Introduction to Gmail
Gmail is a free email service provided by Google. In many ways, Gmail is like any other email service: You can send and receive emails, block spam, create an address book, and perform other basic email tasks. But it also has some more unique features that help to make it one of the most popular email services on the Web.
In this lesson, we'll talk about some of the features and advantages of Gmail, and we'll give an overview of the Gmail window.
Creating a Google account will be needed to access Gmail because this email service is one of the many services offered by Google to registered users. Signing up for a Google account is free and easy, and naming your new Gmail address will be a part of the signup process. This means whenever you're signed in to Gmail, you are automatically signed in to your Google account. You'll be able to easily access other Google services like Google Docs, Calendar, and YouTube. Creating a Google account also means you'll be a part of Google+, Google's social networking service.
Of course, you don't have to use any of these features—you may prefer to focus only on email for now. However, if you'd like more information, you can check out our Google Account tutorial, where we talk about some of the different services Google offers and show you how to change your privacy settings.
Gmail offers several useful features to make your email experience as smooth as possible, including:
When you're working with Gmail, you'll primarily be using the main Gmail interface. This window contains your inbox, and it allows you to navigate to your contacts, Mail settings, and more. Also, if you use other Google services like YouTube or Calendar, you'll be able to access them from the top of the Gmail window.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn about the different parts of the Gmail interface.
The Gmail drop-down menu allows you to navigate to your Mail, Contacts, and Tasks List. If you're ever lost, you can just click the Gmail option to go back to the default view.
If you're having trouble finding an important email, you can start typing in the search box to find it.
Whenever you want to change your settings, simply click the gear icon and select Settings. You can also select Help if you're having trouble.
Action buttons are located just above the inbox. When no message is selected, the available actions are Select all and Refresh. When a message is selected, several buttons will appear above the inbox. You can use these options, including Archive, Report spam, and Delete, to help organize your messages.
The left menu pane allows you to compose a new email, navigate to your mail, view your sent mail, and manage your labels, among other tasks.
Labels allow you to organize the messages in your inbox. You can apply more than one label to any message and create new labels to organize your messages any way you want. You can also choose colors for your labels to help them stand out.
Your inbox is where your received messages will appear. You can click a message to read it.