Using Gmail – Beginners Guide

Google Gmail is a free web based email offering from Google
that has changed the way we use and store email.

Gmail besides offers a free massive storage ( 15 Gigabytes) of storage which is shared between gmail, google drive and Google
plus photos- (see storage support)

Getting A Gmail Account

You can create an email account here. This email account can
also be used for accessing other Google services like Picasa, Web history etc.

Google Email Addresses

There are two email domain names in use by Google for email, they are the normal, and the (UK and Europe).

Although Google users in Europe may have to register a address they can still use the address as mail to the [email protected] is sent to [email protected] and vice versa.

Accessing Gmail

Although Google mail is normally accessed via a web browser it
can also be accessed from mobile devices, and traditional desktop clients like Windows Live mail, Outlook etc. (using both POP3 and IMAP4 access protocols).

To access via a browser go to the Gmail Home page , you could also set it as your home page for faster access.

If you are using Google Chrome then go to the Apps Tab and click the Gmail icon.


If you are using a smart phone or tablet then download and install the Gmail App.

Desktop Notifications

When  using the web browser client you may be prompted to enable desktop notifications.

If you do then provided your web browser is open you will receive a notification when new email

You can enable/disable this under settings>General


Using Gmail Offline Without an Email Client

Even though you access Gmail via a web browser you can still use
Gmail offline.

Gmail will copy email to your computer and so you can read and reply to email off line.

When you go online the mailboxes are synchronised and email
sent. It is enabled under settings>offline, and requires gears to work.

enable gmail offline working

Using Gmail to Retrieve Email from Another Mailbox-
Mail Fetcher

Gmail can access other mailboxes using either the POP3 protocol
or IMAP4, and place that email in your Google Mailbox.

This means that it is possible to use Google Gmail to access
email from multiple mailboxes and/or use Gmail simply as an email client for another email account/address.

See Access and Consolidate email accounts using Gmail.

Ads in Email

Google make money from Gmail by placing context based ads in the email messages just like you see on this web page.

Although this can be seen as a massive privacy issue Google maintain that email is kept totally confidential.

From a big brother perspective it has always been possible for anyone at any of the ISPs and other nodes on the Internet to monitor email, and so in my opinion Google Ad placement is not really a concern.

If you want to keep your email confidential then you need to
encrypt it.

However email encryption is not without its own set of problems.

Gmail On Your Mobile Phone

Gmail is very popular for mobile clients due to the fact that Google owns the Android operating system that is used on many smart phones and tablets.

Google provide Apps for IOS as well as Android.

Using Gmail Overview Video

Here is a good video Introducing Gmail..

Here is another good video that take you through the main features of the User interface

Accessing Gmail Using POP3/IMAP Clients

You can access your email using traditional desktop clients like Windows live mail as well as Apps on your smart phone and Tablet.

See- Access Gmail  using Windows Live Mail

Gmail Common Questions and Answers

Q- Is Gmail Secure ?

A- Yes the web client using SSL encryption by default.

Q- Can I create folders on Gmail to organise my email?

A- No you use labels instead and they work much the same way

Q- I’m receiving email from someone and I don’t want to receive emails from them What Can I do?

A- You can block emails from particular addresses  in Settings>Filters and blocked addresses

Q- How do I see all of my archived emails?

A- The All mail label links to all of your emails including archived email?

Q- What happened to Gmail notifier?

A- Gmail Notifier No Longer Supported This  link  has un-install instructions. However Gmail now supports web Notifications

Gmail Tutorials

How to Send Email Using Gmail – Compose and send email including attachments

Read, Reply and Forward Email in Gmail-Learn how to Read, reply and forward  emails using wht web browser client.

Managing and Organising Your Gmail Inbox -Get control of your inbox and learn how to use basic organisational features like labels,conversations etc

How to Consolidate Email Accounts in Gmail – Use Gmail to read email from other mailboxes.

Access Your Gmail Account using Windows Live Mail– If you prefer to use a desktop based client rather than a web browser.