How to Use Confidential Mode in Gmail
With 1.8 billion active users, Gmail ranks among the world’s leading email platforms. Around 300 billion emails are sent and received by individuals worldwide, with 27% of emails entering or leaving a Gmail account daily. While Gmail offers standard 128-bit encryption for email security, it’s a good idea to add another layer. .
You can use Gmail’s confidential mode to prevent an email from being printed, downloaded, copied, or forwarded. You can even determine the expiration date of the email – between one day and five years. After this time, the email expires or becomes unavailable. Here’s how it works:
Enable confidential mode in an outgoing email
You can enable confidential mode when composing an email on Gmail. The steps below will provide you with the direction you need:
Step 1: Launch Gmail in a web browser.
2nd step: Click Compose to compose a new email or click an email in your inbox and click Reply.
Step 3: At the bottom of the New Message window, you should see a list of icons next to the Send button. Click on the icon with a clock and a padlock representing the Confidential mode function.
Step 4: In the Confidential Mode dialog box, you should see a list of options. Click the drop-down list under Set expiration if you want to place an expiration date on the mail.
Step 5: Choose the desired expiration date from the list – one day, one week, one month, three months and five years. There is no way to customize the expiration date beyond the available options.
Step 6: Check under the Set expiration box for Require passcode. This option is usually set to No SMS Password by default, but you can click SMS Password if you want the recipient to receive a password. Google generates all access codes for this feature.
You can use it to add authentication to the email and ensure that only the intended recipient can access and view it.
Step 7: After correcting all the above settings, click Save at the bottom right of the pop-up window to apply the settings.
You can opt for Set expiration, Require passcode, or a combination of the two options.
Step 8: If you selected the SMS Access Code option, you should see a Confirm Phone Numbers box after you click Submit. Click on the small flag icon to open a drop-down list to select the recipient’s country code. At the time of writing, only certain country phone numbers support this feature.
Step 9: Type the recipient’s number in the box next to the flag, then click Send.
After saving the settings, you will see a confidential mode notification on the email. The notification will carry your email’s expiration date, if set.
Removal of early access for a confidential Gmail account
Once confidential mode has been enabled on an email and sent, users cannot disable it. However, senders can still control whether email recipients get early access to the email. That is, whether email recipients can view the content of the email before its expiration date. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Open Gmail in a web browser.
2nd step: Click Sent on the left side of your Gmail window.
Step 3: Launch the email sent with confidential mode.
Step 4: In the body of the email, click Remove Access and recipients of the email will not be able to access its content.
Step 5: To grant access before the email expires, click Renew Access.
Access confidential email as a recipient
As the recipient of a confidential email from Gmail, you can only access it until the expiration date or if you can provide the passcode. Email recipients may not copy, forward or print email content. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Open Gmail in a web browser.
2nd step: Click Inbox in the upper left corner.
Step 3: Launch the email in confidential mode and you should be able to see its contents.
Step 4: If the email is locked with a password, click Send Password.
Step 5: Check your phone for the code, enter the password in the body of the email, and hit submit.
Gmail Outbound Email Encryption
That’s it for how to enable confidential mode on Gmail. If you are still concerned about the privacy of emails you send from Gmail, you can also try encrypting emails using the SafeGmail extension.