How to Write Gmail Messages in a Bigger Window

Use full-screen mode to get more space to compose

Gmail composition in big window screenshot

Gmail's default message composition box only takes up about a third of your computer screen. The small size can make writing difficult, especially if your message is lengthy. Fortunately, you can expand the box to take up much more screen real estate. Doing so makes it a lot easier to write long emails without having to scroll through the small box.

Write a New Gmail Message in Full-Screen Mode

Follow these steps to expand Gmail's message window to full-screen mode:

  1. In the upper-left corner of Gmail, select Compose to start a new message.

    Gmail Inbox
  2. In the upper-right corner of the New Message window, select the Full-screen (diagonal, double-sided arrow) icon.

    Gmail with New Message screen displayed
  3. The window opens in full-screen mode for more space to write.

    Gmail with full-screen New Message window displayed
  4. To always have the New Message screen open in full-screen mode, at the bottom-right of the New Message window, select the Menu (three stacked dots) icon. Choose Default to full screen.

    Gmail with New Message box displayed
  5. The next time you open a Compose window, it appears in full-screen mode.

    Gmail with New Message window in full-screen mode

Reply to a Gmail Message in Full-Screen Mode

Follow these steps to open your message in full-screen mode when composing replies or forwards:

  1. Open the message you want to forward or reply to. Scroll to the bottom of the message. Select Reply or Forward.

    Gmail with conversation displayed
  2. Next to the email address of the recipient, select the small arrow. Choose Pop out reply to open the message in a new pop-up window.

    Gmail with reply function displayed
  3. When the pop-out window opens, follow the steps in the Write a New Gmail Message in Full-Screen Mode section, above.