I'm not a fan of Gmail's new compose window that sits down there in the bottom right corner of the window when you hit the compose button. That said, I'm also not really affected by it as I'm using the desktop client Thunderbird for email which provides me with an adequately sized compose area in the client window.
The only trick that Gmail users can make use of is to hold down the Shift button before they click on or tap on the compose button which launches the email writing part of Gmail in its own window. It is not only offering a larger window for compose, it is also acting independent of the main Gmail window so that you can reference other emails or look up something on websites without necessarily losing focus on the compose mail window itself.
Google recently has implemented a second option to increase the size of the Gmail compose window. All you have to do to activate the full-screen mode is to click on the icon. It is located in the header bar of the compose window right next to the minimize and close buttons.
When you hit the full-screen button in the compose window, it gets moved to the center of the window. It is not launched in full-screen, which you may have expected it to, but it is definitely a lot larger and more prominently displayed than before.
This is better if you write an email with a lot of text, as you get to see more of that text at the same time in the compose window. It improves accessibility as well as you do not have to move your mouse cursor all the way down anymore to activate the smaller default compose window down.
You return to the smaller sized window by simply clicking on the full-screen icon again in the header.
If you prefer to always use the full-screen window when you are composing emails, then you can configure Gmail to do just that for you.
Click on the small down arrow next to the trashcan and select Default to full-screen here. Whenever you click on compose now, the full-screen version is automatically loaded for you on the Gmail website.
If you are using the Gmail website to compose emails, then you have three options to do so now. The new default way where the window is located in the lower right corner, the full-screen centered option, or the detached version where it is launched in its own window.
A fourth is available at the time of writing, to return to Gmail's old compose window, but it is very likely that it won't be available for much longer.
Update: You can also hit the d key on your keyboard to open a full screen compose window on Gmail.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.