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Gmail Confidential Mode rolling out on Android; here’s how to use it

With the Confidential Mode on Gmail app, Google wants to make your emails more secure.

gmail confidential mode android

Earlier this year, Google started rolling new design for Gmail, which brought the biggest redesign for the email service in years. Along with new features, Google also added a “Confidential Mode” to make your emails more secure. Basically, it lets you send self-destructive emails that will be deleted automatically in the said time. Now, Google has started rolling out the feature for the Gmail Android app as well. Here’s how to use it.

How to send self-destructive emails

Step One

To begin with, ensure that your Gmail app is up to date with the latest version 8.7.15. If you have the update app, open it and tap on Compose icon on the bottom right.

Step Two

On the top right, tap on three dots and tap on Confidential Mode. 

Step Three

You will set an option to set the expiration, which can be one day, one week, one month, three months or 5 years.

Step Four

You will then have to choose a passcode which can be an OTP on the recipient’s phone number, or you can skip it.

Step Five

Once this is done, attach the file that you want, and send the email to the recipient. If you choose to have a passcode, the recipient will have to enter the same to view the email content.

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How to remove or renew access

If you no longer want the recipient to access the file, you can remove the access. Once this is done, the user will see a message that says content expired. At any point, you can once again renew access if you want.

Step One

Open Gmail app on your phone, tap on the hamburger menu on the top left, and tap on sent emails.

Step Two

Here, find the mail that you sent with confidential mode and open. You will see an option to remove access, just tap on that, and the recipient will no longer be able to access the file.

Step Three

In case you want to renew the access, head over to sent emails, open that email, and tap on renew access, and the user will once again be able to view the content.

Now, there is still a small loophole in the app. I sent an email to myself with confidential mode, the attachment was a photo. Sure, it did not let me download the file, but I could very well take a screenshot, which is a bit flawed.

I just hope Google finds a workaround to restrict users from taking a screenshot. With apps like BHIM, when you enter the payments mode and take a screenshot, it either gives an error that you can’t take screenshots, or on some phones it captures complete black photos. I’m sure Google can work out something similar.

  • Published Date: August 17, 2018 12:06 PM IST