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8 Gmail Hacks That Will Change The Way You Use Email

No need to fear your own inbox. Gmail's got a few hidden email features that you need to know about.

Posted on June 20, 2013, at 6:17 p.m. ET

1. =


Let's say your email is That's great, but the dots don't matter. At all.

If someone emails you at, it'll work just fine.

2. Undo accidental emails.

Click that weirdly shaped icon in the top right corner of Gmail, then mouse down to "Settings."

Then click to "Labs." Search for the lab feature titled "Undo Send." Enable it, and click "Save changes."

Still in "Settings," go to "General," and scroll down to the "Undo Send" section. Enable it there too.

Every time you send an email, a yellow bar will pop up and give you the chance to click undo. So the next time you accidentally email the entire company something that was only supposed to go to one person, you've got a few seconds to fix your mistake.

3. Add plus signs to filter out unwanted email.

Let's say you're signing up for a new gym membership, but you don't want to give them your main email. So add a plus sign to it: (Anything you put after the "+" will work.)

When the first email from the gym shows up, click on it, then click "More," then "Filter messages like these." A pop-up will appear, and enter the plus sign address into the "To" line. Click "Create filter with this search."

Then you get to choose what you want to do with those emails. Want them all to go directly to trash? Just check "Delete it," and hit "Create filter" to save your setting. And you'll never see an email from your gym again! They'll automatically all go straight into the garbage.

4. Send & Archive mode cleans up your inbox

Go back to "Settings," then "General." Scroll down to "Send and Archive," and click the "Show" button.

When you reply to a message in your inbox, you'll see the "Send & Archive" button appear. Unless you really reeeeeally need that message to hang around on the front page of your inbox, hit "Send & Archive." Your inbox will be a little bit less cluttered, and you'll still be able to find that message by searching for it in Gmail.

5. Insert images directly into an email.

Go to "Settings," then "Labs," then search "Inserting Images." Enable the feature.

Then, the next time you want to respond to a co-worker with a hilarious GIF — or, you know, something practical for your job — you can embed it right there in the email. Just drag the image into the email. Or click the "Insert images" icon when you're in compose mode and add the URL for the image.

6. Figure out which senders are legit.

This is another excellent Gmail Labs hack. Go back to "Labs," and search for "Authentication icon for verified senders." Enable it.

The next time you get an email from a company like Ebay or PayPal, you'll see a little key next to their sender name. That's how you know the email's legit and not an email from a spammer or identity thief.

7. Send canned responses for repetitive emails

So you hate sending the same email over and over again? Gmail's got a trick for that. Again, go to "Labs," then search for "Canned Responses" and enable it.

Now here's the semi-tricky part. Go to "Compose" and write the canned email. Then, just below the "To" line, click "Canned Responses," and go down to "Save." Click "New Canned Response," and give that email a title.

Then the next time you want to reply with that canned email, click "Canned Responses" and select the email response you want. Gmail will insert it at the top of your reply, and all you have to do is send it off.

8. Import other web tools to hack together whatever you want.

Want to connect with your contacts on social media? Use Rapportive to see all of their social profiles within your inbox — no clicking required. (It shows up like that screenshot above.)

Running out of space in your Gmail account? Use Find Big Mail to figure out what big files are clogging up your email.

Want to schedule your emails for sending at a later time? (Sometimes, you don't want your boss or professor to know you wrote an email at 3 a.m.) Use Boomerang to schedule that email for a more appropriate time.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.