Gmail FAQ

  • Commonly Asked Gmail, Contacts, and Calendar Questions

    Browsers

    Q: Must I use the Chrome browser to access Gmail?
    A: No. While Gmail generally works best in the Chrome browser, you can use Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, or Edge. If you encounter a display problem with any browser, try refreshing your browser window.

    Labels and folders

    Q: I searched my inbox for messages and want to move them to a folder. How do I do that? The folder icon is missing.
    A: Here's how to take search results in your inbox and move the messages to a folder:

    • Search your inbox using your keywords
    • Select the messages
    • Click on the inbox icon (in the left column)
    • The folder icon in the top bar will now be visible. Move your messages to the desired folder

    Q: How do I delete a label or folder in Gmail?
    A:There are a couple of solutions. If you mouse over the folder name, you'll see a down arrow appear to the right of the folder name. Click this, then select "Remove label." Another solution is to click on the Gear in the upper right, choose Settings, then Labels on the top row. You can manage all of your labels from this screen.

    Note that this will NOT delete the mail messages associated with that label. If you want to delete folder contents, you must delete the messages before you delete the label or folder name.

    Changing How Gmail Looks

    Q: I need more room for my folders in the left vertical panel. How can I do that?
    A: Gmail displays chat users in the lower portion of the left-hand panel. If you want more room for your folders to be displayed, go to the Gmail settings / Chat tab and turn off Chat.  (You can still chat, but you'll have more room for folders).

    Q: Gmail wastes a lot of space displaying the list of messages. How can I change that?
    A: Click on the Gear icon in the upper right and select "Cozy" or "Compact" to space items more closely together.

    Sending mail

    Q: Can I send a message in Gmail with Urgent delivery?
    A: No. Gmail does not have any way to flag a message as Urgent or Important. Even if you insert the words "Important" or "Urgent" in the subject line, the message will always be sent with normal delivery.

    Receiving mail

    Q: Why am I missing an email response that I know should have arrived?
    A: Check your Spam folder. Gmail is adaptively learning from your mail processing, and may incorrectly place received messages in the Spam folder. You should check your Spam folder frequently to find messages that Google has incorrectly placed there. Select the message and choose "Not spam" to help Google gradually learn that the those messages aren't spam.

    Sorting mail

    Q: Can I sort mail alphabetically?
    A: No. Gmail sorts messages only by time, from newest to oldest.

    Formatting messages

    Q: Can I change Gmail so that it auto-capitalizes sentences as in Outlook?
    A: No, Gmail does not provide a mechanism to auto-capitalize. If you have a mobile device, your app may capitalize, however, depending on the app.

    Q: How can I spell-check in Gmail? It doesn't spell-check automatically.
    A: Spell-check is available, but it isn't automatic.  To spell-check your message before sending, click on the down arrow in the bottom right of the compose window (by the trash can icon), and choose "Check Spelling."

    Q: I don't like the small editing window when I compose a message. How can I make it bigger?
    A: Click on the down arrow in the bottom right of the compose window (by the trash can icon), and select "Default to full-screen". If you are in the middle of editing a message, you'll need to leave the editing screen and restart to get full-screen behavior (e.g., click on Inbox then again on the Draft folder and finally your draft message).

    Q: Can I format mail messages like I did in Outlook?
    A: No. Gmail provides less formatting control than does Outlook. To format a message in Gmail, click on the A icon at the bottom of the compose window, next to the Send button. There you'll find the Gmail choices for font, justification, lists, etc. Gmail does not allow you enter the Tab key for indentation. Gmail provides only limited control over alignment.

    Searching mail

    Q: Do you have tips for searching my mail?
    A: Here are some example searches that may help you get started:

    • from:david (messages from David)
    • from:Stacie OR from:Richard (messages from either Stacie or Richard)
    • label:OIT (messages with the OIT label)
    • label:unread (all unread messages
    • after:2016/10/30   (messages after Oct 30, 2016)
    • before:2016/11/01 after:2016/10/01 (messages in October of 2016)
    • older_than:1y (messages more than one year old)
    • has:attachment   (messages with attachments)
    • from:Beverly -in:reports   (Mail from Beverly, excluding mail with label "reports")

    You can find descriptions of these and many more search terms on the Google search operator reference.

    Q: How do I find messages that I accidentally archived?
    A: Use this search string "has:nouserlabels -in:Sent -in:Chat -in:Draft -in:Inbox" and look for any messages that don't have a label.

    Q: My search results aren't showing mail messages I expect. Why?
    A: These are the most common reasons for Gmail to not find mail when searching:

    • Gmail will not find mail messages using partial search terms (for example, entering "Cente" when searching for "Centennial"). You should always enter the full word (and not a partial word)
    • Messages in the Spam folder won't be returned in a search.

    Consider using the "All Mail" filter to show all mail regardless of the folder in which it is stored (except for Spam, as noted earlier).

    Trash folder

    Q: Why were my mail messages in the Trash folder deleted?
    A: Unlike Outlook, items placed in the Trash folder are actually deleted periodically. Gmail automatically deletes mail more than 30 days old. If you want to save any mail in your deleted folder, you should save the mail to another folder.

    Launching Gmail on an email link

    Q: Previously, if I clicked on a mail link, Outlook would pop up to send the message. Can I do that with Gmail?
    A: In most cases, this can be made to work. Open Chrome and browse to Gmail. On the search bar, right next to the star icon for storing favorites, you should see a double-diamond icon. Click on that icon and choose the option allowing Gmail to open all email links.

    Mobile devices

    Q: Can I use either Google Gmail or Google Inbox on my mobile device?
    A: We've observed a number of problems with mobile devices running Google's newer Inbox mobile app. Mail does not appear to be synchronized properly. If this happens, you should avoid using Gmail Inbox on your mobile device and should revert back to the Google Gmail application.

    Q: When I swipe to delete a message on my iPhone, I'm only given the choice to archive? Why?
    A: You can change this setting in your iPhone. Go to Home->Settings->Mail->Accounts->your account->Account->Advanced and change the option from "Archive Mailbox" to "Deleted Mailbox." Next, go back one screen, and be sure to press "Done". If you don't, your change will be discarded.

    Q: Why don't I see my personal contact groups on my iPhone?
    A: Personal Contract groups are visible only in the Web interface and in the Gmail application on the iPhone. Personal contact groups are not visible in the built-in mail program on your iPhone. Use the iPhone Gmail app to see your personal contact groups.

    Contacts

    Q: Can I find someone in the district directory by their nickname or informal name?
    A: No. The search strings use the first and last names as entered in the HR records. You'll get the best search results if you enter the full first or last name. If you use a partial name, be sure to enter the leading characters (e.g., "rebe" will return the contact for Rebecca, while "becca" will return nothing.

    Q: Can I find someone in the district directory by their nickname or informal name?
    A: No. The search strings use the first and last names as entered in the HR records. You'll get the best search results if you enter the full first or last name. If you use a partial name, be sure to enter the leading characters (e.g., "rebe" will return the contact for Rebecca, while "becca" will return nothing.

    Q: How do I rename or delete contact groups?
    A: Click on the group within your contacts list. Next, select "More" on the top bar, and rename or delete the group.  The items in the group will not be deleted.

    Q: Can I share a contact group with other people?
    A: You can export one or more contact groups that other users can then import. To export contacts, choose the More item from the top bar and select Export... from the menu. From there, choose which contact groups you wish to export, and select the Google CSV format. Lastly, share the CSV file with your other users. To import contacts, choose the More item from the top bar and select Import... to import the file containing the contacts.

    Google Labs Extensions

    Q: Are Google Labs extensions supported in Google apps in the district?
    A: Google Labs extensions and add-ons for Gmail are not currently available or supported within the district.  Google Labs add-ons are experimental in nature and can range in quality from fully-tested to early versions with known defects that compromise Google data. Google does not yet provide a way to selectively enable specific add-ons.  Until Google provides selective control over Labs add-ons, all lab extensions are disabled,.