FAQs for business users
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Contents

  1. 1 Top Mail FAQs
    1. 1.1 How much space do I have for mail messages? Can I run out of space?
    2. 1.2 Can I access my mail offline?
    3. 1.3 Can I stop messages from being grouped into conversations?
    4. 1.4 How do I mark a message as "unread" in my Inbox after I open it?
    5. 1.5 Can I recall a message I already sent?
    6. 1.6 I've heard Gmail search is really powerful. How does it work?
    7. 1.7 Can I make Gmail the default email program when I click email links?
  2. 2 Conversations and Messages
    1. 2.1 Can I reply to or forward just a single message in a conversation?
    2. 2.2 Can I delete a messages from a conversation?
    3. 2.3 Can I open a message in a separate window from my main Mail window?
    4. 2.4 How can I spell-check a message I write?
  3. 3 File Attachments
    1. 3.1 Is there a size or type limitation for file attachments in Gmail?
    2. 3.2 Can I drag and drop a file to attach it to a message?
    3. 3.3 How can I copy a file attachment from one message to another?
    4. 3.4 Can I attach a message or conversation to a new message?
  4. 4 Labels
    1. 4.1 There are no folders in Gmail. How do I organize my messages?
    2. 4.2 How many labels can I create?
    3. 4.3 Can I apply more than one label to a single email message?
    4. 4.4 Can I nest labels like I nested folders in old mail program?
    5. 4.5 Does deleting a label delete any messages that have that label?
  5. 5 Archiving and Deleting Messages
    1. 5.1 When should I delete a message vs. archiving it?
    2. 5.2 How long do messages stay in my archive?
    3. 5.3 How long do messages stay in the Trash?
    4. 5.4 How do I move a message out of the Trash?
    5. 5.5 Why does a message I archived or deleted show up again in my Inbox?
    6. 5.6 Should I delete or archive messages in my Sent folder?
  6. 6 Email features
    1. 6.1 Does Gmail have an Out of Office feature?
    2. 6.2 Can I share my email with another employee?
    3. 6.3 Does Gmail have keyboard shortcuts?
    4. 6.4 Does Gmail support shared mailboxes?
    5. 6.5 Does Gmail have a "tasks" feature that lets me add messages to a list for follow-up?
  7. 7 Spam
    1. 7.1 How long do messages remain in my Spam folder?
    2. 7.2 How do I prevent messages from specific senders from being tagged as spam?

Top Mail FAQs

How much space do I have for mail messages? Can I run out of space?

Your account has 25 GB of storage. You'll probably never run out of space. In fact, a heavy email user who sends and receives lots of file attachments and archives all messages might use up to 5% of this space a year (usually less), so it would take decades to use up all of the available space. Also note that Google Apps restricts the size of file attachments to 25 MB, so you don't have to worry about a few large files using up your storage space.

Can I access my mail offline?

Yes, you can set up Gmail for offline access to your most recent email messages. To enable this feature, click the gear icon  in the upper-right corner of your Mail window. Then click Settings, open the Offline tab, and click Install Gmail Offline. (Note, however, that if your Google Apps administrator has disabled offline access for your domain, the Offline tab won't be available, and you won't be able to use this feature.)

Can I stop messages from being grouped into conversations?

Yes. Click the gear icon in the upper-right corner of your mail window and click Settings. On the General tab, scroll down to Conversation View.

  • If Conversation View is off, new messages won't be grouped into conversations, and any existing conversations are ungrouped into separate messages.
  • If Conversation View is on, you can't separate the messages in a conversation. However, if you want to send a reply but don't want it to be added to the conversation, you can simply change the subject line in your reply.

How do I mark a message as "unread" in my Inbox after I open it?

Select the message. Then, in the More drop-down list, select Mark as unread.

Can I recall a message I already sent?

Yes, for a brief period of time, Gmail Labs’ Undo Send feature lets you recall a message after you send it. To enable the feature, open your Gmail Settings, go the Labs tab, enable the Undo Send lab, and Save Changes. You can then specify the send cancellation period, between 5 and 30 seconds, in the General tab of your Gmail settings.

Note that your Google Apps administrator must enable Labs for your domain for this feature to be available.

I've heard Gmail search is really powerful. How does it work?

To search for messages, type a word that the messages contain. Note, however, that Search matches "whole words" only—that is, it doesn't recognize partial or similar matches. For example, if you search for benefits, Search won't find benefit or benef. Also, Search doesn't recognize special search characters, such as square brackets, parentheses, currency symbols, ampersands, pound signs, and asterisks.

By default, Search doesn't look in your Trash or Spam folders. To search those folders also, click the down arrow on the right side of the search bar and, in the Search drop-down list, select Mail & Spam & Trash. Learn more about search at using keyword search to sort messages. Also print out this reference sheet of advanced search operators.

Can I make Gmail the default email program when I click email links?

Yes. To make Gmail the default email program when you click email links in Chrome:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Settings > Show advanced settings.
  3. In the "Privacy" section, click Content settings.
  4. In the dialogue that appears, find the "Handlers section and select Allow sites to ask to become default handlers for protocols.
  5. Open Gmail in Chrome.
  6. Click the protocol handler icon in the address bar next to the star bookmarks icon.
  7. Select Use (your organization) Mail and click Done.

You can also make Gmail your default email program in other browsers.

Conversations and Messages

Can I reply to or forward just a single message in a conversation?

Yes. Open the conversation and expand the individual message. From the drop-menu at the top-right of the message, click Reply or Forward.

Can I delete a messages from a conversation?

Yes, you can delete one or more messages in a conversation as follows:

  1. Open the conversation and expand the message you want to delete.
  2. Open the drop-menu at the top-right of the message.
  3. Select Delete this message.

Can I open a message in a separate window from my main Mail window?

Yes, if your browser is set to display pop-ups in a new window, you can do the following:

  • If you're reading a message, click the New Window icon in the upper-right corner of the message, or Shift-click any message in your inbox.
  • If you're composing a new message, Shift-click the Full-Screen icon in the upper-right corner of the message.

How can I spell-check a message I write?

Click the down arrow on the bottom left of the message you're composing and select Check spelling. Misspelled words are highlighted in yellow. Click a misspelled word to see suggested corrections.

File Attachments

Is there a size or type limitation for file attachments in Gmail?

Yes. To help prevent viruses, Gmail won't accept file attachments that are executable files. There's also a 25 MB size limitation for attachments. For details, see the Gmail Help Center.

Can I drag and drop a file to attach it to a message?

Yes, if you're using a Chrome browser. Otherwise, you must browse to a file to attach it.

How can I copy a file attachment from one message to another?

Because Gmail is a web-based system, you can't drag a file attachment from one message to another. As a workaround, you can do the following:

  1. Open the message or conversation that contains the file attachment.
  2. If the file is attached to a single message, click Forward (from the drop-menu at the top of the message). If it's attached to a message in a conversation, click Forward all on the right.
  3. Delete all the "forwarded" content from original messages, which appears at the bottom of your new message. Note that the file attachment remains with the forwarded message.
  4. Then compose your new message and send it.

Alternatively, you can download the attachment and then upload it to another message.

Can I attach a message or conversation to a new message?

No, you can't embed one message into another directly. As a workaround, you can do the following:

  1. To attach a single message, open it and click Forward (from the drop-menu at the top of the message). To attach a conversation, open it click Forward all on the right.
  2. Then compose your new message and send it. The earlier message will be included below your new message.

Alternatively, you can copy the text from the earlier message and paste it into a new message.

Labels

There are no folders in Gmail. How do I organize my messages?

You can nest labels just like you can folders, and labels are more powerful and flexible. For example, you can add multiple labels to a message to categorize it in several ways. For details, see how to use labels.

How many labels can I create?

You can create about 200 labels.

Can I apply more than one label to a single email message?

Yes, you can apply any number of labels to a message: Select the message in your Inbox, or open it, and select one or more labels in the Labels drop-down list at the top of your Mail window.

Can I nest labels like I nested folders in old mail program?

Yes. For details, see Create nested labels

Does deleting a label delete any messages that have that label?

No. All it does is remove the label from the messages.

Archiving and Deleting Messages

When should I delete a message vs. archiving it?

Deleting or archiving a message removes it from your inbox. If you delete a message, it's placed in the Trash and then permanently removed from your Google Apps account after 30 days. If you archive a message, it's moved to All Mail (your archive), where you can easily find it in the future using Google's powerful search feature. Since you have plenty of space for storing all your mail (25 GB), we recommend that you archive messages rather than permanently deleting them.

How long do messages stay in my archive?

Messages remain in your archive forever unless you choose to delete them or unless your company limits the retention of your mail.

How long do messages stay in the Trash?

Messages remain in the Trash for 30 days. After that, Gmail permanently deletes them.

How do I move a message out of the Trash?

Find the message in the Trash and select it. Then, in the Move to drop-down list at the top of the Mail window, select Inbox.

Why does a message I archived or deleted show up again in my Inbox?

If someone replies to a message you archived or trashed, that message reappears in your Inbox as a conversation, bringing with it the message you archived or deleted. If the message has already been permanently deleted from the Trash, you'll see an option at the bottom of the message to view the deleted messages in the conversation.

Should I delete or archive messages in my Sent folder?

There's no need to delete or archive messages in the Sent folder. Messages remain in this folder forever, unless you delete them. But because you have 25 GB of storage space, you can keep messages in this folder to refer to them later if needed. Also, note that messages in the Sent folder are actually archived in All Mail, so even if you archive these messages, they stay in the Sent folder.

Email features

Does Gmail have an Out of Office feature?

Yes, in Gmail, you can set up your "vacation responder," which is similar to the Out of Office feature in Outlook or Lotus Notes. For details, see the Gmail Help Center.

Can I share my email with another employee?

Shared mailboxes aren't supported. However, you can easily set up an email filter (rule) to forward specific types of messages to another employee.

Does Gmail have keyboard shortcuts?

Yes, Gmail includes a full set of keyboard shortcuts. First, you must enable keyboard shortcuts:

  1. In the upper-right corner of the Mail window, click the gear icon and select Settings.
  2. Under Keyboard shortcuts, select Keyboard shortcuts on.
  3. Click Save Settings.

Then, to see the shortcuts, press Shift+? while viewing your list of messages in the main Mail window. You can also print out this reference sheet of advanced search operators.

Does Gmail support shared mailboxes?

Yes.You can use Google Groups for Business to set up an email list for all the employees who want to share an email address, or to create a collaborative inbox so your team can receive and respond to email requests using a common address.

However, this requires that your administrator has enabled User-Managed groups for your domain. If User-Managed groups aren't available, then you should ask your Google Apps administrator to set up a mailing list (group) for all the employees who want to share an email address.

Does Gmail have a "tasks" feature that lets me add messages to a list for follow-up?

Yes, the Google Task gadget is available in Gmail and Calendar. For details, see Using the Task gadget.

Spam

How long do messages remain in my Spam folder?

Messages remain in the Spam folder for 30 days. After that, Gmail permanently deletes them.

How do I prevent messages from specific senders from being tagged as spam?

If messages from a sender outside your domain are being incorrectly tagged as spam, you can prevent this from happening by creating an email filter using the Never send it to Spam option:

  1. In Gmail, click the gear icon  in the upper-right corner of your Mail window. Then click Settings > Filters > Create a new filter.
  2. Enter the person's address in the From field, and then click Create filter with this search.
  3. Select Never send it to spam, and then click Create Filter.
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