Gmail Gets A New Look

Back in July Google showed us a preview of Gmail’s new look. A couple of days earlier, they released a preview version of the new design. Based on the feedback and the likes they received on their project,  they released the final version to their Gmail users.

You might have noticed that Gmail looks a little different lately. Google said they made some changes to make Gmail more simpler and more consistent so that our experience can be more productive and enjoyable.

Whats changed?  

Streamlined Conversations

Completely redesigned , now shows up the display picture for your contacts making it easier to track who said what. 


  • When viewing the list of your messages, you can navigate via the arrow keys on your keyboard. A blue vertical line at the left shows which message is in focus, replacing the previous sideways arrows icon.
  • Messages in a thread flow together as a conversation. They have been made easier to read by removing extra surrounding graphics.
  • Put names to faces: images your contacts have selected to show (or images that you’ve selected to show for them) now appear next to each message.
  • If no image exists for a sender, a default icon shows that is colored to help indicate who said what.
  • The full list of message recipients is below the sender’s name. To show a long list, click the down arrow at the end of the row.
  • Click the down arrow  to reveal more details about each message, including cc assignment and exact date. This information was previously under the “show details” link.
  • Stars for individual messages in a thread are now on the right side, next to the reply button.
  • The “Reply” button on the right is now an icon
  • Beneath the arrow to the right of the Reply button, you’ll find the options to filter messages similar to the current one, reply to the sender by chat, and others.
  • Quoted text from earlier in the conversation is now collapsed within the “Show trimmed text” icon  rather than a text link. Click it to show or hide the trimmed content. Signatures are also collapsed under an ellipsis.
  • To mark messages you’re reading as important or not important, click the importance indicator next to the subject line. Or, click More in the application toolbar next to the “Move to” and “Labels” icons: 
  • Reply quickly using the box at the bottom of a conversation, or use the Reply, Reply to all, and Forward links within the box.
  • The Archive, Spam, Delete, etc., options are no longer at the bottom of the message. These options stay fixed at the top while you move down the page, so they’re always on the screen.

Customizable Display Density
Gmail now automatically adjusts the amount or “density” of information on a page when you adjust your browser window or when you use different sized screens (when you view your Gmail account on a small computer monitor versus a large one, for example). The “Display Density” setting affects how much space you see between labels, around inbox sections, and between individual messages in your inbox.





To adjust this limit, just follow these steps:

  1. Click the gear icon at the top corner of your inbox.
  2. Choose from Comfortable (least dense), Cozy, and Compact (densest).

If you don’t see an immediate change, it’s because your browser is currently smaller than permissible with the selected density. In this case you’ll see that the setting is annotated with “on larger screens.” 

 High Definition Themes
Themes have been completely modified in compatibility of the beautiful high resolution capacity of the modern Screens. Most of the old favorites have been automatically carried over to the new look. Go to the Settings menu to take another look at themes and choose the one that fits you best. 

Most of the settings are the same, and you can access them by clicking the gear icon. 

  • Themes have been refreshed with new background color and image options. A small number of themes are no longer supported in the Gmail upgrade. We’re working to improve older themes and create new ones.
Smarter navigation
The navigation panel on the left now keeps your labels and chat contacts in view all the time. It’s also more customizable: you can resize the labels and chat areas if you want to see more, or hide the chat area entirely via the chat icon in the lower left. You can also use the arrow keys to navigate around the interface.


The left side of Gmail that includes your labels, chat, and any additional gadgets you’ve used to customize Gmail is now more adjustable, more responsive, and faster. Here are some specific changes we observed:

  • The column stays fixed in position as you scroll through your messages so that you don’t need to scroll up to get to your labels or chat list.
  • Click and drag the solid line below your list of labels to adjust the height of the panel below them.
  • If you have a large number of labels, moving the cursor over them will automatically expand the list, and moving the cursor away will automatically contract it. This way, you can keep them hidden until you need them.
  • By default, labels and chat always show. If you’ve added other features to the left side of Gmail, such as the Google Calendar gadget or the Quick Links lab, switch between chat and your gadgets with the icons at the bottom. 
  • Gmail will remember the toggle position the next time you sign in.
  • You can also click whichever icon is currently highlighted a second time to have neither chat nor gadgets show.
  • If you want to turn chat off, you can do so by clicking the gear icon, choosing Settings, clicking the Chat tab, and changing the setting to disable it.
  • You can use the arrow keys to navigate within the labels section, as well as between panels in Gmail.
  • The grey “Compose mail” button now stands out in red, unless you’ve switched to a different theme.
Better search
Searching on Gmail is made more easier and faster to find exactly what you’re looking for. Click the dropdown in the search box to see a new advanced search panel.You can use the same panel to create a filter from any search in just a few clicks.
  • There’s now a single magnifying glass button for Search. You can still use the same text box to “search Mail” and “search the Web.”
  • Access the “Advanced search options” and “create a filter” tools using the small arrow in the search box. Clicking this arrow will open the new advanced search tool.
  • If you want to create a filter to automatically take actions on your messages, after filling in the search terms, click “Create filter with this search” at the bottom of the advanced search tool. You’ll see your test search results behind a new set of options to help finish creating your filter.
  • After you perform a search by clicking the magnifying glass icon, you’ll see the text version of your search term in the search box.
  • You can still search across the web from the Gmail search box; when you type your query, an option to search the web will show up as a drop-down. 
Easy Switching
To access the contact manager in Gmail, first click Mail at the top left and choose Contacts.
  • As in Mail, your toolbar buttons remain collapsed until you select or open a contact.
  • The “Add to My Contacts” button is now an icon. 
  • The “Groups” button is now an icon. 
  • The “Email” button is now an icon. 
  • The left side of the page automatically expands on mouseover if you have a lot of contact groups, just like labels.
  • To get to the end of your contacts list quickly, click the range of names at the top right of the list.
  • You can still assign a picture to contacts who don’t have one of their own set, but you can no longer suggest that picture to the contact.

It’s no longer possible to access the older, deprecated contact manager.


Static Toolbar
A clean version of  Gmail toolbar, stays with you so that you can reach these options at any time. All the necessary and familiar features are still there. Here’s how they’ve changed:

 Now you can access Contacts and Tasks by clicking Mail on the left, below the Gmail logo.

  • Toolbar options like Archive, Spam, and Labels are now collapsed until you need them. Select or open a message to see actions you can take.
  • Most toolbar options are now graphic icons or shorter text to keep your toolbar more consistent. They’re in the same order as before, and hovering over the buttons will remind you of their meaning. 
  • The +/- buttons have been removed. Instead, just click the importance tag on the left side of a message in the list, next to the sender’s name, to mark it as important or unimportant without opening it.
  • Oldest and Newest navigation options have moved beneath the message range. Hover over 1-50 to reveal them.
  • There’s a new gear icon to access your settings . Use it to change your theme, get help, and access all other Gmail settings.
  • The settings gear also has a new set of options called “Display Density”. 
Experiment with these options to adjust how much information you can see on the page.  You too can switch to the new look by clicking on Switch to the new look in the bottom-right of Gmail. 

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