How to View an Entire Gmail Message in Full

Use your printer to show an entire lengthy Gmail message on screen

envelope stylized to look like Gmail logo

Cairo / Flickr

Gmail clips any email message that goes beyond 102kB, a relatively small size that includes the header information you don't usually see, and generates a link to the entire message. When a long Gmail message ends abruptly with "[Message clipped] View entire message," you can't see the rest of the email.

You can open the email in a separate browser window, but that might give you the same ending in a different format. You can also take a look at the source. Everything is there, but it's harder to read.

Gmail doesn't clip messages when formatting them for printing, however. And you don't have to commit them to paper to read the whole thing. 

Open Any Gmail Message in Full Using the Print Command

When you receive a lengthy Gmail message, and you want to show the entire message in its entirety on screen:

  1. Open the message.

  2. Click the Print icon in the upper-right corner of the email.

    You may need to scroll over to find the icon.

    Gmail not showing full email
  3. When the browser's print dialog comes up, click Cancel.

    Cancel button in Gmail Print dialog
  4. The entire email appears on the screen that opens. You can now scroll to view the entire message.

Open a Gmail Conversation in Full

If you enable Conversation View in Gmail, an alternate method to open a Gmail conversation in full is:

  1. Open the conversation.

  2. Click the In New Window icon that appears next to the Print icon at the top of the screen.

    In new window button in Gmail
  3. Scroll to view the contents of the conversation.

    Print button in Gmail New Window pop-out
  4. Click the Print icon to display or print the entire conversation.

About Gmail Length Limits

Although there is no limit to the length of a Gmail message from a text standpoint, there is a limit to the size of the message complete with text, attached files, headers, and encoding. You can receive a message size in Gmail up to 50 MB in size, but outgoing messages you send from Gmail have a 25 MB limit.

Those 25 MB includes any attachments, your message, and all the headers. Even the encoding makes the file grow a bit. If you attempt to send a larger file, you receive an error, or Google offers to store any large attachments on Google Drive and issue a link you can include with the email.