Google Mail: General Settings

Google Mail: General Settings

In Google Mail, the “General” tab of the “Settings” page allows you to change a variety of common options, such as the following:

  • How many emails appear on one screen
  • If email messages with the same subject line are grouped together (conversation view)
  • What stars you can use to label messages
  • If you want to receive pop-up messages when you receive a new email or chat message

To change these options, first navigate to the “Settings” page in Google Mail following the instructions below. Then make any desired changes.

To change "General" tab settings

  1. Navigate to and click the “Mail” link > Log in to Google Mail.
  2. From the top right of the screen click the gear-shaped "Settings" icon. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Click “Settings.” The "General" tab will automatically open.
  4. Make the desired changes. For information on what the settings on this tab do, see “Descriptions of the 'General' tab settings” below.
  5. Click [Save Changes]. The settings will be changed.

Descriptions of the "General" tab settings

The following are the options available on the “General” tab of the “Settings” page. When you make a change to an option, you must click [Save Changes] to change the option.

  • Language: Choose what language you want Google Mail to display in.
  • Maximum page size
    • Show ## conversations per page: Choose how many email messages appear on one page of your main Google Mail screen.
    • Show ## contacts per page: Choose how many contacts appear on one page when you are viewing them.
  • Keyboard shortcuts: Turn on the option to use keyboard combinations to accomplish various tasks in Google Mail (for example, compose, archive, open, reply, forward, and delete). For more information, please see this help page provided by Google.
  • External Content: Choose whether you always want Google Mail to automatically display images in emails you receive from contacts you have sent two or more emails to.
  • Browser connection: You cannot change this option.
  • Conversation View: Choose whether you want all emails with the same subject to be grouped together (conversation view) or displayed separately. For more information, see the Google Mail: Turn Off Conversation View help page.
  • Stars: Pick what stars you want to have available for marking emails. Click and drag to move starts between the “In use:” section and the “Not in use:” section.
  • Desktop Notifications: Choose whether you want to receive a pop-up when you receive a new chat message or email while not looking at Google Mail. Note that for this to work, the following must be true (for more information, see the Google Mail: Use Google Mail Desktop Notifications help page):
    • You are using Google Chrome as your browser.
    • You are logged in to Google Mail.
    • You have Google Mail open in a window somewhere.
  • Button labels: Choose whether you want certain buttons in Google Mail to be labeled with icons or text. For more information, see the Turn Button Text On help page.
  • My picture: Select a picture for people you email to see.
  • People Widget: Choose whether you want information about people involved in an email to display to the right of email when you are viewing it.
  • Create contacts for auto-complete: Choose whether you want Google Mail to save contacts you email so that Google Mail will automatically complete their email address when you email them in the future.
  • Signature: Add a signature to your email messages. For more information, see the Google Mail: Add a Signature help page.
  • Personal level indicators: Choose whether you want markings to appear next to the following types of email:
    • Email sent to multiple people (this does not include groups, such as a class or course group): A single arrow (>) will appear next to this type of message.
    • Email sent only to you: A double arrow (>>) will appear next to this type of message.
  • Snippets: Choose whether you want a preview of the body of the message to show next to each message. For more information, see the Google Mail: Show or Hide Snippets help page.
  • Vacation responder: Set a message for Google Mail to automatically reply to people with when you are on vacation or out of the office. For more information, see the Google Mail Vacation (Auto-Reply) Responder help page.
  • Outgoing message encoding: Only change this setting if some recipients are having trouble reading simple text emails that you send them. Otherwise, you should not need to change it.

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