How to Write Gmail Messages in a Bigger Window

Use full-screen mode to get more space to compose

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 screen with the Compose button highlighted
  2. In the upper-right corner of the New Message window, select the Full-screen (diagonal, double-sided arrow) icon.

    New message in Gmail with the Full Screen button highlighted
  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, then choose Default to full screen.

    Gmail message with the Default to Full-Screen command highlighted
  5. The next time you open a Compose window, it appears in full-screen mode.

    Gmail with full-screen New Message window displayed

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 and select Reply or Forward.

    Gmail message opened with "Reply" and "Forward" highlighted
  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 the Pop Out Reply command highlighted
  3. When the pop-out window opens, follow the steps in the "Write a New Gmail Message in Full-Screen Mode" section, above.

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