are you more likely to archive or delete a message? You can choose whether you want archive or delete to be the default option when you swipe a message in your inbox or open a notification.

Note: For non-Gmail accounts, the default is always delete, so even if you change this setting to archive, your messages will still be deleted.

Swipe actions
Quickly archive or delete an email without even opening it – just swipe right or left. If your default action is set to archive, swipe will archive, and if your default action is delete, swipe will delete. You can set your default action with the setting above.
Sender image
Uncheck this option to hide sender images in your inbox. Learn more about sender images.
Reply all
When you reply to a message from the app, the default behavior is to reply only to the sender. Check this box if you'd like to reply all by default.
Auto-fit messages
When this setting is turned on, large messages with special formatting are automatically resized so they're easier to read on your mobile device. Learn more about how to make messages easier to read.
This setting lets you choose what you see after you delete or archive a message you’re reading. You can choose be taken to the next newer or older conversation, or go back to the conversation list.
Confirm before deleting/archiving/sending
If you’ve ever sent, deleted, or archived a message by accident, you can help make sure this doesn't happen again. If you check the boxes for deleting, archiving, or sending, you'll get a pop-up notification to confirm that you want to take this action. 
Clear search history or picture approvals

On the General settings page, clear data by touching menu  and choosing an option:

  • Clear search history
    Touch to remove the history of the words you’ve searched for previously in Gmail for all accounts.
  • Clear picture approvals
    If you had previously chosen “Always show pictures from this sender” or “Show pictures,” touching this option will clear those approvals and restore the default setting to not show pictures automatically.

Account settings (Gmail or Google Apps)

Here are the available settings when you go to menu Menu, then Settings, and choose your account. If you have multiple accounts, these settings only apply to the account you chose.

Inbox type
The Default Inbox organizes your mail into optional categories such as Social, Promotions, and Updates. Learn more about inbox categories.

Priority Inbox is a list of conversations from your Inbox that Gmail or you have labeled important. Learn more about Priority Inbox.
Inbox categories
You can choose to show or hide as many categories as you need. Messages in hidden categories will appear in your Primary category instead.

Changes to categories in the Gmail app are reflected in the desktop version of Gmail, and vice versa. Learn more about inbox categories.

This setting is not shown if you have Priority Inbox enabled.
Check this box to receive notifications. Learn how to make your notifications more relevant.
Inbox sound & vibrate
Choose how you're notified of incoming mail.
Enter text to add to the end of every message you send from the app. The signature you add here is separate from your signature in the desktop version of Gmail.
Vacation responder
Going on vacation? No access to the Internet? Use Gmail's vacation responder to let people know that you won't be able to get back to them right away. While your vacation responder is turned on, Gmail will send your reply to people who email you. Learn more about the vacation responder.
Sync Gmail
If this box is unchecked, you won't receive notifications and new emails automatically. To get new messages, you'll have to refresh the app by pulling down from the top of your inbox until you see a spinning refresh icon.
Days of mail to sync
You can set the number of days of mail that you want to automatically sync and store on your device. To save on device storage, you can set fewer days of mail to sync, but keep in mind that unsynced messages won’t be available offline.
Manage labels
You can set individual notification and sync settings for different labels. Touch this setting and then choose a label to adjust its settings.
Download attachments
Check this box to automatically download attachments for recent messages via Wi-Fi. If this box is not checked, you can still download attachments when you open the message.
Gmail automatically shows you the images in your messages. If you have limited mobile data, you may want to change your setting so that Gmail asks you before showing images. Learn more about Android image settings.
Some Gmail settings, like creating a label, are available only in the desktop version of Gmail at

Account settings (POP, IMAP or Exchange)

Here are the available settings when you go to menu Menu, then Settings, and choose a non-Gmail account. If you have multiple non-Gmail accounts, these settings only apply to the account you chose.

You can give your account a name so it's easier to identify.
Your name
Set your name as you would like it to appear in the app and to people you email.
Enter text to add to the end of every message you send from the app.
Sync frequency
Choose how often you'd like the app to check for new mail and sync with your account. You can reduce the frequency to save data or power. If you choose Never, you can refresh the app yourself by pulling down from the top of your inbox until you see a spinning refresh icon.
Email notifications
Check this box to receive notifications when you get a new message. You can choose a sound for the notification and turn vibrate on or off below.
Server settings
You can edit the details of how the Gmail app connects to your provider's servers, like the server name, ports, and security type. You can also choose whether you want messages to be deleted from your account when you delete messages in the Gmail app. If your password for your other provider changes, you can edit it here.

Vivian is a Gmail expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback about this help page.

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