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How To Use Gmail (Step-By-Step Guide)

how to use gmail

Learning how to use Gmail can help you really take advantage of all the powerful functionality Gmail offers. After all, there’s more to Gmail than just sending and receiving emails.

But what else can you do with Gmail?
You can send instant messages, organize meetings, and do so much more right from the Gmail inbox.

In this article, I’ll show you how to use Gmail on your desktop and mobile devices.
As a bonus, I’ll also mention the perfect tool to add more functionality to Gmail.

Further Reading:

This Gmail Tutorial Contains:

(Click on the links below to jump to specific sections)

Let’s get started.

How to Use Gmail on Your Desktop

Learning how to use Google’s Gmail is simple. This Gmail tutorial will cover the most important features you should know about and how to use them.

First, let’s sign up for a Gmail account.

A. How to Sign Up for Gmail

To use Google Gmail, you’ll need a Gmail account.

In case you don’t have a Google account already, here’s how you can create an email account:

Step 1
Go to gmail.com and hit the Create an account button.

Create account button

Step 2
When the sign-up form appears, enter your First name, Last name, Username, and Password.

Sign up form

Step 3
Add Recovery number and Recovery email details for added security (optional).
Then, add your date of birth and gender.

Once you’ve entered these details, click Next.

Next button

Step 4
After you’ve reviewed Google’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, click on I agree.

I agree button

Step 5
You’ll then be taken to the homepage of your new Gmail account.

Gmail homepage

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B. How to Sign In to Gmail

Here’s how you can sign in to Gmail with your email address:

Step 1
Open Gmail and click on the Sign in button.

Sign in button

Step 2
Enter your email or phone number and click Next.

Next Sign in

Step 3
Type in your password and hit Next to open your inbox.

Next password

Note: Once you’ve signed up for Google’s Gmail, you can use your Gmail credentials to sign in to every Google app (for example, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Calendar, etc.).

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C. How to Compose and Send an Email in Gmail

Here’s how to compose and send emails in Google Gmail:

Step 1
Log in to Gmail from your desktop and click on the Compose button on your left.

Compose button

Step 2
In the New Message window, enter the recipient email IDs in the To field and add your subject line in the Subject field.

New message window

Step 3
Add Cc (carbon copy) or Bcc (blind carbon copy) recipients if you wish to send mail copies to anyone.

CC and BCC

Note: The Cc and Bcc fields let you send copies of an email to multiple email recipients. While recipients in the To address field can see the Cc’d recipients, recipients in the To field won’t be able to see Bcc’d recipients.

Find out how to use Gmail’s Cc and Bcc fields properly. 

Step 4
Enter your message and hit Send when done.

Send button

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D. How to Respond to Emails in Gmail

When you receive a new email in the Gmail inbox, you can see the sender’s name and the subject highlighted in bold.

Here’s how you can respond to an email you’ve received in Gmail:

Step 1
Log in to Gmail and open the email message you want to respond to by clicking on it.

Step 2
Click on the Reply arrow.

Reply arrow button

Step 3
A preview pane will open with the name of the person you’re responding to in the To field.

Preview pane

Step 4
Type your response message and hit Send.

Send 2

Note: Gmail also has an offline mode. This Gmail offline mode lets you read, respond to, and search for emails when you’re offline

To use Gmail offline:

  • Open Gmail and click on the gear icon at the top to open the Quick settings menu.
  • Click on See all settings and go to the Offline tab.
  • Click on the radio button next to  Enable offline mail.
  • Hit Save changes to start using Gmail offline.

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E. How to Organize Your Gmail Inbox

If you’re like most people these days, your inbox is probably flooded with incoming messages — product notifications, newsletters, cold emails, promotions, and more. As a result, keeping your mailbox organized can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, Gmail offers numerous organizational features to help manage your emails efficiently, such as:

Here’s a quick look at some of these features:

1. Labels

The Gmail label function helps you organize your inbox better.

Unlike Microsoft Outlook, which only lets you add an email to one folder, Gmail enables you to add multiple labels to a single email. This way, an email can exist in more than one category at the same time.

I’ll show you how to:

Let’s first check out how you can create a label in Gmail.

i. How to Create a Gmail Label

Step 1
Log in to Gmail and click on Gmail Settings (gear icon) near the top right corner.

Settings icon

Step 2
In the Quick settings dialog box that opens, click on See all settings.

See all settings button

Step 3
Select the Labels tab.

Labels tab

Step 4
Scroll down and click on Create new label.

Create new label

Step 5
In the pop-up window, enter a name for the new Gmail label and select a label (or folder) to nest it under (optional).

New label name

Step 6
Click on Create. 

Create button

ii. How to Add Labels to an Email in Gmail

Here’s how simple it is to add a label to an email.

Step 1
Open the email you want to add a label to and click on the Label icon at the top.

Label icon

Step 2
Enter the name of the label in the search box or select one from the label list.

You can add multiple labels to a single email by checking the boxes next to the label names.

Label as

Step 3
Click on Apply. 

Apply

Step 4
The selected labels will be added to the email.

selected labels added

Once you’ve added the labels, you can effortlessly search for labeled emails.

I’ll show you how next.

iii. How to Find an Email with a Specific Gmail Label

Follow these steps to find an email that you’ve labeled:

Step 1
Open Gmail and scroll through the sidebar on the left until you see the required folder.

Work related tab

Step 2
Click on the folder to display all the emails within that specific label. Then, you can select the required email from the list.

Select email

Check out my step-by-step Gmail labels guide for more info. 

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2. Starred Emails

Gmail allows you to star important emails for easy organization.

I’ll show you how to star important emails and search for your starred emails.

i. How to Star Important Emails

Step1
Open Gmail and find the email you want to star.

Find email

Step 2
Click on the star icon next to the required email.

The star will turn yellow, indicating that the email has been starred.

Yellow star

ii. How to Search for Starred Emails

Once an email has been starred, searching for that email is simple.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1
Open Gmail and select the Starred folder in the left side pane.

Starred tab

Step 2
The Starred folder will open with all your starred emails in it.

Starred emails

You can click on the required email to open it.

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Next, I’ll show you how to filter your emails using the Gmail Filter feature.

3. Gmail Filters

Once you create Gmail filters, Gmail can automatically direct incoming messages to the different folders in your inbox.

Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1
Open Gmail and click the Show search options icon on the right of the search mail bar.

Show search button

Step 2
Enter your search criteria (From, To, Has the words, Size, Date, etc.) and hit the Create filter button.

Create filter option

Step 3
Select what you want Gmail to do with the filtered emails from the list and click Create filter.

Create filter button

Step 4
A notification box will appear confirming that your filter has been created.

Filter created notification

Once your Gmail filters have been created, you won’t have to sort and manage Gmail messages manually — the filter will do it for you automatically.

4. Archive Emails or Delete Emails

Do you only want to keep important emails in your inbox?
Then you can archive emails or delete unimportant emails.

Here’s how:

i. Archive Emails

Step 1
Open Gmail and select the multiple emails you want to archive by clicking on the checkbox next to each email.

checkboxes

Step 2
Click on the Archive icon at the top.

Archive icon

Step 3
A black pop-up window will appear, indicating that the selected emails have been archived.

Black pop-up

ii. Delete Emails

Here’s how you can delete unwanted emails in Gmail:

Step 1
Open Gmail and select the emails you want to delete using the checkboxes.

select images to delete

Step 2
Click on the trash bin icon to delete the selected emails.

Delete icon

What’s the difference between archived emails and deleted emails?
Archiving emails lets you clean up your inbox by moving selected emails (archive emails) from your inbox into the All Mail folder (which you can always access from the left sidebar).

Unlike archived emails, deleted emails are moved to the Trash folder (located below the spam folder) and permanently deleted after 30 days.

Go back to Contents

Next, I’ll discuss how you can search for an email in Gmail.

F. How to Search for Emails in Gmail

If you don’t want to scroll through multiple emails to find the one you’re looking for, you can use the Gmail Search feature to find your email quickly.

I’ll show you how to search for emails by typing a search term in the search bar and using Gmail search operators

1. How to Search for Emails by Typing a Search Term into the Search Bar

This is how you can search for a specific email using a particular search term:

Step 1
Open Gmail and type in a search term into the search bar.

For example, if you’re searching for an email about GMass, you could enter “GMass” into the search bar.

Search Gmass

Step 2
A preview list will appear with recent emails matching your search term.

If you see the email you’re looking for, select it from the list by clicking on it or clicking on More search results to view all the emails matching your search term.

More search results

Step 3
You can then scroll through your emails and find the right one.

If your list of emails is still too long to scroll through, you can refine your search further using search operators.

I’ll show you how it’s done next.

2. How to Search for Emails Using Search Operators

To use search operators, just open Gmail and type them into the search bar.

Here are some examples of common search operators:

  • When searching for an email from a specific person, use the search operator “from:” followed by their name.
    For example, from:ajay — displays sent messages from Ajay.
  • When searching for an email you sent to a particular person, use the search operator “to:” followed by the person’s name.
    For example, to:peter — shows email messages you sent to Peter.
  • When searching for an email about a specific topic, you can use the operator “subject:” followed by the topic.
    For example, subject:gmass — displays all emails that contain the word “gmass” in the subject line.

Subject gmass

For more information, check out my Gmail tutorial on how to use Gmail search.

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Next, I’ll tell you how you can add a signature to your emails.

G. How to Add Signatures in Gmail

It’s easy to configure your Gmail settings and add signatures.

I’ll show you how simple it is to:

1. How to Create an Email Signature

This is how you can create an email signature in Gmail.

Step 1
Open Gmail and click on the Settings icon.

Settings icon

Step 2
Click on See all settings.

See all settings

Step 3
Under the General tab, scroll down to “Signature:” and click on Create new.

Create new button

Step 4
In the pop-up window that appears, provide a name for the signature name and click Create.

Create pop-up

Step 5
The newly created signature will now be visible near “Signature” under the General tab.

You can now type in what you want the signature to say in the text box on the right. Moreover, you can edit the font, add attachments, links, etc.

text box

Step 6
Scroll down to the bottom and click on Save changes.

Save changes

Check out my post on how to create and add email signatures for more information.

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2. How to Insert a Signature into an Email

This is how you can add a signature to an outgoing email:

Step 1
Compose your email as usual but before you hit Send, click on the pen icon at the bottom of the Compose window.

Pen icon

Step 2
Select the required signature from the list.

Select signature

Step 3
The signature will be inserted at the bottom of your email.

You can then click Send as usual.

Signature inserted

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Now that you know how to add and insert email signatures in Gmail, I’ll show you how to edit an email signature:

3. How to Edit an Email Signature

Here’s how you can easily edit an existing signature:

Step 1
Open Gmail and click on the Settings icon.

Settings icon

Step 2
Click on See all settings. 

See all settings

Step 3
In the General tab, scroll down till you see the “Signature” section.

Make the necessary changes in the text box on the right.

Text-box changes

Step 4
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Save changes.

Save changes

It’s that simple!

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Next, I’ll show you how you can organize your meetings in Gmail.

H. How to Organize Meetings in Gmail

Gmail lets you easily set up meetings with people through Google Meet.

I’ll cover how you can:

First, we’ll check out how to enable Google Meet inside Gmail.

1. How to Enable Google Meet in Gmail

Here’s how to enable Google Meet.

Step 1
Open Gmail and click on the Settings icon.

Settings icon

Step 2
Click on See all settings. 

See all settings

Step 3
Click on the Chat and Meet tab.

Chat and meet

Step 4
Ensure that the radio button next to Show the Meet section in the main menu is selected.

Meet section

Step 5
Click on Save Changes, and Google Meet will be enabled.

Save changes

Now that you’ve enabled Google Meet, you can make video calls right within Gmail.

2. How to Make a Video Call in Gmail

Here’s how simple video calling in Gmail is:

Step 1
Open Gmail and scroll down to Meet in the left sidebar.

Meet button

Step 2
Click on New meeting.

New meeting

Step 3
A pop-up window will appear with a meeting link.

Click on Start now to start a meeting.

Start now button

Alternatively, you can click on Send invitation to copy the meeting link or share the link with attendees via email.

Send invitation option

3. How to Join a Video Call in Gmail

Here’s how you can join a meeting in Gmail:

Step 1
Open Gmail and scroll down to Meet in the left sidebar.

Meet button

Step 2
Click on Join a meeting.

Join a meeting

Step 3
Enter the meeting code provided by the meeting’s organizer and click Join. 

Join option

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Next, I’ll talk about sending instant Gmail messages:

I. How to Send Instant Messages in Gmail

By enabling Google Chat, you can chat with your Gmail contacts.

I’ll show you how to enable Google Chat and chat with contacts in Gmail.

1. How to Enable Google Chat

Here’s how you can enable Google Chat.

Step 1
Open Gmail and click on the Settings icon.

Settings icon

Step 2
Click on See all settings.

See all settings

Step 3
Click on the Chat and Meet tab.

Chat and meet

Step 4
Click on the radio button next to Google Chat to enable it.

Google chat

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2. How to Chat with Contacts in Gmail

Here’s how you can chat with contacts inside Gmail:

Step 1
Open Gmail and scroll the left sidebar until you find Chat.

Now, click on the plus icon (+).

Chat tab

Step 2
Type in the name of the contact or select one from the contacts listed.

Type contact name

Step 3
A new window will open, showing your chat history with the chosen contact. It’ll also show whether the contact is active or away.

Chat history

Step 4
Type your message into the text box and click the arrow icon to send.

Type message

Note: If the person is online, they will see your message immediately. If not, they will see your message when they sign in. 

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J. How to Customize the Appearance of Your Gmail Interface

If you prefer a more personalized Gmail interface, you can easily change it to suit your preferences.

Here’s how:

Step 1
Open Gmail and click on the Settings icon.

Step 2
Scroll down to Theme and select your preferred theme.

Theme option

Step 3
If you don’t see the theme you want, click on View all.

View all button

Step 4
A window will open with the available themes.

Choose your preferred theme and click Save.

Save button

Alternatively, click on My photos to use a picture from your device instead.

My photos

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Now that you’ve seen how to use Gmail on your desktop, I’ll show you how to use Gmail on your mobile phone:

How to Use Gmail on Your Phone

Using your Android or iOS mobile phone to access your emails is the best way to check your Gmail messages while you’re on the go.

Here’s how you can install and use Gmail on your Android phone.

A. How to Use Gmail on Your Android Phone

I’ll first show you how to install the Gmail app on your Android phone and then go over how to add non-Gmail accounts to your mobile Gmail app.

1. How to Install the Gmail App on Your Android Phone

Here’s how you can easily install the Gmail app on your Android phone:

Step 1
Go to the Play Store and search for the Google app you want to install — the Gmail app.

Click Install to install the Google app.

Gmail app

Step 2
Open the app and sign in using your login credentials.

2. How to Add Non-Gmail Accounts to the Gmail App on Your Android Phone

Here’s how you can add non-Gmail accounts to your Gmail app on your Android phone:

Step 1
Open Gmail on your phone or tablet.

gmail icon

Step 2
In the top right corner, tap your profile picture.

Profile picture

Step 3
Tap Add another account.

Add another account

Step 4
Choose the type of account you want to add.

Set up email

Step 5
Follow the steps instructed on your screen to add your account.

But what if you have an iPhone?
Next, I’ll show you how to use Gmail on your iPhone, iPad, and other iOS mobile devices.

B. How to Use Gmail on Your iPhone

The Gmail interface is a little different on the iPhone and iPad when compared to the Android device. However, the basic functionalities for iOS remain the same once you’ve installed the Gmail app from the App Store.

Here’s how you can use Gmail on your iPhone or iPad:

Step 1
Go to the Apple Store and install the Gmail app.

Step 2
Open the Gmail app.

Step 3
Tap Add another account. 

Step 4
Select the type of account you want to add.

Step 5
Follow the steps on the screen to add your account.

Go back to Contents 

Next, I’ll show you a great way to add even more functionality to the Gmail app.

How to Add More Functionality to Gmail

Gmail is a great free email service.

However, there’ll be situations when this Google app isn’t enough for your needs.

For example, let’s say you want to send a webinar invitation to a large audience of people.

A mail service like Gmail restricts the number of emails you send to 500 emails/day. If you’re using a Google Workspace account (formerly G Suite), you can only send up to 2000 emails in a day.

But what if you need to send more than that?

Whether you have a regular Gmail account or Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) account, you can use GMass to bypass these sending limits and enhance Gmail’s functionality with ease.

What Is GMass?

Gmass

GMass is a powerful email outreach tool that works within Gmail. Its ease of use and powerful mail merge features make it a popular tool used by employees in large organizations, like Uber and Google, and social media platforms, like Twitter and LinkedIn.

It’s also perfect for small businesses, churches, solopreneurs, and any Gmail user to send emails to an audience.

To get started with GMass, download the Google Chrome extension and sign up for free using your Gmail account.

Here are some of the things you can do with GMass:

Go back to Contents

Final Thoughts

Gmail is a great tool to send and receive emails, organize your inbox, add signatures, perform searches, and carry out chats and meetings.

However, even with its arsenal of features, Gmail falls short when it comes to sending bulk emails, personalizing emails, or generating insights into how recipients engage with your emails.

For that, you need GMass — download the Google Chrome extension today.

Sign up for Gmail and link your account to GMass to boost your email productivity!

Ready to transform Gmail into an email marketing/cold email/mail merge tool?


Only GMass packs every email app into one tool — and brings it all into Gmail for you. Better emails. Tons of power. Easy to use.


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8 Comments
  1. Hello,

    So happy I came across this explanation after going through so many others that never go beyond a few basics.

    Do you have, or could you make, something similar for Google Drive, and particularly for the automatic synchronisation of a Word document and Drive.

    Kind regards,
    Pim Pernel

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