Gmail is the most popular webmail client, although desktop email programs are also available. They are tempting since you can save your emails locally and view them whenever you want. What if Gmail could behave more like a desktop client without sacrificing any of its distinguishing features?
Google does not provide a desktop client for Gmail. But first, let us demonstrate how to configure Gmail to act more like a desktop email client.
1. Create a Gmail Desktop App Shortcut
Chrome’s ability to create program shortcuts will be appreciated by seasoned Windows users. Open Gmail in Chrome, then go to the Chrome menu (three vertical dots) and choose More tools > Save to the desktop…
This will generate a Gmail desktop shortcut, which you can now pin to the Windows 10 Taskbar or Start Menu. Simply right-click the shortcut and choose the appropriate setting from the menu. If you choose Open as window, the Gmail browser window launched by this shortcut will resemble a Windows program since browser toolbars will be hidden.
2. Let Gmail Handle Mailto Links
When you click on an email address hyperlink, your default desktop email client will open with the address box pre-filled. This form of hyperlink begins with mailto: instead of https://, instructing your computer to launch an email client rather than a website. However, you may attach the Mailto link to Gmail.
Open Gmail in Chrome and then click the Protocol Handler icon (two overlapping squares) in the address bar. Allow mail.google.com to open all email links when prompted.
If you don’t see the symbol, go to Settings > Privacy and security > Site Settings > Additional permissions from the Chrome menu (three vertical dots) (under Permissions).Click Handlers and ensure that the Allow sites to request to become default handlers for protocols (recommended) slider is set to “on.”
If mail.google.com isn’t already listed under mailto, you should now see the symbol in your Gmail tab’s address bar. Otherwise, delete the present mailto application so that you may correlate mailto links with Gmail.
3. Use Gmail Offline
Gmail’s Chrome app provides offline capability. You may enable offline mail in the browser client by going to (not Chrome) Gmail Options > See all settings > Offline. When you tick the box, more choices become accessible.
Once enabled and all of your messages have been downloaded, you will be able to see your email in Chrome even when you are not connected to the internet. You may also create fresh messages that will be sent the next time you are online. Your Chrome browser will function similarly to a desktop email client.
4. Check Multiple Email Accounts in Gmail
If managing several email accounts and inboxes is your primary reason for using a desktop email client, you’re in for a treat. Gmail has capabilities for accessing external email accounts. This is particularly beneficial if you need to access your business email or other accounts inside Gmail.
Go to Gmail Options > See all settings > Accounts and Import to setup multiple accounts. Send mail as and Check mail from other accounts may be configured here, allowing you to add numerous accounts.
The process of adding new accounts is almost comparable to that of a desktop email client. And, from inside Gmail, you can check other accounts for fresh mail with absolutely little effort using any preset email address.
Related:How to Change Your Email Name and Address in Gmail
5. Use Gmail Filters and Labels to Replace Folders
Another desktop client strength is folders, as they are popularly called in many email clients. They allow you to arrange and categorize your email for simple access. Gmail does not support folders. Labels are what you get instead.
Go to Gmail Options > See all settings > Labels to manage your labels. When receiving an email, you can also click the Label icon to examine current labels or click Create new at the bottom to create a label. At the bottom of the list of labels, you’ll find a Manage labels shortcut.
Labels are identical to folders, except that you may have many labels for the same message. You may rapidly go to a label or use labels in conjunction with a filter to automate activities.
In reality, combining filters and labels gives you near-magical abilities that can significantly decrease your daily email burden. You may automatically sort incoming mail into labels (which can also operate as folders if desired), archive emails, or delete them if desired.
You can even use templates to construct personalized answers that Gmail will send to the sender if their message meets specific criteria specified in the filter.
6. Enable Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts
If you like the convenience and speed that keyboard shortcuts provide, you simply cannot overlook Gmail.
There’s almost nothing you can’t do using keyboard shortcuts in Gmail. Choose conversations, apply labels, go ahead and backward, star, delete, archive, and more.
You name anything, and a keyboard shortcut or two will almost probably get you there.
Keyboard shortcuts may be enabled in Gmail Options > See all settings > General > Keyboard shortcuts. Type? in Gmail or go to the keyboard shortcuts for Gmail website to receive a brief summary of all the shortcuts.
Do you have difficulty memorizing shortcuts? Save our Gmail shortcuts overview as a bookmark or download the PDF.
7. Get Email Desktop Notifications
When a new email arrives, almost every desktop email client provides alerts. Gmail does as well.
Enable your favorite option by going to Gmail Settings > See all settings > General > Desktop Notifications. You may choose whether to get alerts for New mail or Important mail. The default setting is off.
Do You Still Need a Desktop Email Client?
After discovering all of the functions hiding behind Gmail’s hood, it’s difficult to dismiss it as a desktop email client substitute. Especially now that you know how to convert Gmail into a desktop-like email client.
The only thing stopping you may be a poor internet connection or worries about security and privacy. In such scenario, you should continue with a desktop email client.
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