Google is finally taking a swipe at upgrading some of the outdated features in its Gmail Android app. One extremely handy new feature lets you customize your swipe actions.
You probably don’t think twice about swiping in Gmail. You open your inbox, check your new messages, and swipe to get rid of the ones you don’t want, expelling them from the email list. Now, if you’re running the latest Gmail update, you can put those swipes to work in new ways.
Sorry, iOS Gmail users, this update is just for Android right now, but keep an eye on your app upgrades. This new swipe functionality could very well find its way onto iPhones and iPads soon.
If you have your Gmail set to automatically update, then you should be good to go with the new functionality. To set your swipes, choose the three parallel bars in the upper corner, select “Settings,” and click on “General settings.” Choose “Swipe actions.”
You will see options to set both the right and left swipes. They should already be set up to trash any email you swipe right or left on, but you don't have to stick with that default setting. Select “Change” to choose a different functionality.
Explore the swipes
The Gmail update gives you six options for your swipes: archive, delete, mark as read/unread, move to, snooze, and none. Here’s what each one does.
Archive: This option puts an email into a separate archive folder rather than into the trash where it will be automatically deleted in 30 days. Archiving simply saves the email for later access. If you think you might need an email later, this is a better option than delete.
Delete: This choice dumps an email into your trash folder, where it will be wiped out in a month. This is perfect for outdated marketing emails or any trivial emails you’re sure you won’t need again.
Mark as read/unread: This option is very straightforward. If you’ve opened an email, but want it to appear unread again in your inbox, you can choose this. If the email hasn’t been opened, then this will make it appear as if it’s been read. Either way, the email will remain in your inbox.
Move to: This selection lets you choose a destination folder for your emails. When you swipe, the app will pop open a window with your folders listed. Choose the folder you want to send the email to and you’re all done.
Snooze: Just like it sounds, snooze is a way to remind yourself to deal with an email later. When you choose to snooze, the email will disappear from your inbox and then reappear at a set time. You can choose later in the day, tomorrow, later in the week, on the weekend, or next week. You can also select an exact date and time. When the email automatically unsnoozes, it will reappear at the top of your inbox. This will help keep you from forgetting to act on important emails that can accidentally get buried under an avalanche of new messages.
None: Just like it sounds, this option means the swipe will do nothing.
Keep in mind you can set the left and right swipes to different actions, so you could make a left-swipe into a delete function and a right-swipe into a snooze command. You only have two swipes to work with, so choose the combination that makes the most sense for you.
Done with Gmail?
If you’re moving on to a different email provider, then you need to know how to delete your account.