How to Turn on Gmail Confidential Mode

What is Gmail confidential mode and how do you turn on and turn off confidential mode in Gmail and how can you use it to your advantage? Here in this article, we will consider how to turn Gmail’s confidential mode on and how you can turn off the confidential mode.

What is Gmail Confidential Mode?

The Gmail confidential mode allows users to lock mail to a particular recipient for a particular period of time so that the mail cannot be forwarded to another recipient until the preset confidential mode expires.

Meanwhile, you can only enable confidential mode in Gmail before you send the mail to the recipient. Once the mail is sent and the confidential mode is not enabled it cannot be added again except if you choose to recover the mail from the recipient, delete it and add the confidential mode to the mail and then resend it again.

With this, you can be surreal that the email cannot be forwarded to other recipients. However, before we go into details on how to turn on or turn off  Gmail confidential mode let’s quickly run through some of the advantages.

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Advantages of Confidential Mode in Gmail

Below are the key feature and benefits you stand to enjoy when the confidential mode option is turned on before sending an email in your Gmail account.

  • The first recipients won’t have the option to forward the email to another recipient.
  • The recipients won’t have the option to copy the email.
  • The main recipient print option will be disabled until the confidential mode expires.
  • There will not be an option to download the email.
  • You will be able to set confidential mode on your email for up to 5 years.
  • You may decide to set the option to SMS passcode to turn off confidential mode on the email and you may choose not to set the option.

Gmail Confidential Mode

How to Turn on Confidential Mode in Gmail

The confidential mode in Gmail works in the same way whether you are using the Gmail web [on your computer] or you are an ardent fan of the Gmail app. So, in this article, we will consider how to turn on the confidential mode in Gmail on the web [browser], Android and iPhone so that you can choose any of the approaches depending on your device.


Here is how to turn on the confidential mode in Gmail on the web.

  • Sign into your Gmail account.
  • Tap on the “Compose” tab at the top left.How to turn on Gmail confidential mode
  • Tap on the “Confidential Mode” lock icon to pop up the options.Gmail confidential mode
  • Set the email confidential mode “Expiration” by clicking on the expiration menu:Expiration time
    • Expires in 1 day.
    • Expires in 1 week.
    • Expires in 1 month
    • Expires in 3 months
    • Expires in 5 years.
  • Choose “No SMS Passcode” or “SMS Passcode” depending on your choice under “Require Passcode” if you want Google to send a passcode to the recipient to unlock the email after the confidential mode expires or not.Gmail confidential mode
  • Click on the “Save” tab at the bottom right.Save Gmail confidential mode

Gmail App

For Android and iPhone users to turn on and use the confidential mode in Gmail kindly follow the steps below bit-by-bit.

  • Launch the “Gmail app” on your Android or iPhone.
  • Tap on the “Compose” edit icon at the bottom right overlaying the last email shown on the page.what is gmail confidential mode
  • Tap on the “More” option next to the “Send” button at the top right.Confidential Mode
  • Click on the “Confidential Mode” option.Turn on Gmail confidential mode
  • The confidential mode option should be enabled otherwise toggle the option from grey to purple.
  • Go to “Set Expiration” and choose when the email should expire.Set Confidential mode expiration
  • Choose either “Standard” or SMS Passcode” under “Require Passcode.”gmail confidential mode
  • Tap the “Save” tab at the top right above the purple colour.
  • The content expiry date will appear and you will be notified that when you send this email the recipient will not be able forward, copy, print or download this email under the confidential mode expires. You can edit the confidential mode if want to before you hit the send button to make some changes.

The confidential mode will be turned on and you will see “Recipients won’t have the option to forward, copy, print, or download this email.” Meanwhile, the confidential mode is turned on for this particular email. For other emails you sent [or want to send] to have the confidential mode enabled you have to follow the steps above and repeat the same process.

How to Turn Off Confidential Mode in Gmail

You can remove early access from an email you sent with Gmail confidential mode. Therefore, here, we will discuss how to turn off confidential mode in Gmail on message I already sent.

Gmail App

If you are using a Gmail mobile app on your Android or iPhone you can follow the steps below to turn off confidential mode on the message you already sent. With this, you will be able to remove all the restricted access to the confidential mode placed on the email before its expiration time.

  • Go to the “Sent” box on your Gmail.
  • Tap on the “Confidential email.”
  • Select “Remove Access.”

The confidential mode will be removed and the recipient will be able to forward, copy, print and download the email.

You can also remove early access from an email you sent with a confidential mode. Therefore, by following the steps below you will learn how to turn off the confidential mode in Gmail you already sent.

  1. Open “Gmail” on your computer.
  2. Click “Sent” on the left.
  3. Open the confidential email.
  4. Click “Remove access.”

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