How to Use Gmail: Get Started With Your New Gmail Account

Archive, search, and label your Gmail messages

You can receive, send, delete, and archive messages in Gmail just as you would with any other email service. Gmail also provides convenient methods for archiving, finding, and labeling messages. Learn how to get started with a new Gmail account.

What Is Gmail?

Gmail is a free email service run by Google. It integrates with other Google services like Google Docs, Google Drive, and YouTube.

Gmail is also part of Google's suite of productivity apps known as Google Workspace. Anyone with a free Google account can access Google Workspace, where Gmail is the main hub. Google also offers additional business-level services with paid Google Workspace subscriptions.

There is also an HTML version of Gmail called Gmail Basic and a Gmail mobile app.

If you've never had an email account before, Gmail is an excellent place to start. It is reliable and free, and it comes with 15 GB of storage space for your messages, though this 15 GB free allotment also includes all your Google Photos, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard files. Still, 15 GB is a good amount of free storage, and you can always buy more storage from Google.

Your email is stored online, so you can access it from any device connected to the internet.

If you have another email account with a different provider, you may be able to link it to Gmail so that you can read all of your incoming messages in one inbox.

How to Get a Gmail Account

To create a new Gmail account, you must first create a new Google account.

  1. Go to Gmail.com and select Create account.

    A screenshot of Gmail with the Create Account link highlighted
  2. If other Google accounts have been used with your browser, you may be prompted to choose an account. Select Use another account at the bottom to get to the sign-in screen.

    A screenshot of Gmail account selection page with the Use Another Account link highlighted
  3. Select Create account > For myself.

    The Gmail account creation screen.
  4. Enter the requested information, then select Next.

    It is possible to change the name that appears in the From: field after you set up your Gmail account.

    A screenshot of Google's account creation page with the Next button highlighted
  5. Enter the requested information, then select Next.

    Providing account recovery information is optional, but it can come in handy if you accidentally forget your password.

    A screenshot of Gmail's sign-up page with the Next button highlgihted
  6. Read Google's privacy information and select I agree.

    A screenshot of Google's privacy and terms page with the "I Agree" button highlighted

You will automatically be taken to your new Gmail inbox. You'll see a message from Google in your inbox containing important information about using Gmail.

You can use your new Google log-in credentials to access YouTube, Google Docs, and all other Google services.

How to Set up Gmail

After reviewing the introductory information, you can personalize your account. For example, select Add profile photo to add a photo that will be visible to other Gmail users. If you want to change the colors and layout of the Gmail interface, select Settings > Inbox Type for the layout, or Settings > Theme for colors. If you have another email account, select Settings > See all settings > Accounts and Import > Import mail and contacts to link it to your new Gmail account.

How to Use Gmail

To send a new Gmail message, select Compose.

Gmail window with Compose highlighted

Select the Star beside a message to mark it as important.

Gmail message with the star highlighted

To remove messages from your inbox, select the checkbox beside the message, then select Archive (the folder with a down-arrow) or Delete (the trashcan).

Gmail with the Archive and Trash buttons highlighted

Sending a message to the trash in Gmail does not automatically delete it. To permanently delete a message, select Trash from the left pane to open your trash folder, then select Empty Trash now.

Gmail with the Trash folder and "Empty Trash Now" command highlighted

To sign out of Gmail, select your profile icon (or image) in the top-right corner, then select Sign out.

Gmail with the Sign Out button highlighted

How to Make Labels

Gmail labels make it easier to manage your inbox. While viewing a message, select the Label icon and choose from the options, or select Create new to make custom labels.

Gmail with the Label icon highlighted

How to Find Emails in Gmail

In addition to using labels, you can search for the message using the search bar above your inbox. You can also use your Gmail contacts to find all correspondence with certain people.

Gmail with the search box highlighted
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