5 Hidden Gmail Tricks for Power Users

How well do you know Gmail? Here are five tips, from setting up an automatic vacation response to signing out of your account remotely, that the average Gmail user might not know about.

Tue, May 08, 2012

CIO — Whether you use Google's Gmail service at work or for personal purposes, you probably have a good handle on the basics: organizing your contacts, sending emails, setting up folders and more.

But if you've mastered the basics and are looking to increase your Gmail prowess and productivity, here's a look at five tips and tricks that will take you to the next level.

1. How to Set Up Desktop Notifications

If you're expecting an important email, there's no need to constantly refresh or monitor your inbox. Instead, download an add-on for the Google Chrome browser that enables a popup that lets you know when you have a new email or chat message.

Chat notifications are enabled by default, but you can disable them in your Gmail settings. To enable email or chat notifications, here's what to do:

First, click the gear icon in the upper right of your Gmail and select "Settings." On the "General" tab, select the option you'd like in the "Desktop Notifications" section. Here, you can turn Chat notifications on or off, or receive notifications for all incoming email or only those Gmail marks "Important." When you've made your selections, click "Save." Right now, this feature works only for Chrome browsers.

2. How to Quickly Add Multiple Attachments to an Email

If an email you're sending requires you to add multiple attachments, there's an easier way than selecting and uploading files one-by-one.

If you want to send multiple files from the same folder, hold down the Ctrl key (or Command key on Macs) and click on each file you want to attach to your message. Or, you can also hold down the Shift key to select a continuous group of files.

Another option is to click and drag file icons from a folder or your desktop directly to the "Attach a file" section. When you do, the area will change to white and display this message: "Drop files here to add them as attachments."

[Gmail Tips: 5 Great Email Timesavers]

3. How to Send an Automatic Vacation Response

Summer—and vacations—are right around the corner. If you'll be unplugged and out of reach, alert your contacts you're offline by setting an automatic vacation response.

The vacation response feature will automatically send a reply with a message to anyone who emails you, except for messages classified as spam and messages addressed to a mailing list you subscribe to. These groups will not receive a notification. If a person contacts you again after four days, Gmail will send another vacation response to remind the person youre away.

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