I think the majority of the human population must have a Gmail account. That says a lot about Google’s reach but more about how we use the internet and how a single company has managed to get its claws into so many people. However, back to Gmail and a particular question we were asked, ‘what is the gear icon in Gmail’?
The Gmail Settings menu
The Gmail Settings menu is where you do most of your configuration. You can control how your email account works with the General tab, create email filters in the Labels tab, change how your Inbox page looks and feels from the Inbox tab, add, change or remove email accounts with the Accounts and Imports tab.
Watching: Where is the gear icon in gmail?
Filters and blocked addresses is where you help stop spam and set up email filters for ordering your inbox. Forwarding and POP/IMAP is where you set up email forwarding or change your email account type. Add-ons is the same as the menu option above. Chat opens a chat window where you can chat to your Gmail contacts.
Advanced has some great features like Canned Responses, multiple inboxes, adds a preview pane and other stuff. Offline enables a download of your inbox for those times when you don’t have internet. Themes is a repeat of the above menu item while multiple inboxes allows you to add filters and searches to your main inbox window.
General Gmail setup
If you’re a typical home user, once you have set up your Gmail account the way you like it, you will rarely use the settings menu. I do suggest using the General tab to set up your location, font, smart reply, undo send and email signature though. These just add a little extra to all emails.
Labels are email filters the same as creating folders in Outlook works. You can have Gmail automatically sort emails with these labels according to sender, keywords or something else. This is an incredibly useful feature and one I use a lot.
When first setting up Gmail, you would use the Accounts and Imports tab to create a new account and import email from other accounts. Gmail can send and receive email from other accounts such as Outlook and others that use POP3. This is useful if you have multiple emails but only want to use a single account to control them all.
Finally, Advanced lets you set up canned responses which I find amazingly useful. Here you can write emails in advance that can be sent with a single click. As I use my Gmail for freelance work, I have several canned responses here that are sent as soon as I receive a proposal or invitation to tender. They also have uses for home users too.
The gear icon in Gmail opens up a raft of customization options where you control every aspect of your email account. I suggest spending some time there so you get a better idea of exactly what this email app is capable of!