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If you use Gmail.com as your primary webmail client, you’ve probably noticed that Gmail has a new redesigned visual interface and a bigger look, roomier, bigger sidebar and a more daring look all around, with a range of new cursor hover detection features also. Many Gmail users like the change and others may not notice the difference, while some others may find that Gmail’s new visual interface is not what they are hoping for, preferring something simpler in appearance, or a faster version of Gmail. . Therefore, some Gmail users may want to revert Gmail back to the old classic version, or at least something that looks and feels closer to the older Gmail versions.
We’ll show you a few different ways to change the interface and look of Gmail, including switching back to classic Gmail (although this may not be possible for everyone), some tips for customizing the look of new Gmail to make it look a bit more like the older version of Gmail, and even a method for how to use a much older, simple version of Gmail that looks very simplified without some newer ones features but in turn is lightning fast to load and interact with. Explore each of the options below to learn how to change Gmail.
How to Change Gmail back to the classic old version of Gmail
Here’s how to roll back Gmail to the old version, although this option isn’t available to all Gmail users right now, as the new interface is rolled out universally and will soon be impossible to roll back. However, you can check if this option is available to you:
- Open Gmail.com in your web browser and log in if you haven’t already
- Click the gear icon in the top right corner of Gmail
- Choose ‘Go back to classic Gmail’ *
* The ability to use ‘Go Back to Classic Gmail’ appears to be increasingly limited and currently appears to be being phased out completely.
If you don’t have the “Go back to classic Gmail” option, use the options below to customize the look of Gmail, or much further on, you’ll see the option to switch to Simple HTML Gmail.
How to Make new Gmail look more like the old classic Gmail
You can make some visual tweaks to the new Gmail to make it look a bit more like the older classic Gmail, here’s how to do that:
- Open Gmail.com in your web browser as usual
- Click on the gear icon, then choose ‘Display Density’ and select ‘Compact’ or ‘Comfortable’, whichever you prefer, then click OK – this will allow you to see more emails on one screen
- Now click on the gear icon again and this time choose ‘Settings’
- Under ‘General’ settings, look for ‘Hover actions:’ and choose ‘Disable Hover actions’, scroll down and save changes – this will disable the mouse pointer buttons and floats that pop up while your cursor moves in Gmail
- Now go back to the gear icon again and this time choose ‘Themes’ and scroll down to try out different themes. The two most similar to old Gmail are ‘Soft Gray’ and ‘High Contrast’
These tweaks will slightly change the look and behavior of Gmail so that it works closer to the earlier version of Gmail. Increasing visual density and disabling Hover actions on its own may be enough for many users who initially didn’t like the new Gmail, as tweaking these options allows you to instantly load more emails into a Gmail window, while also hiding one of the Hover options from email details or being accidentally clicked.
How to Restore New Gmail to Basic HTML Old Gmail
If you really don’t like the new Gmail interface and visual revisions and behaviors, you can go back to what is basically a very old version of Gmail in terms of look and functionality by using Simple HTML Gmail, which will remove all fancier features and any visual style, making it look like how Gmail did it a decade ago. You’ll also see more emails per page, as the Basic Old Gmail view is more compressed and has a much smaller sidebar and less bold and padding.
- When signed in to Gmail, open this link to load Basic HTML Gmail: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/h/
- Now choose “Set Basic HTML as Default View” at the top of the screen to always load Basic HTML Gmail in the browser
Using basic HTML Gmail isn’t an option for all users if they want to keep using some of the more expensive Gmail features like Hover, chat, keyboard shortcuts and rich formatting, but if you usually use Gmail as a simple email client and don’t need any bells and whistles, it will work fine. It also loads at blazing speed and has a very simple interface that is non-intrusive, even if Simple HTML Gmail might look a bit outdated to users who have gotten themselves used to the new Material Design look of the new Gmail.
I personally like Basic HTML Gmail, maybe it’s the kind of retro aspect of it, but that coupled with the raw speed of the simple version works well for me. Whichever of the above options you prefer, be it simply tweaking the new Gmail interface to show more emails per screen or changing the theme, or going back to classic Gmail, or Using Basic HTML Gmail becomes all a matter of personal preference and how you use Gmail. Your individual choices will likely depend on the size of the screen you are using, among other variables.
Another helpful trick is to set the default Google account if you use multiple Gmail accounts, as many of us do for work and personal. Another very useful Gmail trick For some users, disabling Gmail inbox sorting and labels for “Updates”, “Promotions”, “Social” and “Primary” puts all emails in the same universal inbox view instead.
Do you know of any other methods or approaches to revert the look of Gmail to the old version? Do you know of any other useful tweaks or settings for Gmail to switch back to old Gmail or revert to classic Gmail? Share it with us in the comments below! And you may also be interested in checking out other Gmail tips to.
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