How To Hide The Side Panel In Gmail

When we open Gmail, the side panel is one of the first things we see on the screen. It helps us navigate through the app better and easily go to the specific sections we want.


However, the sight of it may not be pleasing to some, which is why the option of hiding it comes to the light. Although the side panel, located on the left portion of your screen, directs us whenever we wish to visit the drafts, starred, and other sections, some people who can go about their ways inside Gmail might not need it.

If you’re one of the persons who want to keep the side panel hidden, this article will teach you the easiest way to do it. Yet, before that, it’s better to be familiar first with the side panel and its content.

Side Panel Content

The most important features of Gmail are likely to be found in the side panel. It is divided into three sections, and the following are its contents.


This is where all of the messages you’ve received will go, whether they’re already read or unread. It will remain in your inbox section unless you move it to another section on intent.


All emails and messages that you’ve marked as important will be saved in the starred folder. To include a specific email in this section, click the star icon beside the email in the inbox list.


All postponed or temporarily removed emails from your inbox will be moved to the snoozed section until you need them again. You have the option of when you are returning it to your inbox list.


When you send an email through Gmail, and the device you’re using has an internet connection, it will appear in the Sent items folder automatically and immediately.


All unsent messages or emails will be routed to this folder. For example, if you compose an email but decide not to send it, it will be saved in your drafts folder.

The following section will emphasize interaction with other people because you can join and create new meetings here.

Join a Meeting

You’ll use this if you’re joining an existing meeting or one hosted by someone else. If you click this button, Gmail will automatically ask you for a meeting code. All you have to do is type or paste the meeting code, then click “Join.”

New Meeting

This one is for you if you will be hosting a meeting. You can copy the meeting link and send it to others, or you can send an invite directly to them.

The final section is optional; it will only appear if you have activated your Google Hangouts account. This section will display all of your Hangouts contacts, making it easier to contact them using Gmail. Click the name of the person you want to reach, and a new pop-up hangouts window will appear with your chat with that person.

Steps to Hide the Side Panel

Although these items in the side panel are essential when using Gmail, they can sometimes be a distraction, especially if you have a small screen. This guide will show you how to hide the side panel on your Gmail screen to customize its appearance. Keep in mind that you must have the latest version of Gmail to do this.

1. Navigate to Gmail then log in your account.

To begin, open your browser and navigate to the Gmail website, ensuring that your account is logged in.

2. Click the three horizontal lines on the upper left corner of the screen.

Click the horizontal lines in the top-left corner of your Gmail screen to hide the side panel and adjust your screen.

Your side panel will now be hidden, allowing you to see what’s on your screen. If you want to go somewhere else, hover your cursor over that icon, and the side panel will appear temporarily. The sidebar will be hidden if you remove your cursor. To disable this auto-hide feature, click on the three horizontal lines again, and the sidebar will remain expanded.

Additional Notes

Hiding the side panel means only the icons will show. Therefore, it’s better to have them memorized if you haven’t yet so that you wouldn’t be lost or confused when navigating through Gmail. These icons can give you clues as to what they represent so you actually won’t need to completely memorize them, but just be knowledgeable about the different sections and subsections of the side panel.