How to Use “Confidential Mode” Feature in Gmail

Recently Google launched a refreshing, redesigned UI for its popular email service "Gmail". If you are a Gmail user, you can activate the new interface by clicking on the Settings (cog wheel) icon and selecting "Try the new Gmail" option. It'll apply the new UI for your Gmail account. If you can't see the option, wait for some time and it'll become available for you.

Google has implemented several new features and UI changes in this new Gmail interface and one of these new features is "Confidential Mode".

Confidential Mode is a very useful security feature added to the new Gmail. It allows you to send a confidential email which can be seen by entering an SMS passcode and can be set to expire after a certain period of time.

While composing the email, you can set an expiry time to the email and after the expiry date, the email content will be removed and the receiver will not be able to read the email.

Confidential Mode also restricts receiver from forwarding, copy/pasting, downloading or printing the email content. This mode might become very useful if you need to send some sensitive information via email.

If you want to learn how to use Confidential Mode in Gmail, following steps will help you:

1. First of all click on "Compose" button to write a new email message.

2. Fill the required fields such as To, Subject, email message, etc and after that click on the "Confidential Mode" (Clock and Lock) icon which is present at the bottom of compose window near other icons such as attach files, insert links, emoji, etc.

3. Once you click on the icon, Gmail will launch a new "Confidential Mode" message on screen. Now you can select Expiry time and SMS passcode requirement.

Expiry time can be set to any of following:
  • 1 day
  • 1 week
  • 1 month
  • 3 months
  • 5 years
You can also select whether the receiver should require an SMS passcode to enter to be able to view the email message. Select any of the given 2 options: No SMS passcode or SMS passcode.

If you select "SMS Passcode" option and click on Send button, you'll be required to enter a mobile phone number which will receive the SMS passcode.

Enter the receiver's phone number so that he/she can receive the required SMS passcode to be able to view your email message content.

4. That's it. Now your email with Confidential Mode has been sent to the receiver.

When the receiver will try to open the received email, he/she will get following screen:

Your_name has sent you an email via Gmail confidential mode:


This message was sent on Message_time

You can open it by clicking the link below (can only be viewed by Receiver_email_address)

[View the email]

Gmail confidential mode gives you more control over the messages you send. Set an expiration time, disable printing or forwarding of a message and more.

Once the receiver clicks on "View the email" button, It opens the email in a new window with following message:

To view this email, you must first confirm your identity. A one-time passcode will be sent to Receiver_phone_number.

[Send Passcode]

When receiver clicks on "Send Passcode" button, an SMS containing required passcode is sent to his/her mobile number from Google.

After entering the correct passcode, the email message is displayed to the receiver.

Once the email expires, the receiver won't be able to view the message.

So that's how the new Confidential Mode works in Gmail. Have you tried the new mode? How was your experience? Feel free to share your feedback in your comment.

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