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GMail Hacks/Tips

Posted by Alex Bailey On September - 5 - 2006

I’ve been using GMail since 2004 and have always thought it was the best email service. With the large amount of space it offers, and the amazing features the possibilities are endless. The filter feature is easily the best feature of GMail. You can use it for its purpose – to filter spam and other unwanted emails. Or use it in some unique ways such as bookmarking, and storing recipes. Here are some nifty hacks/tips that allow you to get the most out of your GMail account.

  1. GMail based blogFix for it
    • This is an awesome idea to allow you to blog via GMail. Who needs an SQL database when you can save your posts to GMail? P .
  2. Encrypt all GMail traffic
    • This is just a simple tip allowing you to encrypt your whole session. When you go to only the login is encrypted. When you go to At the whole session is encrypted.
  3. Make a GMail partition
    • This is a simple yet brilliant idea to make use of that 2.7 gigs and counting of space GMail allows. This will create a new partition in explorer. You can then save files/folders to your GMail account via the explorer interface. Create one simple filter so none of the files clutter up your inbox and you’re set. I believe this is against the GMail terms of service, but I’ve been using it for a while with no problems.
  4. Linux on GMail
    • This awesome hack allows you to have a Linux file system installed on your GMail account. It will give you basic *nix commands such as cp mv rm and ls. This is by far the neatest of all these.
  5. Use GMail as notepad
    • It’s such a simple yet effective idea. Using GMail’s ability to save drafts you can edit and save text just like notepad. There are actually more advantages to using GMail as a simple notepad such as spell check and the fact that you can access the documents from anywhere.
  6. GMail skins
    • Tired of the same old default GMail theme? Not anymore. Use this simple firefox plugin to change the color and basic layout of your GMail account.
  7. GMail manager
    • This firefox plugin allows you to manage multiple GMail accounts from firefox. It will give you basic stats about all your GMail accounts, and can check for new mail at a user defined interval.
  8. GNotify
    • This one is actually by Google. It’s a simple yet totally needed plugin. It tells you when you have mail with a very unobtrusive notify box in the lower right hand corner of your screen. It also opens a new tab in your browser with the email and subject already filled out when you click a mailto: link. This is a must have for people who depend on their email.
  9. gDisk for Macintosh
    • gDisk is a software that turns your GMail account into a portable hard drive so you can always have your important files accessible accross the Internet.
  10. GTDGmail
    • GTDGmail is a Firefox extension that integrates the highly effective methodology of “Getting Things Done” into the popular email service Gmail.
  11. Mp3 Player
    • GMail actually comes built in with an mp3 player.
  12. Gmail cryptography plugin
    • FreeEnigma brings cryptography to webmail, with an ingenious set of free and open browser plug-ins that work with Yahoo, Gmail, and others. The plugins implement a version of GPG and scramble and de-scramble the text in your webmail before you send it and after you receive it.

Thanks to hsetty and hylas on Digg for 9 + 10.

59 Responses to “GMail Hacks/Tips”

  1. Collin says:

    Thanks a lot for all that… very interesting… VERY USEFUL! A+

  2. raffaele says:

    With a GMail account you have also a standard google account, than you can obtain a writely account, far better than using plain GMail as a notepad! :D

  3. loopion says:

    Excellent post ! Real great tips and hack.

    For the GMail based blog, could we do it without install on server the libgmailer extension ?

  4. Dome says:

    woh, gmail is so cool, and google has all your private data,

    thats great !

  5. Rub3X says:


    No sorry that’s required.
    There is the download link.

  6. darnit says:

    the tradeoff is that you give all your information to google, that’s not what i want. yahoo mail or any other privacy-concerned mail is way better though it might not be as cool as those hacks look like.

  7. guoyang says:

    two year ,also beta

  8. raphas says:

    Thanks for all these information. But because gmail is so powerful I don’t think any of this !

  9. Joshua Giese says:

    the GMail based blog is really interesting. Thanks for linking to it. I use GMail to filter my email for spam mostly.

  10. track5200 says:

    you forgot one of my favorite’s….

    Using Gmail as an off-site backup.

  11. Drew says:

    “Use GMail as notepad”

    why would you do that when you could just use google notebook

  12. mike says:

    I don’t know if some of those really have any purpose, but the skins and manager would be all I would use.

    I really don’t understand the purpose of a gmail blog.

  13. anon says:

    Great tips! Dugg and submitted to howtohut []

  14. Is there a notifier por the corporate version of gmail? You know… the one in

  15. Steve says:

    I still wish they’d add folders for organizing e-mail. I like the tagging system they use, but with a high volume of mail I really wish I could “put” messages into folders instead of having to tag them and then archive them to get them “out” of my inbox.

  16. Brad Clarkston says:

    GNotify is windows only as it’s an installer (.exe) a better OS independent solution would be the GMail notifier for Firefox at
    [ https://ad...refox/173/ ] at least then you could run in on Linux and Mac as well.

  17. read it says:

    @darnit & @Dome:

    Read the privacy policies at Yahoo Mail Beta & at Gmail. They are like 99% same. The only difference is that Yahoo Mail says they do not scan messages to display personalized ads, but they do scan emails in order to catch spammers, hence almost all emails are scanned regardless of who sends them or receives them.

    I don’t see how Yahoo (eg. Yahoo Mail) & Microsoft (Hotmail) is more secure or concerned about your privacy than Google is.

    Google doesn’t even sell your information to 3rd parties, but Yahoo + Microsoft does (with your consent, of course). Gmail doesn’t even ask you if you are a male/female or for your birthdate or where you live.

    I like having my emails in Gmail. I’m careful about the information I use in Gmail + Calendar or anywhere else on the net. Plus, I like the free POP, forwarding and the large storage.


    Now, these are nice hacks. =o)

  18. Quentin says:

    This is bloody brilliant!!!!! Well done!!!!!

  19. kEITH says:

    Nice piece of consolidation of GMail hacks! They are certainly quite useful, especially with the huge storage space of 2++GB given by GMail. Hopefully, there will be more of such hacks :)

  20. Will says:

    gee for Mac OS X is a very nice utility that checks for new gmail in the background. It can use Growl notification system for visual notification. See for more.

  21. Aaron says:

    Using the HTTPS is not reccomended. I work at Gmail, and we only use that if necessary, you will lose some functionality and stability. Please only use that when sugessted to by Gmail.

  22. Rub3X says:

    “Please only use that when sugessted to by Gmail.”
    Reasons? I’ve never noticed a difference, care to point some out?

  23. Aaron says:

    products linking to gmail, interface options will create problems. Also future enhancements.

  24. Minuk says:

    Nice list, here’s another tip:

    Encrypting individual e-mails using RSA/AES encryption.

  25. loopion says:

    Another question about the GMail blog.

    Everything work except the the reply. (reply.php because a function is missing). Do you know how to resolve it ?

  26. bill says:

    I have to call BS on the secure part causing problems. I have ALWAYS used the https connection to GMAIL and have never had an issue with broken functionality – with on exception – the chat stuff didn’t initially work with the HTTPS connection.

    However, now it does.

    If they don’t want folks using https they wouldn’t make it an option.

    However, If someone can point us to an official Google document that says “don’t use HTTPS when using Gmail” then I’ll buy it – otherwise this sounds very fishy.

    Another “hack” you can try out is the firefox GTDmail extension.. It could be handy for anyone who uses the “Getting Things Done” method…

  27. Kurtz says:

    Why not use SSL sessions? Opening such session costs a bunch more times computing power. If everyone started using this, we could experience serious service breakdowns I believe. I don’t think many users really care if someone sniffs their emails – I truly doubt there is anyone interested in what people write about. It is a nice thing to have sometimes but I really don’t think it’s a good idea to brag about it and encourage everyone to use it on daily basis.

  28. mArk says:

    Google Pages is also a great place to park image files, to make them easily accessible to others.

  29. Aaron says:

    We spend most of our development time fixing errors with http connections, https does work, but its not perfect. I’m glad you haven’t found bugs with it, but we still dont reccomend it unless we have to.

    Kurtz is also correct that it costs Google much more per user.

  30. curious says:

    They need to come up with individual email tagging and not just thread/subject tagging. Until then, it isn’t that much convenient.

  31. sarahintampa says:

    Gmail Hacks

    I saw this Gmail Hacks blog post on the net today, and I was surprised at all the inventive uses there are for my favorite webmail program. I knew about the Gmail partition hack, but who knew you could blog

  32. Rub3X says:

    Bandwidth is almost dead guys, if anyone could donate anywhere from $2 to $5 USD to keep the site up that would be awesome. (PayPal). Thanks a bunch. ($5 is needed but anywhere from $2-5 dollars helps and is a start)

    EDIT Thanks so much goal reached.

  33. markdbd says:

    How about checkgmail. It notify in Linux if you have new mail. For more info:

    For instalation, sorry in spanish:

  34. Bhavya says:

    please I want to become a member of Gmail.

  35. sr4001 says:

    Great consolidation post. Really neat to see all of the stuff you can do with GMail. Oh and your bandwidth money is covered, hate to see a resource like this get taken down due to overload.

  36. Nice post. This is very useful for Gmail users like myself. I’ll link this blog to my blog. :)

  37. Gianni Amato says:

    “Gmail Remote Command” is a software for the gmail users which allow to command their pc in remote way, sending only an email to your Gmail account (from whichever computer or hand phone).


  38. Rub3X says:

    “Nice post. This is very useful for Gmail users like myself. I’ll link this blog to my blog. :)”

    Heh thank. The amount of people that have blogged this and one of my other articles is amazing. Easily in the hundreds.

  39. Scott King says:

    Bug fixes:::

    This is a very good utility but incompatible with the latest version of Gmail and libgmailer. I’ve made a few (basic) fixes and documented them here:

  40. Luiso says:

    I like all the stuff, thanks.

  41. galway says:

    thanks Scott that helps

  42. tom says:

    Sign me up.

  43. Bill Webb says:

    It’s incredible that these people believe Gmail is any more intrusive or collects more data than hotmail and Yahoo! (!) They, AIM Mail and every other web-based email do the same thing Google does; they just don’t tell you about it up front.

    And who’s been in the news for giving away information? Not Google.

    And who’s been in the news for *fighting* the requests for data? Google.

    Anyone who believes they have any privacy on the Net…well, I have some waterfront property in Louisiana I’d like to sell them. Read my lips: THERE IS NO PRIVACY outside of an encrypted file. Any one of the credit reporting companies has more data on you than Google, and are far more willing to sell it to anyone who wants it.

    That being the case, might as well have some fun toys to play with.

  44. I swear I have seen this on about four different blogs… Whatever!

  45. Rub3X says:

    Yea most people just paste my blog to theirs and leave a small link at the bottom to mine. If you find any blogs not posting the link back to me please let me know. This was the original article though I assure you.

  46. Nancy Woods says:

    I know you are talking about blogs but I have a terrible proglem with Gmail. Someone has taken my gmail account and changed the password. They are stealing all my personal information and I am unable to get Gmail to help me. They have charges over $15000 in Ebay purchases I am having to deal with. Since I don’t have my original email confirmation from them, they say the account has to be without activity for 5 days before they will let me change my password. The link to change the password now goes to a non-existant secondary account (I guess). Anyway, I am not getting it on any of my accounts. Yes, I am stupid…but Google is also stupid for letting this happen without the true owner of the account being able to get this person OUT. Please help. Is there a method to get to Gmail to get this stopped?

  47. Rub3X says:

    Right. You have no idea what I’m talking about. But your answer is to stop entering your password into phishing websites. It would also help if you didn’t use the same password for everything.

  48. Nancy Woods says:

    Rub3X – I know you must be someone special and smart. I would like you to know I DO NOT enter my password into phishing websites. I have different passwords. I just needed help from anyone that could help me get a response from Gmail. There was no need to be condescending. My wish for you is that you never have a problem of any sort as big as this one is to me. And, if you do, you never ask for help from someone like you. Regards.

  49. Aaron says:

    If you believe your account was hijacked, please fill out this form:


    If someone at Gmail does not give you your account back, its because you have failed our test of proving account owenership.

    Good luck.

  50. Nancy Woods says:

    Thank you Aaron. I am printing this info in case anyone else gets into this fix and needs it. After 6 days my account was restored to me by Gmail after they had “done an Inquiry” and found that an unauthorized user was in it. Now I am doing the clean up from the theft. This has been a learning experience could have been much worse. Again, thanks.

  51. Aaron says:

    Hi again, Im glad it was restored.
    Please make sure to now set your secondary email address to something you have access to, so this process will not take as long, if there is a next time. Also, make sure to write down the answer to your security question. Too often people write in forgetting this, and we can’t help them.

    Also, all the information the form asked you for earlier, write down as well, as it will prove account ownership in the future.

  52. Name Alexey says:

    !!! It is class to itself

  53. Ahmad says:

    Hi guys…
    anyone else on gmail having problems ?
    gmail is fine on adsl, but on my 3g card i can surf net no problem, talk on google talk no problem, but i cannot reply to any gmail mail. also cannot compose and send attachments. can recieve mail fine.
    thought it was my beta firefox im using so tried IE but still same problem.
    sometimes can reply to a mail but not always, especially if there is an attachment in it…
    but gmail is fine on adsl so i know its not gmail themselves. 2 friends have also complained about their gmail on 3g today..

  54. rohit says:

    i love gmail because it serve us only best.

  55. Noopur says:

    I want to create gmail account, just tell me how can i make the gmail login. I am waiting for your answer.

    Thanking you.

    Noopur Shah
    (Student of IT)

  56. Alex Bailey says:

    [quote comment=”4125″]I want to create gmail account, just tell me how can i make the gmail login. I am waiting for your answer.

    Thanking you.

    Noopur Shah
    (Student of IT)[/quote]

    I sent an invite to your email.

  57. Wojtek says:

    Thank you for all the tips – it’s a really good stuff!

  58. bosscauser says:

    Thanks for the tip on blogging. this is the info I like to see on the web. I have a couple of blogs I’m going to use it for. Could someone send me an invite as I can’t get a text message on my phone for some reason. Thanks

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