How To Use Gmail’s “Confidential Mode” And Send Self-Destructing Emails?


If you have opted for Gmail’s recently revamped version, among various Gmail features, you also get the chance to use the new confidential mode.

What is Confidential mode in Gmail?

It is an option that lets Gmail user’s send self-destruction emails to Gmail and non-Gmail users. It means that the email along with its attached files will be deleted automatically after the time specified by the sender.

To protect sensitive information, when a user sends an email using the confidential mode, the ability to forward, copy, download, or print the email is disabled for the recipient. However, they’ll be notified of the expiry date and that the mail is sent via confidential mode.

How to enable/use confidential mode in Gmail?

Now that you’re of what is the confidential mode in Gmail and what it does, it’s time to fire it up and tell you how to use it. Before moving ahead make sure you’ve switched to the new Gmail interface.

  1. In Gmail, click Compose.
    How to enable Gmail Confidential Mode 1
  2. Write your email and add attachments as usual.
  3. Now, turn on the Confidential mode (click the padlock icon with a timer).
    How to enable Gmail Confidential Mode 2
  4. Set an expiration date, you can choose between a single day up to 5 years.
  5. Next, enable the SMS passcode option if you want. Click Save.
    How to enable Gmail Confidential Mode 3
  6. When you hit Send, Gmail will ask you to enter the recipient’s phone number to which a Google-generated passcode will be sent.
    How to enable Gmail Confidential Mode 4

You’re all done. The other person can access the confidential mail until the time you have specified.

If the other person is using the new Gmail, the email will be visible right away. But this Gmail feature comes with a twist. The users of old Gmail or other services will get an email containing the link to the confidential mail which will open in a new tab.

SMS passcode verification

When sending a confidential email, as mentioned above, you can also turn on the option that requires the recipient to enter a passcode received through SMS. In the case of non-Gmail users, OTP verification happens (via email) even if you have chosen the No passcode option.

Revoke access to confidential email

We are humans and we make mistakes. It could be possible that you accidentally send the confidential mail to the wrong person. In that case, you can revoke the access anytime. In Gmail, go to Sent and open the desired email. There you’ll find the Remove Access option below the email.

How to enable Gmail Confidential Mode 5

Who can access the confidential email?

Practically, you can forward the email to anyone else. But only the original recipient can access the email link. If someone opens the forwarded email, Google will ask for login credentials.

So, this is how you can turn on the Gmail feature called confidential mode and used it to send self-destructing emails to anyone. If you have something to add, drop thoughts in the comments below.

Also Read: Smart Compose: Google AI Can Write Your Emails Quickly
Aditya Tiwari

Aditya Tiwari

Aditya likes to cover topics related to Microsoft, Windows 10, Apple Watch, and interesting gadgets. But when he is not working, you can find him binge-watching random videos on YouTube (after he has wasted an hour on Netflix trying to find a good show). Reach out at [email protected]
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