Google launches the "New Gmail" for everyone: here is how you enable or disable it

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 15, 2021

Last year, Google revealed plans to turn Gmail, the company's popular email service, into a communication and work powerhouse by introducing chat, video calls and Google Docs functionality.

Today's announcement on the official The Keyword website marks the launch of the new Gmail.

Google made the decision to keep it disabled for the majority of users in the beginning. If you have not been selected by the company as part of an experiment, chance is that you won't see the new Gmail interface and its functionality right away.

google chat

For that. you need to flip a switch in the Gmail settings to get started:

  1. Open the Gmail web interface.
  2. Select the cogwheel icon to display the quick settings, and there the "see all settings" option.
  3. Go to Chat and Meet.
    1. To enable the new Gmail interface, select Google Chat next to Chat, and select Save Changes.
    2. To disable the new Gmail interface, switch to Off.

The new Gmail interface is loaded once you hit the save changes button on the page.

Chat, Rooms and Meet are all displayed in the sidebar underneath the mail folders.

  • Google Chat is the main chat app.
  • Google Rooms lets you join chat rooms.
  • Google Meet for video calls.

Google improved the integration of its Google Docs service next to that. If someone posts a link to a document, you may now open it "in chat" to have it displayed right away; this does not work in some cases currently, e.g. if you have received a link in an email or or pop-up chat window.

To make matters confusing, Google plans to rename Rooms to Space over the summer. New functionality will be introduced according to the company's announcement, including "n-line topic threading, presence indicators, custom statuses, expressive reactions, and a collapsible view".

Gmail users may change their status in the top right corner when the new interface is enabled. A click displays options to switch from "automatic" to "do not disturb" and "set as away".

google chat status

There you may also disable notifications, e.g. the sound that the app plays when a new message arrives.

Closing Words

Gmail users who don't want the new interface can keep it turned off for now. It remains to be seen for how long that option will be available. It seems likely that Google is going to promote the new functionality on Gmail eventually, e.g. by showing popups to users prompting them to switch to the new interface and functionality.

Now You: will you use the new Gmail if you are a user of the service?

Google launches the
Article Name
Google launches the "New Gmail" for everyone: here is how you enable or disable it
Google launched the "New Gmail" officially today for all consumers. Since it is disabled by default, you need to enable it before you can access the new functionality.
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  1. Anonymous said on June 17, 2021 at 12:18 am

    Welcome addition. Basically sooner of later premium workspace option will be available for everyone at 10 dollars, not only for business. premium workspace = no process of customer data for advertising purposes. Also the new encyption premium feature with our own keys is very welcome. If they have at least 2 tb with the option to encrypt with our own keys and no ads like the existing premium customers have, then the workspace individual at 10 dollars is an amazing vfm.

  2. Anonymous said on June 16, 2021 at 5:01 am

    This reminds me, I need to finish setting up my proton accounts.

    1. Stan said on June 19, 2021 at 1:25 am

      You must have many proton accounts, right? I would need 30 proton accounts to have the space Google gives. No thanks, I have better things to do than managing 30 proton accounts to have the space I need in 2021 in my email account without paying with my money. Proton 500 mb was enough 10 years ago.

      1. David Rosenhan said on June 24, 2021 at 2:33 pm


        We are not you.

        Perhaps you suffer from megalomania?

        Point being, we don’t care how you use Proton Mail.

  3. Anonymous said on June 15, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    In a word ‘no’.

  4. Richard Steven Hack said on June 15, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    A reminder: Google was created by the CIA to do the sort of social monitoring and control that they had in print media but on the Internet.

    How the CIA made Google

  5. Jake said on June 15, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    I have enabled the chat, but I do not see the new interface.

  6. ULBoom said on June 15, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    Google seriously needs something to do. The more complicated their products become the more places they can bury data collection switches so a team leader gets a bit more bird seed.

    Bonus rage drives all:

    Love them tab groups (barf!)

  7. JUST NO ALREADY said on June 15, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    NO THANKS. I want email to be email. Please stop pushing all this extra crap in my face.

    I get the sense if Google invented a car it would also be a blender, a chalkboard, and a douche.

    Keep email as email. Follow the KISS philosophy: Keep it Simple, Stupid.

  8. Anonymous said on June 15, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    Looks the same to me just with Google Talk from 2001 added again in the left panel.

  9. Geko said on June 15, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    I find it great, with littles tweaks in the config tab the UI still looks quite the same, and I feel more powerfool with all theses tools available now.

  10. Balazs said on June 15, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    Another important change as of today: I can’t anymore set the HTML view as default for my Gmail account. Although I’m still able to navigate to it, as of today Gmail stopped loading the HTML view as default when navigating to , and even when I switch to HTML, I can’t save it as a default.

  11. Iron Heart said on June 15, 2021 at 11:58 am

    I’ll just leave this here, in case anyone has an interest in dropping the GMail spy service:

    1. ULBoom said on June 15, 2021 at 7:20 pm

      I especially love the way they save all your purchases made with a gmail address, hide them and make it such that you can only delete them one by one.
      Maybe this has changed, I barely use gmail and nothing else directly google any more, except Android, can’t avoid play services without going full geek and beyond.

    2. Dean said on June 15, 2021 at 3:24 pm

      too much paranoia..

      1. owl said on June 16, 2021 at 3:04 am

        > too much paranoia..

        “Paranoia”, we cannot be overlooked!
        Either you are “dumb” or you are on the side of “people with bad intentions”.
        From your comment, it seems that you are not reasonable, so I am not advising you, but replying to the viewers.

        The U.S.-led UKUSA agreement,
        or countries such as China, North Korea, Myanmar, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, Israel, and Egypt, monitor and eavesdrop on the World Wide Web, indiscriminately and unrestricted collecting personal information such as browsing history and compiling it into databases.
        In the name of national security, innocent people are being detained and killed for “the convenience of those in power”. The human rights violations in Uyghur, Tibetan Autonomous Region and Hong Kong by the state power are very serious.
        The world was stunned by the confession of Edward Snowden, a former CIA agent, who revealed the reality of “web snooping and surveillance. In his confession, he named Google, Microsoft, and Apple as the companies that were “conducting illegal activities in secret and providing data to the NSA.
        Facebook has been cause an incident repeatedly “massive leaks of user account information” and the leaked information is being misused by malicious people.
        Amazon has not been able to dispel “suspicions that it is engaged in similar activities as Google”.

        Even if your personal information is at a “worthless” level, it is a “prime target” for those with malicious intent, useful for unauthorized use for misuse of the leaked information, and can be used as a terminal for cyberattacks such as DDoS attacks.

        The web has become an indispensable part of our lives with the spread of smartphones, but if it is used indifferently and carelessly by “idiots” who don’t understand the concept of web servers and web clients, it can be used for cybercrime and cause trouble for society. At the very least, the subscribers of “Ghacks” should be clever.

      2. owl said on June 16, 2021 at 3:05 am

        As related information:
        Federal Security Service | Wikipedia
        Vladimir Putin | Wikipedia

        Spy Files Russia | WikiLeaks
        Russia’s laws – especially the new Yarovaya Law – make literally no distinction between Lawful Interception and mass surveillance by state intelligence authorities (SIAs) without court orders. Russian communication providers are required by Russian law to install the so-called SORM ( Система Оперативно-Розыскных Мероприятий) components for surveillance provided by the FSB at their own expense. The SORM infrastructure is developed and deployed in Russia with close cooperation between the FSB, the Interior Ministry of Russia and Russian surveillance contractors.

        About SORM
        SORM is the technical infrastructure for surveillance in Russia. It dates back to 1995 and has evolved from SORM-1 (capturing telephone and mobile phone communications) and SORM-2 (interception of Internet traffic, 1999) to the current SORM-3. SORM now collects information from all forms of communication, providing long-term storage of all information and data on subscribers, including actual recordings and locations. In 2014, the system was expanded to include social media platforms, and the Ministry of Communications ordered companies to install new equipment with Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) capability. In 2016, SORM-3 added additional classified regulations that apply to all Internet Service providers in Russia.

        The European Court for Human Rights deemed Russia’s SORM legislation in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights in 2015 (Zakharov v. Russia).

      3. Tom Hawack said on June 15, 2021 at 6:50 pm

        “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.”
        — Woody Allen

        Paranoia or not, Google is what it is : a spy service. Great alternatives exist, for all Google services.

      4. spybot from the future said on June 24, 2021 at 2:07 pm

        @Tom Hawack

        It’s not a “a spy service” as they literally tell you how they use your personal info in their privacy policy. It’s no secret.

        “It’s amazing where your crazy paranoia can take you.”

        — Neil Breen

      5. Iron Heart said on June 15, 2021 at 6:07 pm


        They literally tell you how they use your personal info in their privacy policy… Google’s privacy policy is among the worst, some people may not like this if there are other great choices.

      6. Peterc said on June 16, 2021 at 7:54 pm

        @Iron Heart:

        “Google’s privacy policy is among the worst, some people may not like this if there are other great choices.”

        Reading through the privacy assessments in both of your links, I’m not sure “great” is the word I would have used!

      7. Iron Heart said on June 17, 2021 at 8:43 am


        Compared to Google, who scan the content of your E-Mails for advertising purposes? Come on.

        I have posted these links precisely to help people to differentiate between E-Mail services pretending to be private and services that are actually private (as far as their privacy policy is concerned).

      8. Dean said on June 15, 2021 at 8:35 pm

        yeah so does every website you visit. There is no privacy online. Everywhere you go they track you….and BTW…let them track me all day long I have nothing to hide…what is google Facebook MS gonna see? my porn websites i Visit or this site or Facebook?.. lol .. all thy gonna get is browsing history and my IP…what’s the big deal here?

      9. Iron Heart said on June 16, 2021 at 12:09 am


        > yeah so does every website you visit.

        I pointed to the privacy policy because you were talking of “paranoia” – it’s not paranoia when they openly state that they collect data on you and how they use it, you see. It’s a fact, and whether that is important to you or not is another question entirely.

        > There is no privacy online.

        There provably is, because there are anonymization tools that work, but the effort that would go into this is enormous and not for the average user. What is there though is “improvement of privacy” online, one can certainly improve, it’s not “either – or, 100% – 0%”.

        > BTW…let them track me all day long I have nothing to hide…

        And by “something to hide” I assume you mean criminal elements? You may have noticed that there are many more people interested in (and fighting for) privacy online than there are criminals, statistically speaking. There is obviously something these people want to achieve without “having something to hide” themselves. It’s mostly question of ethics, really. If you have the choice between a service collecting data on you, and one that doesn’t, all things being equal, it would be rather odd to choose the former. You are also making things worse for fellow human beings who consider privacy an essential right, because with your choices (along with millions of others), you are transferring market power as well. Sad.

        I don’t consider surveillance capitalism a valid business model and want to deprive these companys profiting from it of money and power / influence, by choosing more ethical competitors. And so do most around here!

        > all thy gonna get is browsing history and my IP…what’s the big deal here?

        They get much more than that, they might get money of you via successful targeted advertising, they may influence your political decisions, they might get your medical history and sell it etc. It’s more than that.

        All in all, I am just saying that there are ethical alternatives and one may consider them, depending on one’s views re. Google. If you don’t consider their business model unethical and if you are indifferent, fine by me, whatever.

      10. owl said on June 16, 2021 at 3:57 am

        @Iron Heart,

        Your “reply” is spot on, and I agree with it.

        Sadly, I am constantly and painfully reminded of the many people who flatly state, “BTW…let them track me all day long I have nothing to hide…”.
        If it’s just “ignorance,” there’s a chance we can enlighten them, But many of these people are in extreme poverty, “needy and want only to survive in the present, and are unconcerned” about anything else, and are “willing to trade personal information” for income.
        In the real world is that the social structure is distorted, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening, and the number of people who cannot see the future is increasing all over the world, so it seems ethics and reason are no longer applicable.

        My comment is just a tweet, so no need for a formal reply.

      11. owl said on June 16, 2021 at 4:13 am

        For the powerful and privileged, a strict class society in the form of a pyramid is convenient. With their backing, the platformers “Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple” have probably formed a business model to take advantage of the status quo (exploiting the poor).

  12. chesscanoe said on June 15, 2021 at 11:52 am

    I had to choose “place chat on the right side” so I would retain labels I had on Old Gmail. This results in fewer emails shown per screen, but the Subject line is actually longer than in Old Gmail since each email takes 2 shortened lines to display. I like the New Gmail so far, and will keep it active.

    1. chesscanoe said on June 22, 2021 at 12:22 pm

      With new Gmail Workspace, trying to reply to an email results in a Snap message. Myn circumvention is to click on Forward versus Reply. I cannot get rid of Workspace even after saving the setting to do so.

  13. Steve said on June 15, 2021 at 8:17 am

    I do not want to sound negative but this attitude of switching the UI everywhere (from services like Gmail, to OSes like Windows, o even browsers like Firefox with its Proton nonsense) is starting to piss me off. Are they boring? If they are not, why the constant change and waste of time relearning things. Does this people know that the day lasts 24 hours? I mean, they keep adding and adding and adding changes to complicate your life even further than it is already is. And the worse part of it, it is that with so many changes they are giving an edge to fraudsters and the like to win, because there is no normal when everything is changing, so people are less likely to spot fake logins, pages, etc.

    1. Farmers said on June 16, 2021 at 2:11 pm

      To be fair, the new option isn’t about the UI, it’s about adding a new service.

      1. Chilango said on June 24, 2021 at 1:37 pm


        To be fair, that’s just your narrow opinion, which has nothing to do with being “fair”.

    2. John said on June 15, 2021 at 5:18 pm

      Honestly they should leave the UI alone. People get used to it and then they mess with it.
      The UI can be boring, but it’s not there to be pretty, is there to present data. Don’t need all this extraneous crap.

      1. KH said on June 17, 2021 at 6:08 pm

        I highly agree. They do some of this rearranging, I think, so they can keep and justify their jobs.

      2. Sara Longtingtong said on June 15, 2021 at 9:55 pm

        Hi everyone.
        Firefox new UI is very nice and simple, saying UI is not good is like saying nice flower is not god.
        Thank you and sory my english is not corect.

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