Gmail's Top Nine Hidden Features

Most tech-savvy email users have a Gmail account - but how many of them know its hidden features? Here's a list of the top nine tips

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Most email users probably have a Gmail account, unless you’re still using, in which case my first tip for you is to immediately set up a Gmail account.

But for everyone who already uses Gmail, there is a number of handy tips and features that you might not have come across yet. Here are the top nine.

1. Attachments

You know that feeling of sending an email and writing out “I have attached the document below”… and then realising you pressed send before attaching it? Well, with Gmail that feeling is a thing of the past.

It can recognise you have written ‘attached’ in the body of the text, and before you press send, a reminder message will pop up saying:

Did you mean to attach files? You wrote “I have attached” in your message, but there are no files attached. Send anyway?

All you have to do is press Cancel and you’ve avoided an embarrassing follow-up email (‘Sorry, forgot to attach it. Here it is…’). Thank you Gmail.

2. Stars

Gmail has a star system so you can ‘star’ your most important emails and come back to them later. The standard star is a yellow one – but you can upgrade to add a selection of stars.

Go to the Gear box > Settings > Stars. You can now add in different coloured stars, for 1*, 2* and so on. If you make 2* red, then when you go back to your inbox and star a message it will still go yellow for 1*. But then, you can click for a second time and it will turn red!

Keep going so you can add in a selection of colours and then search your inbox for coloured stars later. If you want to search for 2* messages that are red, go to the search bar and type in:


This will bring up any emails with red stars on them.

3. Multiple email addresses

If you want to have multiple versions of your email addess, you can just add in a full stop to your email address. Google will send the same emails to to

If Sam wanted even more aliases, he could be or any other variation.

Handy tip if you want to use multiple email alises to sign up to different web services or newsletters.

4. To-do lists

Why use Gmail just as a mail service when you can take it one step further and use it as a to-do list?!

All you have to do is click on Mail > Tasks and a small task bar will pop up at the bottom. Just fill in your to-do list and add in a due date if you want Gmail to remind you about it.

When you’re done, tick the box in the corner to get a satisfactory line strike through your task.

5. Keyboard shortcuts

The most useful shortcuts are here below. Use regularly to save time. For a complete list just press ? whilst on your Gmail inbox and a box will pop up.

Ctrl + Enter means send message

Ctrl + . means advance to next window

Ctrl + Shift + c means add Cc recipients

Ctrl + Shift + b means add Bcc recipients

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