Change your settings


You can change your Gmail settings or preferences by clicking the gear icon in the top right corner of your Gmail:

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. In the top-right, click the gear Settings.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Choose one of the tabs at the top of the page, such as General, Labels, or Account.
  5. After making a change to a setting, click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

Learn more about specific settings in Gmail.

Android 4.0+

The Gmail app for Android has two types of settings:

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

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

General settings

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

Archive & delete actions
Are you more likely to archive or delete a message? This setting makes your preferred remove action visible while viewing messages and notifications. Learn more about archive and delete settings.
Swipe to archive/delete
Quickly archive or delete by swiping a conversation left or right while viewing your inbox or other list of conversations. Whether you see archive or delete depends on the “Archive & delete actions” setting above. To delete instead of archive, choose “Show delete only.” Learn more about archive and delete settings.
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 auto-advance to the next newer or older conversation, or go back to the conversation list.
Message actions
When you view a message, there is a blue bar above the message that lets you reply, star the message and more.

You can choose whether you want this bar to always show at the top of the screen (even when you scroll down), only show in portrait (it will hide while in landscape), or don’t show (simply scroll up to the top of the message to see it again).
Confirm before deleting/archiving/sending
If you’ve ever sent, deleted, or archived a message by accident, you may want to turn on these options.
Clear search history or picture approvals

To clear data, touch the Menu icon while on the General settings page.

  • 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

Here are the available settings when you go touch the 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.
Sync Gmail
If this box is unchecked, you won't receive notifications and new mail automatically. You'll have to touch the Gmail Refresh Icon Refresh icon in the Gmail app to get new messages.
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

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

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