Gmail Tips

Whether or not you are new to G Suite here are some suggestions and features you may find useful.  Understanding that Google updates Gmail frequently so we don't cover everything here.

Are you an Outlook User?  - see see the differences at a glance -  Switching to Gmail from Outlook

Accessing George Fox Google E-Mail Web Version

In your browser, go to  You can access the George Fox e-mail web version from any computer with Internet access.  You do not have to VPN (connect) to the George Fox campus network to your G Suite account.

Google has Single Sign-on so once you’re signed in to any of your G Suite with your GFU login credentials you will be signed in to all of them and can access any G Suite with the Apps grid in the upper right.

Getting Started

For the basics on how to compose, add an attachment, send, reply, and add a signature, use this tutorial from Google which takes approximately 10 minutes.

Gmail Getting Started

Recommended General Settings

To access the general settings in gmail, log into your email account and click the tool icon in the right hand corner and then choose settings from the menu.

Some general settings to pay close attention to are listed below.

  • Maximum page size - control how many emails are shown per page
  • Default text style - control font style, size, and color
  • Conversation View  - on or off? (groups email by thread - see below)
  • Undo Send - Handy for when you made an error in an email and need to unsend it
  • Stars - a great way to make an email stand out
  • Desktop Notifications - when activated allows your mail to display pop up notifications on desktop every time you receive a new email.
  • Signature - insert signature before quoted text

About Conversations - on or off?

Replies to messages are grouped into conversations. A conversation keeps all messages in a thread together, which makes it easier to keep track of them and reduces inbox clutter. Here's how a conversation appears in your Inbox :

Note that the number of messages in a conversation appears to the right of senders' names

Here's what an opened conversation looks like:

Note: You can't separate the messages in a conversation. However, if you want to send a reply but don't want it to be added to the conversation, you can simply change the subject line in your reply.

Add an Attachment

When composing a message, click Attach icon, and then browse to the file on your computer. 


Or just drag and drop a file from your Desktop to your message. You'll see the "Drop files here" box:

(Works in Firefox and Chrome.  May not work in Internet Explorer.)

Add a file from Google Drive

Send a Message

At the bottom on the message window, click Send. A message appears at the top of the Mail window, confirming that your message was sent. (Or, if you change your mind, click Discard.)

You can also choose to finish the message later. If you choose this option just close your window and your message will be automatically saved in the Drafts folder on the left hand side.

Reply to a Message

You can reply to just the sender or to all recipients of a message.

1. Open the message. If the message is part of a conversation, open the conversation and select the message you want to reply to.

2. At the bottom of the message, click Reply (to reply to just the sender) or if there was more than one recipient, Reply to all (to reply to all recipients). 


3. Optionally, add other email addresses to which to send the reply.

4. Enter your reply in the message field.

5. At the bottom of the message, click Send.

Forward a Message

You can forward a message, just a single message in a conversation, or an entire conversation.

To forward a message or single message in a conversation:

1. Open the message. If the message is part of a conversation, open the conversation and select the message to forward.

2. At the bottom of the message, click Forward.


3. Enter the e-mail addresses to which to forward the message, and add any notes in the message field.

 Note: If you don't want to forward attachments, uncheck the box next to the attachment's file name, below the Subject field.

 4. At the bottom or top of the message, click Send.

Note: The recipient receives a single message containing all messages in the conversation, listed in order of oldest to most recent.

Pop-Out Windows

When composing or reading a message, you can pop out the message into a bigger window so that you can have multiple messages open at one time.

When composing a new message, pop out the window by clicking the pop-out icon in the upper right corner of the message.

When reading a message, click the New window link.

 Print a Message

You can print a single message, an entire conversation, or just a single message in a conversation.

To print a single message:

  1. Open the message you want to print.
  2. Click the down arrow next to the reply button, at the top-right of the message.
  3. Select Print.

Or, if you'd like to print out a message you're composing, click the down arrow at the bottom right of the email window, and select Print.

To print an entire conversation:

  1. Open the conversation you want to print.
  2. Click the "Print all" button Print icon, located above your message pane. 

    A printer-friendly version of the conversation appears in a new window or tab.

    3. Use your web browser's Print options to print the message.

To print a single message in a conversation:

1. Open the conversation and select the message you want to print.

2. Click the down arrow to the right of Reply, and then click Print.


A printer-friendly version of the message appears.

 3. Use your web browser's Print options to print the message.

Search (Google-Powered)

Gmail features the same powerful search technology used on the Web to perform accurate keyword searches of all of your e-mail and attachments. Search by keyword, label, date range, or a host of other options. By also archiving messages, you can instantly find any message you've ever sent or received, without having to create elaborate folder structures or keep unwanted correspondence in your Inbox.

To find messages, simply type in the search box at the top of your Mail window. Or, for more refined searching, click the down arrow to the left of the search icon:

Then fill in the easy-to-use search form to find exactly what you're looking for!



  • In e-mail, click the Settings icon  in the upper right hand corner. Select settings in the menu and then select general.
  • Enter your new signature text in the box next to the Signature option. As you type, the radio button will shift from No Signature to the text box.
  • Gmail supports rich text formatting, graphics, or HTML in your signature.


Gmail adds your signature in grey at the very bottom of your message. Signatures are separated from the rest of your message by two dashes.  Check the box to have your signature be above any replies.

If you don't want your signature to appear on a specific message, you can delete it manually before sending the message. Just highlight the text and delete it before sending.  You are also free to edit your signature before sending.

Click Save Changes at the bottom.

Out-of-Office Response (Vacation Responder)

  1. In e-mail, go to Settings > Settings > General.
  2. In the Vacation responder section, turn on the responder.
  3. Enter a start date, end date, subject, and enter your out-of-office reply message.
  4. Click Save Changes at the bottom.


Folders are called Labels in Google mail.  For more information on labels, see the Labels quick guide.


In your Inbox, mark a message with a star by clicking the star icon to the left of the message.  You can then filter to show only starred messages by clicking the Starred filter on the left of the screen.  In the settings you have more stars to activate.

  1. Go to the "General" Settings page to choose which superstars you wish to use by dragging them to "in use".  Put them in the order they will appear.
  2. Use either the keyboard shortcut ('s') or click to rotate through your selected superstars.
  3. Use the search operator "has:" to find all messages with your superstar (e.g. "has:red-bang", "has:blue-star"). Learn the name of a superstar by hovering over its image in the "General" Settings page.


Labs are Google's testing ground for experimental features that aren't quite ready for primetime.  Some labs are very helpful, but please know that labs may change, break or disappear at any time.

Suggested Labs to Enable

Canned Responses - create a template you can use over and over

Unread Message icon - show number of unread emails on browser tab

Go to Settings > Labs, set a lab to Enable, and click Save Changes at the bottom.  Here are some helpful labs to try:

  • Signature Tweaks - Places your signature before the quoted text in a reply, and removes the "--" line that appears before signatures.
  • Canned Responses - E-mail for the truly lazy. Save and then send your common messages using a button next to the compose form. Also automatically send e-mails using filters.
  • Preview Pane - Provides a preview pane to read mail right next to your list of conversations, making mail reading faster and adding more context. (similar to Outlook)
  • Quicklinks - Adds a box to the left column that gives you 1-click access to any bookmarkable URL in George Fox University Mail. You can use it for saving frequent searches, important individual messages, and more.


When you open your trash, you'll see a link to empty your trash.

Please note that any e-mail messages moved to trash will be automatically deleted after the message has been in trash for 30 days, even if the message is marked as unread.


George Fox's spam filters are still in place.

Gmail also tries to identify potential spam by placing it in the spam folder.  In the spam folder, if you find a message wrongly classified as spam, you can unmark the message. Just select the message, and click the Not Spam button that appears at the top and bottom of your current view. Unmarking a message will automatically move it to your inbox.


The spam folder automatically deletes messages when the message reaches 30 days.

You can also identify mail in your Inbox as spam by selecting the message and clicking the Report Spam button.  This will also help Google better identify and stop future spam messages. 


Archiving Mail 

Archiving moves messages out of your Inbox and into All Mail, letting you tidy up your Inbox without deleting anything. Any message you've archived can be found in All Mail, in any labels you've applied to it, and in Gmail search results. When someone responds to a message you've archived, the conversation containing that message will reappear in your Inbox.   

To archive messages:

  1. Select a message by checking the box next to the sender's name.
  2. Click the Archive button at the top.


If you have a conversation open, you can archive it by clicking Archive at the top of the page.

Personal Gmail and George Fox Gmail

We recommend that you use separate browsers if you want to have both accounts open at the same time. (i.e. View your personal Gmail in Edge/Chrome/Safari and your George Fox Google mail in Firefox.)  

Filters (Rules)

Set up a new filter by selecting the message and clicking the more tab, from the drop down menu select filter messages like these or go to Settings > Settings > Filters and click Create a new filter. 

If you want to filter messages from a specific person, you can do so from their message.  While viewing the message, in the Reply dropdown box, select Filter messages like this.

View and delete existing filters by going to Settings > Filters.

Web Clips

Web clips show at the top of your Inbox.  To remove the web clips:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. In the Settings menu, click Web Clips.
  3. Uncheck the box to Show my web clips above the Inbox.

Working Offline

You can read, respond to, and search your Gmail messages when you aren't connected to the Internet by installing the Gmail Offline app for Chrome.

  • In gmail, go to Settings > Offline.

When you install Gmail Offline, your messages will sync with your browser's storage on the computer you're using. If you're using a public or shared computer, don't install Gmail Offline because others who use the computer could see your messages.

  1. Visit the Gmail Offline page in the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Click Add to Chrome and then Add app.
  3. In Chrome, visit chrome://apps/.
  4. Click Gmail offline Gmail Offline.
  5. Click Allow offline mail and then Continue.

After the app is installed, your messages will start syncing. If you close Google Chrome while your messages are syncing, sync will stop.

See full information here - Gmail Offline

 Questions? Contact the Service Desk | | 503-554-2569