How to Send Private Emails in Gmail

If you ever need to send an email containing sensitive information, you can use independent private email services to do it, or learn how to do it in Gmail instead. 

Gmail comes with a special confidential mode that allows you to send emails that disappear after a certain amount of time. If you’re a privacy-centric user, you’ll also love this mode for how it makes it impossible for the recipient to forward, copy, print, or download the contents of your private email.

Here’s everything you need to know about Gmail’s confidential mode and how to use it to send private emails in Gmail. 

What’s Gmail’s Confidential Mode?

Gmail’s confidential mode allows you to send confidential or private emails to other Gmail users, as well as people that use other email clients like Outlook, Yahoo, or iCloud. 

When you send an email in confidential mode, you can manually set an expiry date for it – the date when the email will disappear from the recipient’s Gmail account. This is a feature that’s handy if you’re sending someone the “burn after reading” type of information and don’t want it lying around inside their inbox. You can set your email to expire as soon as in 1 day or leave it for up to 5 years. 

Another advantage of using Gmail’s confidential mode is the ability to set an SMS passcode required for reading your email. That means that no one can read the contents of your message without the text that contains the passcode required to open it. 

How to Use Confidential Mode in Gmail

Using Gmail’s confidential mode to send private emails is pretty easy. You can do it both on your desktop and your smartphone. 

How to Send Private Emails in Gmail

To send private emails on your computer using confidential mode in Gmail, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Gmail and log into your account.
  1. In the upper-left corner of the screen, select Compose.
  1. At the bottom of the New Message window, find an option to Turn confidential mode on/off and select it. 
  1. In the confidential mode window, set the expiry date and whether you want to require an SMS passcode for reading your email (this will add extra security). 
  1. Select Save
  2. If you choose to set a passcode, Gmail will also ask you to confirm your and recipient’s phone numbers before sending your email. Enter your phone number and select Send to proceed. 

You can then continue composing your email and select Send when it’s ready. 

How to Send Private Emails in Gmail Mobile App

If you prefer sending your emails while on the move, you can use Gmail mobile app instead of your desktop to quickly compose and send a confidential email. To send a private email in Gmail mobile app, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Gmail app on your smartphone and log into your account.
  2. At the bottom-right corner of your screen, select Compose

*compose email_gmail app*

  1. Inside the Compose window, select More (the three horizontal dots in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  1. Select Confidential mode
  1. In the confidential mode window, set the expiry date and whether you want to require an SMS passcode for reading your email (this will add extra security). 
  1. Select Save

Write up your email and select Send when it’s finished. 

How to Open a Confidential Email

Thanks to the confidential mode feature, you can send private emails not just to any Gmail user, but also to people who use different email providers. If you’re using Gmail to open a confidential email, you can do it the same way you open your normal emails using your desktop or your smartphone. If the sender requested an SMS passcode, you’ll receive a text message and will need to type the code in Gmail before you can open the email.

If you use a different email provider, open the confidential email and follow the link inside it to request a passcode. You’ll receive a text message and will then be required to enter the code to view the email’s contents. 

Before You Send Any Sensitive Data Over Email

It’s generally not recommended to send any sensitive data over the internet as you can’t be sure anything is 100% secure online. Even though Gmail’s confidential mode prevents the receiver from forwarding or printing out your email, they can still take a picture or a screenshot of it and find ways to save and share it with other users later.

To prevent your own data being used against you, learn how to encrypt all your online and offline data, as well as other ways to send secure encrypted emails for free. However, sometimes the best practice is to try and avoid sending any private or sensitive information over the internet. 

Have you ever sent an email containing private information before? Did you use Gmail’s confidential mode or some other method to do it? Share your experience with email privacy in the comments section below. 

How to Unsend an Email in Gmail

Have you ever wanted to unsend an email that you just sent to someone? Outlook has a feature that allows you to recall your emails after you send them, but what if you use a different email client like Gmail

In Gmail, there’s a way to prevent your emails from going through after you hit the Send button. However, to be able to do it you have to have a special undo Send feature turned on in advance. Learn how to unsend your emails in Gmail and you’ll never have to worry about your messages going to the wrong recipient again. 

Why Unsend Your Emails

There can be any number of situations in which you might want to cancel sending an email after you hit Send. The most common of them include:

  • Sending an email to the wrong recipient.

We’ve all accidentally sent an email to the wrong person before. Maybe you hit the wrong name when choosing the recipient among your contacts. Maybe you know two people with the same name and forgot to double check before sending the email to the wrong Alex. Either way, you might not want to share this email’s contents with someone it wasn’t meant for. Especially if it contains some sensitive or private information. 

  • Accidentally sending an email that’s incomplete.

Even if you double checked the address line before sending out your email, you might later realize that you forgot to include something in it. Whether it’s an important link, an attachment, or some other details – sending it separately in another message isn’t always very convenient.

  • Finding mistakes in your email after it’s been sent.

Have you ever finished your email with “retards” instead of “regards”? We’re all humans and mistakes happen. Spell checker doesn’t always catch all of them, so you might notice some mistakes only after sending the message. Gmail lets you fix this and many other problems by allowing you to unsend your emails. 

How to Enable the Undo Send Feature in Gmail

The feature that allows you to unsend an email in Gmail after it’s been sent is called Undo Send. By default, this feature is turned off, so you first need to enable it before you can start using it.

To enable the Undo Send feature in Gmail, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Gmail and log into your account.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the window, select the gear icon to open Settings
  1. Select See all settings.
  1. In the General tab next to the Undo Send, select the maximum range of 30 seconds
  1. Scroll down and select Save Changes

After enabling this feature, you’ll now be able to unsend your email for up to 30 seconds after you hit Send if you realize you forgot something or want to double check the address line. 

How to Unsend an Email in Gmail

When you realize that you want to cancel a sent email, you have a few different ways to do it, depending on whether you’re using Gmail on your computer or on your smartphone.

How to Unsend an Email on Your Computer

If you’re using Gmail on your computer, follow the steps below to unsend an email.

  1. After you hit Send, search for a menu bar in the bottom-left corner of your screen. 
  1. Select Undo from the menu bar.
  2. You’ll see a Sending undone confirmation on your screen. That means you’ve successfully cancelled your email.

If you didn’t get the confirmation, then you didn’t manage to cancel your email within the 30 seconds and it has gone through. You can also go to Sent and see if your email is there to confirm this. 

After you receive the Sending undone confirmation, you get the original email back on the screen. You can either make changes and send it again, save it as draft for later, or delete it. 

How to Unsend an Email Using a Gmail Shortcut

As you only have 30 seconds to decide whether you want to keep sending that email or cancel it, you can use a keyboard shortcut to unsend it with just one click. After you select Send and see the same menu bar appear, press Z on your keyboard to undo sending. 

You should then see the same Sending undone confirmation message appear on your screen. Note that this method will only work if you already have keyboard shortcuts enabled in Gmail. You can do it via the Settings, in the same General tab that you used to enable the Undo Send feature. 

How to Unsend an Email in Gmail on Your Smartphone

You can also use your Gmail mobile app to unsend an email. To do that, follow the steps below.

  1. After you hit Send, select Undo at the bottom of your screen. 
  1. You’ll see a message appear confirming your email cancelation.

Gmail will then take you back to the original email window, so that you can edit, delete the message, or save it as draft.

Take Full Control Over Your Emails

Gmail is a powerful email client as it gives you a lot of freedom and control over your emails. Besides the ability to unsend a sent email in Gmail, you can also learn to schedule your emails to be sent later or transfer your emails between different Gmail accounts. However, not all of the features are that obvious, and sometimes you have to learn hidden tips and tricks to organize your emails better. 

Have you ever had to cancel an email that you already sent? What was your reason for doing it? Share your experiences with flawed emails with us in the comments below. 

The 7 Best Gmail Add-Ons

Gmail is the most popular free email platform in the world, with over 1.8 billion users worldwide. It has 43% of the email market share. It’s a powerhouse, and it’s not going anywhere—but it has the potential to become even more powerful than it already is through the use of add-ons.

Users can install add-ons through the Google Workspace Marketplace. Open the marketplace and click the Works with Gmail tab on the left side of the screen to sort by compatible add-ons only.

7 Best Gmail Add-Ons

Keep in mind that many people use the term add-on and plugin interchangeably, but this is not the case. An extension is installed in your browser, while a Gmail add-on is installed in the G Suite app. G Suite applications are typically more secure than extensions.

The following list are the best Gmail add-ons that expand the functionality of Gmail and give you easy access to powerful tools that greatly expand your inbox.

1. Zoom for Gmail

2020 was the year of the video conference. Between Zoom, Google Meet, and other video conferencing clients, people spent more time communicating through a camera than in face-to-face meetings.

Zoom for Gmail makes it easy to start a Zoom meeting with anyone you’re emailing. Once installed, you can find Zoom directly on your sidebar. Open an email and then click the Zoom icon to start or schedule a call without opening up another window.

2. Todoist

Many people began working from home for the first time this year. In doing so, they discovered the difficulty of managing multiple tasks and keeping track of everything you need to do. Whether you’re a work-from-home beginner or a seasoned pro who wants an easier way to track tasks, Todoist for Gmail can help.  

After you install the add-on, all you have to do is open an email and click the Todoist logo on the sidebar. If there is a task to be found within the email, Todoist helps you by filling in some of the blanks and allowing you to easily enter the rest of the information.

You can designate what project the task belongs to, the due date, priority level, and more. Once you have done all of this, just click Add Task to enter it in your to-do list.

3. Dropbox for Gmail

When you receive emails with important files, you need to back them up. Dropbox for Gmail makes it easy to do exactly that. Just install the add-on and sign in to your Dropbox account. After this, you can open Dropbox from the sidebar and quickly add any file to your Dropbox storage.

If there are multiple files within the email, just click the one you want to save and then choose which folder to save it in. Once you have selected the folder and given the file a name, then select Save. Voila—your information is stored within Dropbox without the need to open another window.

4. HelloSign for Gmail

Without face-to-face meetings, e-signatures are more important than ever. Whether you are the one signing or you require a signature from your client, HelloSign makes it easy to provide a signature without using complicated, third-party resources.

The free plan allows you to sign three documents per month, but signing up enables you to sign an unlimited number of documents per month and send out as many signature requests as you like.

When you need to sign a document, just click the HelloSign icon in the sidebar and follow the on-screen instructions. The system will automatically walk you through the signing process.

5. Slack for Gmail

Slack is one of the most popular communication platforms on the planet. If you’re ever bored, just look up memes about what happens when Slack goes down. With that in mind, Slack With Gmail can make conversations with coworkers more productive by bringing an email directly into a Slack channel.

This tool allows you to include attachments and images, too. It’s perfect for those times when an email chain is just a bit too long and unwieldy—just drop it into Slack and discuss it in real-time. You’ll be able to reach a consensus and decide on a solution more easily.

6. DocHub for Gmail

How often do you have to download a .PDF file to edit it or sign it? With DocHub for Gmail, you can sign, edit, and send PDF documents without opening a third party program. DocHub makes it possible to insert text, draw and highlight areas within the PDF, leave comments, and more.

Perhaps most importantly, it makes it easy to sign documents. You can merge pages together, create templates, and more. If you work with PDFs often, DocHub can streamline your workflow and get you in and out of your mailbox faster.

7. Trello for Gmail

Trello is an effective task management platform that encourages collaboration and helps teams manage numerous projects in a single location. Trello for Gmail allows you to transfer an email into Trello with just a few clicks, making it a to-do list item rather than an email.

If you are working on reaching Inbox Zero, this is a powerful add-on that can help you do exactly that. Trello for Gmail makes the subject line of the email the title of the card and adds the body of the email as the description.

Whether you use Trello as a way to manage your inbox or to create tasks for coworkers based on emails, this add-on is worth exploring.

Are Gmail Add-Ons Safe?

There are dozens, if not hundreds of Gmail add-ons available across the web, but every entry on this list can be found within the Google Workspace Marketplace. This ensures that the Gmail add-on has passed Google’s inspection for security and malware.

If an add-on comes from a third-party website, its security cannot be guaranteed. If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of a Gmail add-on, read the reviews and get a feel for other users’ experiences with the application.

How to Turn Google SafeSearch Off

There’s a website for every niche and interest, but that doesn’t mean that the content is safe to find, especially if you’re sharing your devices with children. Unless you want to give them unlimited access to search results, you’ll need a filter in place. Google will block explicit content by default, thanks to the Google SafeSearch system.

SafeSearch filters content that it judges as unsafe for children to view. It isn’t foolproof, but it does help to give children and young adults a safer way to search the internet. If you want to know how to turn SafeSearch off, however, you’ll need to disable it in the Google search settings menu on your device.

Disabling Google SafeSearch on PC or Mac

If you’re using Google search in your web browser on PC or Mac, then it’s an easy process to disable SafeSearch filtering. This will give you the full search results for queries you make, including any explicit results.

These steps will work for any desktop platform, assuming you’re using a web browser to make Google search queries. This includes Windows, Linux, and Mac devices.

  1. To turn off Google SafeSearch in your browser, open your browser to the Google website, then make a search using any query. Once the search results appear, select the Settings option below the search bar.
  1.  From the drop-down menu, select the Search settings option.
  1. In the Search settings menu, make sure to uncheck the Turn on SafeSearch checkbox. This will disable SafeSearch filtering.
  1. Once you’ve unchecked the SafeSearch option, scroll down and select Save to save your settings.

SafeSearch filtering deactivates immediately, but to check, make a search query that would likely generate explicit results. If the results are missing, SafeSearch is still active.

However, you should bear in mind that SafeSearch isn’t foolproof, and explicit results may still appear in results from time to time. To be completely sure that SafeSearch is off, you can check by making any query and looking in the top-right corner of the search results. 

Google labels filtered result pages with a SafeSearch on label. If you see this listed, you’ll need to follow the steps above to disable it.

Turn Off Google SafeSearch on Mobile Browsers

The Google search experience on mobile devices is slightly different to PC or Mac users, with the search interface and results tailored for mobile screens. You can turn SafeSearch off for mobile search results, but the method you use to disable it depends on how you make the searches.

If you’re using Google search using your mobile browser, you’ll need to follow these steps. This will work for Android, iPhone, and iPad device users. For Google Search app users, however, you may need to follow the steps further below to disable SafeSearch instead.

  1. To start, open the mobile browser on your device and head to the Google website. Use the search engine to make any search query and load a search results page. Once loaded, select the hamburger menu icon on the top-left.
  1. From the menu, select the Settings option.
  1. In the Search Settings menu, select the Show explicit results radio button to turn Google SafeSearch filtering off. This may only disable filtering in your web browser—you’ll need to follow the steps in the sections below to check that you’ve successfully disabled filtering in the Google Search app. If you decide to re-enable SafeSearch, select the Hide explicit results option instead.
  1. Once you’ve disabled Google SafeSearch, scroll down and select the Save button to save your settings.

You can double-check that you’ve successfully switched SafeSearch off on mobile by making a Google search that is likely to generate explicit results. If these results appear, SafeSearch is off, with search results left uncensored.

Turning Off Google SafeSearch in the Google Search App on Android

The method above disables Google SafeSearch in mobile browsers and, depending on if you’re signed in or not, may also apply to Google search results queried using the Google app.

If you prefer to use the Google app on your Android device, however, you can disable SafeSearch directly. This will also work for users who aren’t signed in to Google in their browser and want to disable filtering in the mobile app instead.

  1. Android users can begin by opening the Google app on their Android device. To begin, select the More button in the bottom-left.
  1. In the Google app menu, select the Settings option.
  1. In the Settings menu, select the General option.
  1. To disable SafeSearch, tap the SafeSearch slider. The slider will turn gray when you switch SafeSearch off.

Settings you change in the Google app settings menu will automatically save. If you want to check that SafeSearch is off, tap back and use the main Google search bar to make a query that is likely to generate explicit results.

If the results are explicit and uncensored, Google SafeSearch is off, allowing you to make unrestricted searches.

Turning Off Google SafeSearch in the Google Search App on iPhone and iPad

Android device owners can use the steps above to disable SafeSearch in the Google app, but for iPhone and iPad users, the steps are slightly different.

  1. To start, open the Google app on your iPhone or iPad. To access the settings menu, tap your profile icon in the top-left corner.
  1. From the pop-up menu, select the Settings option.
  1. In the Settings menu, select the General option.
  1. In the General menu, select the Search settings option.
  1. Google search settings will appear in the pop-up menu. Tap the Show explicit results option to disable SafeSearch filtering, or Hide explicit results to enable it instead. Tap Save to confirm your new settings.

Once changed, return to the Google search app and use the search bar to make an explicit query. If the results contain explicit results, SafeSearch is off, giving you a full and unrestricted list of results for the queries you’re making.

Staying Safe Online

If you want to improve your online safety, then you’re probably better off leaving Google SafeSearch switched on. If you decide to switch SafeSearch off, you’ll need to make sure you take other precautions to keep any younger searchers safe, with apps to monitor online activity and features to lockdown your mobile devices.

Online searches aren’t always the best way for kids to use the internet, however. If you’re worried, you could switch to a privacy-focused search engine to limit online tracking and (hopefully) reduce explicit results. 

How to Claim a Business on Google

Building a strong online presence for your business and brand is extremely important. Since Google is the go-to search engine used by the majority of internet users, listing your business on Google My Business is a great step for increasing your business presence online. But guess what, listing your business isn’t enough; you’ve got to “claim” it too.

What It Means to “Claim” a Business on Google

To claim a business on a search engine, you’ll need to prove that you’re the genuine representative of a brand, business, organization, or entity. The end goal is to verify that your business is authentic and the information provided about your business is accurate.

By doing so, you get to enjoy extra benefits like improved visibility (claimed businesses rank higher in search results), increase in organic traffic, and consequently, increase in sales.

When you claim a business on Google, you’ll have complete control over how your business information appears on Google. You also unlock more features that let you improve your digital presence and interact with customers directly on Google. For example, only verified/claimed businesses can reply to customer reviews on Google.

The process is really easy. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to claim or register your business on Google so it appears in local search results, Maps, and other Google products.

Most local businesses will want to drive more people to their website, or appear higher in Google search results, so claiming your business on Google is a great first step to take.

Is Your Business Listed on Google?

The first step to claiming a business on Google is checking whether or not the business is on Google. To do this, search for your business name on Google and check if there’s a knowledge panel dedicated to your business. A knowledge panel is the sidebar on the right of the Google search result page.

If your business is already listed on Google, jump to the next section to learn how to claim the business.

How to Claim a Business Listed on Google

Having a knowledge panel doesn’t mean your business has been claimed. That only tells you that Google has automatically listed your business using data from several sources. If the knowledge panel carries an inscription that reads “Own this business,” that means your business is unclaimed.

Follow the steps below to claim your business.

1. Click Own this business to begin the process of claiming your business.

Note: Make sure you’re signed into your (personal or business) Google account on the browser.

2. Click the Manage now button.

3. Enter the name of a trusted representative that can receive the verification postcard for your business. It could be your name, the business manager’s, or a trusted staff. Click Mail to proceed.

The postcard contains a 5-digit code which you’d use to verify the ownership and authenticity of the business. Google may request additional information about your business before it mails the postcard to your business address.

It may take up to days or weeks for the postcard to get to you. This is due to factors like distance, courier efficiency, and other unforeseen circumstances. While you await the verification postcard, you can provide more information about your business—opening hours, description, pictures of your products or store, etc. These will only be visible to customers only after Google verifies your business.

Note: Do not edit the following information while awaiting the verification postcard:

  • Business name
  • Address
  • Business category

Modifying any of this information will delay the verification of your business. So make sure you doublecheck the information you provide before applying for verification.

Verifying Your Business

The final step to claiming your business is the postcard verification. When you get the postcard, login to the Google My Business dashboard and verify your business.

1. Click Enter verification code next to the business name.

2. Enter the verification code into the provided box and click Verify.

Your business will immediately be verified and appear as claimed on Google.

How to List a Business on Google

If you don’t find a knowledge panel for your business on the result page, that means your business is neither listed nor claimed on Google. Follow the steps below to manually list your business on Google so it appears in search results.

1. Visit the Google My Business creation page and enter your business name into the search box. Again, if your business doesn’t appear in the search result, it hasn’t been listed on Google.

Note: Make sure you input the correct business name. You can also try multiple variations of your business name to confirm that no one has listed your business.

2. Click the Create a business with this name card that pops up below the search bar.

3. You’ll need to provide some basic information about your business (e.g. business name, business category, etc.). Make sure the provided information is accurate. Typos, wrong, incorrect spelling, and other errors may result in problems like delayed verification.

4. You should also add a location, particularly if you run a brick and mortar business with a physical store or office.

Location information also helps Google determine where and how to display your business listing. This is also required for verification purposes.

5. If the information you provide is similar to some previously-listed businesses on Google, peruse the businesses and confirm if they’re yours. Select None of these and click Next to proceed.

6. Follow the prompt and provide as much information as you can about your business. Remember, the more (accurate) information you provide, the easier it is for potential customers to find your business via Google Search and Maps.

7. Click Finish to proceed to verification.

8. Enter a name or the position of a representative authorized to manage the business in the provided space and click Mail.

Note: A newly-listed business will not appear on Google until verification is complete. So you might have to wait for weeks before your listing appears on Google Search and Maps.

How Google Verifies Businesses

Google carries out verification to identify authentic businesses and to prevent fraudulent or duplicate listings.

At the time of writing this article, there are 5 different ways Google verifies businesses:

  1. Mail/Postcard verification.
  2. Verification by Phone.
  3. Verification by email.
  4. Instant verification.
  5. Bulk Verification.

Mail postcard is the default business verification method. If your business is eligible for phone or email verification, Google will make the option(s) available to you. These verification options (email and phone) are mostly available to service-area businesses, i.e. businesses that don’t serve customers at their physical address.

To use the Instant Verification, you must have configured and verified your business via the Google Search Console. Bulk verification is only available for accounts managing multiple (at least 10 or more) businesses.

Claim Your Business At Zero Cost!

There’s a high chance that your business is on Google and you’re benefiting from the free traffic that the automatically-generated listing is driving to your business. This is good. However, you’re missing out on potential organic traffic if you don’t verify and claim your business on Google.

Google recognizes and ranks verified businesses over unclaimed entities in search engine results. A claimed business puts you in the driving seat, steering your brand’s visibility and growth on Google. You can reply to customers’ reviews, use Google Posts to create content, share official photos (labeled “From the owner”), and lots more.

If you want to improve your business online success at zero cost, claiming your business on Google is a good place to start.