How to Use Gmail Confidential Mode

Introduction

If you’re worried about someone forwarding or printing an email that isn’t meant to be shared with other people, don’t worry, Google has you covered. Sending an email using Gmail’s Confidential Mode means that email can’t easily be printed or forwarded. Additionally, you can also remove the recipient’s access to view the email after a defined period of time, and even go so far as to require the recipient to have to enter a passcode that will be sent to them at a number you choose to even view the message. In this video I’ll show you how to send emails using Gmail Confidential Mode using both the Gmail app and the Gmail website. Examples of all instructions in the steps can be seen in both the YouTube video above and the image collection located beneath the steps.

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Steps to Use Gmail Confidential Mode in Gmail App

First let’s walk through the steps to send an email using Gmail Confidential Mode in the Gmail app for iPhone, iPad and Android.

  1. Launch the Gmail app on your iPhone, iPad or Android device, and then tap “Compose” to write a new email message in Gmail.
  2. Enter the email address you want to send your confidential message to, give your message a subject line, and then type the body of your message.
  3. Tap the ellipses at the top of the screen after filling out your email.
  4. Tap “Confidential Mode” in this menu.
  5. First, make sure “Confidential Mode” is toggled on at the top of this menu. Next, tap the “Set Expiration” section to define how long the recipient will have to view the message. You can choose as little as one day or a maximum of five years, but after your defined period of time passes the message will no longer be viewable. At the bottom of this section, tap the “Require Passcode” field to choose whether you want to use a standard passcode or SMS passcode. If you choose “Standard Passcode,” the recipient will be able to read the message without entering a code if they are accessing it with their Gmail account, but they will need to enter the passcode that was emailed to them if they are using a non-Gmail account. Alternatively, if you choose “SMS Passcode,” you’ll need to eventually provide a phone number that the recipient can use to retrieve a passcode that will be required to read your message. In this example, I’ll choose “SMS Passcode.” Tap the check mark at the top of the screen when you’re finished. You’ll return to your confidential Gmail message where you’ll now see a note at the bottom of the email letting you know when this message will expire for the recipient and what they won’t be able to do.
  6. Tap the “Send” icon to try sending your message. If you chose to protect your confidential email by requiring an SMS passcode you’ll see a prompt that says you’re missing required information and that a phone number is required. Tap “Add Missing Information.” The Missing Information screen is displayed.
  7. Enter a phone number where the recipient can receive the passcode that will be required for them to access your message, and then tap the check mark at the top of this screen. You’ll return to your Gmail confidential message.
  8. Tap to send your message again. Your confidential message will be sent, and the recipient will get a message similar to what’s on the screen where they will need to click a link to view your confidential email message and, if necessary, enter a passcode to do so.

Steps to Use Gmail Confidential Mode on Gmail Website

Next let’s look at how to send an email using Gmail Confidential Mode on the Gmail website.

  1. Open a web browser, navigate to www.Gmail.com, and then log into your Gmail account if you’re not logged in by default. You’ll land on your Gmail home screen.
  2. Click “Compose” to compose a new Gmail message. A New Message window is displayed on the screen.
  3. Enter the email address you want to send your confidential message to, give your message a subject line, and then type the body of your message.
  4. Navigate to the bottom of the New Message window, and then click the “Confidential Mode” icon that features a padlock and a clock. The Confidential Mode window is displayed.
  5. Click the “Set Expiration” drop-down to define how long the recipient will have to view the message. You can choose as little as one day or a maximum of five years, but after your defined period of time passes the message will no longer be viewable. In the Required Passcode section choose whether you want to use no passcode or an SMS passcode. If you choose “No Passcode,” the recipient will be able to read the message without entering a code if they are accessing it with their Gmail account, but they will need to enter the passcode that was emailed to them if they are using a non-Gmail account. Alternatively, if you choose “SMS Passcode,” you’ll need to eventually provide a phone number that the recipient can use to retrieve a passcode that will be required to read your message. In this example, I’ll choose “SMS Passcode.” Tap “Save” when you’re finished. You’ll return to your confidential Gmail message where you’ll now see a note at the bottom of the email letting you know when this message will expire for the recipient and what they won’t be able to do.
  6. Click “Send.” If you chose to require an SMS Passcode, a Confirm Phone Numbers window will be shown.
  7. Enter a phone number where the recipient can receive the passcode that will be required for them to access your message, and then click “Send.” Your confidential message will be sent, and the recipient will get a message similar to what’s on the screen where they will need to click a link to view your confidential email message and, if necessary, enter a passcode to do so.

Reasons to Use Gmail Confidential Mode

1. Expiration Dates

Gmail’s Confidential Mode lets you set an expiration date for your sensitive messages. This ensures that the recipient can only access the message for a specified period of time. After that, the message automatically gets deleted from the recipient’s inbox and can’t be retrieved. The expiration date adds an extra layer of security, keeping your confidential information secure.

2. Revocation of Access

Confidential Mode gives you the ability to revoke access to a message at any time. This comes in handy if you sent a message to the wrong recipient or if you need to recall a message with sensitive information. The recipient will no longer be able to access the message, providing you with peace of mind.

3. Two-Factor Authentication

Gmail’s Confidential Mode requires the recipient to enter a passcode sent to their phone before they can access the confidential message. This two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your sensitive information. The recipient must have access to their phone in order to view the message, providing you with added security.

4. Message Content Protection

Confidential Mode encrypts the message and attachments, preventing the recipient from forwarding, copying, printing or downloading the content. This helps protect your confidential information from being shared with others or being stored on the recipient’s device.

5. Easy to Use

Confidential Mode is integrated directly into Gmail, making it easy to use for a wide range of users. The user-friendly interface makes it easy to send confidential messages, without the need for any additional software or security protocols. Whether you’re a business or an individual, you can use Gmail’s Confidential Mode to share sensitive information securely and with confidence.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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