It's time to take control of Gmail.

With over a billion monthly active users, Gmail is one of the most popular email clients around. The service has come a long way from its inception in 2004, and is continually adding new features and better spam prevention. If you're new to Android, or if you're just are looking for ways to get the best out of Gmail on the platform, read on.

Gmail is a part of Google Mobile Services, a collection of apps and APIs that are pre-installed on every Android phone certified by Google. If you have an Android phone that has the Play Store pre-installed, you'll also find Chrome, YouTube, Maps, Photos, Hangouts, and Play Music and Movies available out of the box. Let's take a look at what Gmail has to offer on Android.

Before we begin: You should enable two-factor authentication for your Google account if you haven't done so already. Security breaches are inevitable, and having an added layer of protection for your email account makes all the difference in the world.

How to send email using Gmail

  1. Open Gmail from the home screen or app drawer.
  2. Select the floating action button (circular button with a pen icon in the bottom right corner) to compose a new mail.
  3. Enter the recipient's email address in the To field.

    Gmail how to send email Android

  4. Use the downward arrow symbol to see Cc and Bcc options.
  5. Enter the subject and body of the text.
  6. Tap the arrow button to send the email.

    Gmail how to send mail

How to format emails and add emojis in Gmail

Google added rich text formatting in Gmail for Android earlier this year, giving you the ability to add text colors and underline, italicize, and bold text. And yes, you can also send emoticons within an email.

  1. Select the desired text with a quick double tap.
  2. Tap the Format button from the action menu.
  3. Select from bold, italics, or underline. You can also change text color and background.

    Gmail format text

  4. To add emoji, tap the emoji button.
  5. Select your desired emoji and add it to the text.

    Gmail format text emoji

How to add attachments in Gmail

With Gmail, you can attach local files — including documents, photos, or videos — or send files stored on Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and other cloud storage services. Local attachments are limited to 25MB, and for anything larger than that you'll have to upload the file to Drive first. Doing so lets you share files up to 10GB in size.

  1. Select the floating action button to compose a new mail.
  2. Tap the attach button to select files.
  3. Choose Attach file to insert local files or use Insert from Drive to attach Drive files as links within the mail.

    Gmail add attachment Android

  4. Using the Attach file option is straightforward. Select the file from the menu to embed it in the mail.
  5. Insert from Drive follows a similar flow.
  6. Once you select the attachment, you'll see a preview at the bottom of the mail.

    Gmail attach Drive documents Android

How to add a secondary Google account in Gmail

  1. Tap the hamburger menu on the top left corner.
  2. Select the arrow next to the account name.
  3. Tap Add account.

    Gmail add account

  4. In the set up email section, select Google from the list of services.
  5. Enter your Account email ID and password.
  6. If you'd like to create a new account, select Or create a new account.

    Gmail add secondary account Android

You can also add a secondary Google account by heading into your device's settings:

How to add a secondary Google account on your phone

How to add an Outlook or Yahoo Mail account in Gmail

Gmail also allows you to add email accounts from third-party services like Outlook, Yahoo Mail, Exchange accounts, or your own mail server.

  1. Tap the hamburger menu on the top left corner.
  2. Select the arrow next to the account name.
  3. Tap Add account.

    Gmail add account

  4. Select your desired email service from the list.
  5. Add your email ID and password.

    Gmail add Outlook and Yahoo accounts

How to merge inboxes in Gmail

If you have two or more email accounts on the same device, you can see all emails in a single view.

  1. Tap the hamburger menu on the top left corner.
  2. select All inboxes.
  3. All your emails will be displayed chronologically in the All inboxes view.

    Gmail merge inboxes

How to adjust preview settings in Gmail

If you're using a device with limited screen real estate, or would like to see more text in the email preview, you can disable sender images.

  1. Tap the hamburger menu on the top left corner.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Select General settings.

    Gmail settings

  4. Deselect the Sender image checkbox.
  5. Now you'll be able to see more preview text in your inbox.

    Gmail sender image

How to add a signature in Gmail

  1. Tap the hamburger menu on the top left corner.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Select the account for which you want to add the signature.

    Gmail signature settings Android

  4. Tap the Signature field.
  5. Enter the desired signature text.
  6. The signature text will be added at the bottom of every email.

    Gmail add signature Android

How to prioritize your inbox in Gmail

  1. Tap the hamburger menu on the top left corner.
  2. Select Priority Inbox.
  3. Emails that are directly addressed to you will be surfaced above promotional messages.

    Gmail Priority Inbox Android

You can also mark emails manually to let Gmail know that they're valuable to you. That way, upcoming mails will be sent to Priority Inbox.

  1. Long press anywhere on a mail or select the sender image to show the action menu.
  2. Tap the three dots in the top corner to bring up the menu options.
  3. Select Mark as important. Doing so will change the priority of the email.

    Gmail training inbox

How to mute emails in Gmail

If you're part of a mail chain that is getting out of hand, you can mute the conversation. Doing so moves the mail thread to the archived section, and you won't be notified of any incoming messages in the chain. The mail will still be marked unread.

  1. Long press anywhere on a mail or select the sender image to show the action menu.
  2. Tap the three dots in the top corner to bring up the menu options.
  3. Select Mute.

    Gmail mute inbox

How to archive or delete emails in Gmail

  1. Long press anywhere on a mail or select the sender image to show the action menu.
  2. Select the archive icon to archive an email.
  3. Select the delete icon to move it to the trash.

    Gmail archive delete Android

You can archive or delete multiple emails in one go. After selecting a mail, press the sender image for subsequent mails you wish to move to the trash or archive. You can also use quick actions to delete or archive a mail by swiping left or right on the mail. To select the default action for the swipe gesture, do the following:

  1. Tap the hamburger menu on the top left corner.
  2. Navigate to Settings.
  3. Select General settings.

    Gmail settings

  4. Tap Gmail default action.
  5. Select between Archive and Delete.

    Gmail default action Android

How to recover deleted emails in Gmail

If you've deleted a mail by mistake, you can recover it by navigating to the trash.

  1. Tap the hamburger menu on the top left corner.
  2. Navigate to Trash.
  3. Select the mail by a long press action.

    Gmail delete email inbox

  4. Tap the three dots in the top corner to bring up the menu options.
  5. Select Move to.
  6. Choose Inbox to move the deleted mail back to your inbox.

    Gmail move deleted messages to inbox

Your turn

That's a quick look at what Gmail has to offer on Android. We'll show you how to use various search parameters to search your mailbox, how to use labels and filters effectively, add aliases to Gmail, and more later this week. In the meantime, let us know what tricks you rely on to manage your inbox.