GMail 4.2

Starting today, that fancy new Gmail update -- version 4.2 -- is bringing the much-requested features of pinch-to-zoom and swipe-to-delete to any device running Ice Cream Sandwich or later. But curiously, the best settings and features aren't even enabled by default.

So how do you turn those settings on? It just takes a few extra taps into the settings menu, so read on and see how.


Head to the settings menu in Gmail, tap into "General settings," and check the box for "Auto-fit messages." This means that whenever you receive a full HTML email, it will be fully zoomed out by default. You can then pinch and zoom it as if it were a webpage. It's not the best solution, but it's probably better than dealing with completely broken HTML emails.

GMail 4.2 Zoom


Using a swipe gesture to delete messages in Gmail is very intuitive and easy to use, especially when it ties into the swiping muscle memory you get from clearing individual notifications in Android. Head to the same settings menu, and tap into "Swiping conversation list," then choose the option that works for you. You can turn off the feature all together, make it archive or delete depending on the mailbox you're in, or have the app delete every time (my personal favorite) so emails don't stack up as archived.

GMail 4.2 Swipe

And there you have it! Take a look into the forums and see what everyone else has to say about some of the more subtle changes to the Gmail app in this latest update.

More: Android Applications Forum


Reader comments

How to enable Gmail 4.2 swipe and zoom features


Im noticing a bug already... I have an email that has an attachement... the attachement now floats up top covering a portion of the Text (body message)

RTFM works well too. It's right there in the "What's New" section and in the Settings. I can't believe how much belly aching is going on with people who can't figure it out. The 1st thing I do after installing/updating an app is to check out the settings!

Yep they tied the initial view and the zoom option together and so removed the font size. Stupid... Then they limited how far you can zoom. The "before" was better, at least for those people who really need the "zoom" option, teenagers with perfect eyes would never need to zoom any further...

Is there a way to delete multiple messages at once so I don't have to delete each one by itself. It gets annoying when on tablet or phone and I have to do this

If you select multiple messages via the checkbox at the left¹, you can then delete them with a tap on the trash can icon that appears.

¹ Or long press to select if you've enabled the "Hide checkboxes" option in the

Yes, the improvements since v4 have been steadily amazing. It's like they hired Palm's former UI genius or something. Seriously, I eagerly anticipate every tweak that, um, migrates along with Matias. They can't come fast enough.

Hear, hear. My wife was just commenting this week how the one thing she missed most from her Palm Pre was swipe to delete. If Key Lime Pie can incorporate card view, Android will be complete.

I wish they'd allow us to turn images for all senders on by default. There's an option in settings that says don't load images from senders or whatever but your only options for it are okay and cancel. It's not actually an option to change anything.

I updated Gmail to this version and now my phone just continues to reset. It allows me like 20 seconds and then resets. I disabled Gmail and that didn't work and now I am stuck. Thoughts?

Another "improvement" (not) is that its no longer possible to apply a label and archive multiple messages at once as the selection is undone in between.

Guess I'm not understanding the "Archive or Delete" function. If I have an e-mail labeled, then I'd expect that to Archive, and if not labeled Delete. It seems with the "or" option it only "archives" though. I can't find a situation where it will delete. What am I missing?