How to Change Your New Gmail Layout Back to the Old Version

Google recently did the unthinkable: It changed the look of Gmail…Again.

It’s one of the great cardinal sins of the tech world – to make unexpected, unsolicited, and potentially unwanted changes to something so familiar, and in fact so essential to our daily existence. What’s life if not an endless stream of junk emails, gradually making your inbox number unread for eternity?

Naturally, this Gmail design update has some users up in arms. But others also agree with this. So let’s review what’s changed, what people are saying about it, and how you can get your Gmail inbox back to how it was in an instant.


How is Gmail different now?

If you’ve opened your inbox in the past 24 hours, you may have already seen the changes. Google has automatically enabled them for anyone who has chat enabled in Gmail. If not, however, the best summary I can give is that Google redesigned the left sidebar and changed the font. I didn’t really notice the last part because my eyes are bad with fonts. (I’m afraid that makes me a bad reporter sometimes.) Anyway, back to the question at hand.

Original Gmail sidebar

Don’t worry about the number of unreads in my inbox. It’s none of your business.
Credit: Google

The chat, meeting, and space areas that previously lived under all inboxes now live to their left, represented by icons. You can enable or disable these icons using the Quick Settings menu.

The actual inbox portion of Gmail, however, is largely the same, although it takes up less screen space now that those icons are in place. No, I won’t include a screenshot of my overly cluttered inbox for your perusal.

There’s also a small (but nice) functional change in the form of “search chips”. In other words, when you search your inbox, you can apply filters before looking for things like “To Attachment” and “From Me” to get the exact result you’re looking for.

Gmail search chips

Searching is a little easier now.
Credit: Google

what people say

Understandably, this earth-shattering redesign of Gmail has some people excited and others filled with incandescent rage…or at least a little unnerved by the changes. I opened up the modern Athens forum known as Mashable’s Slack channel this morning and found a range of opinions as wide as the Grand Canyon, starting with the views of editor kristy Puchko entertainment assistant, on the question:

“Instantly, I cringed, because it feels like a change without reason or warning. It’s harder to read and it immediately made me feel old. Difficult pass. I immediately reverted to the old style, and Gmail asked why. So I told them. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have youngsters to chase off my lawn. »

Gmail restore prompt that reads

Democracy in action.
Credit: Screenshot: Google/Kristy Puchko

Mashable UK editor Shannon Connellan, on the other hand, very lots of vibe with what Google is doing:

“New Gmail? Strangely, I don’t hate it. People do, but this Periwinkle Compose pillow can happily support those century gothic dreams the new format has thrown me into. So what my inbox is now is a lot of icons, ready for an icon to use. I said what I said.

As for Mashable editor-in-chief Annie Colbert, she doesn’t like the change, but admitted that it’s only a matter of time before it becomes second nature:

“The new Gmail looks like someone’s Pinterest board with a white couch and a rounded lucite coffee table. Is this my style? No, but like all design changes, I immediately cringe (why is it so hard to scan?!), and I’ll give myself a week to get used to it.

And finally, culture editor (and self-proclaimed stan of all that glitters) Crystal Bell found a way to change the theme color to pink and found herself at home in the new, sweeter Gmail:

“As someone who uses their Gmail only for emails and documents, the change in user interface really doesn’t fascinate me. I actually like the rounded corners on the Compose button. It’s aesthetically pleasing to me. And the new sans serif font?! It’s clean and minimalist. A perfect contrast to my new pink Barbie background. Embrace modernity, baby. »

No matter which side you are on, it is important to know that you power switch back to the old Gmail by pressing a somewhat hidden button. Just click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the Gmail screen to open the Quick Settings menu, where you can also change the theme and play with other aspects of the page.

Gmail quick settings menu

It’s right near the top so you can’t miss it.
Credit: Google

If the new Gmail makes you absolutely sick, click the “Revert to original view” button. You will be prompted to explain why you don’t like the new version. But if you don’t think Google is worthy of your eloquent dissent, you can just hit the back button without entering anything in the text prompt. However, if filling it with a rage-fueled screed makes your day better, go for it. Just remember that a real person might have to read it at some point.

And thus, one of the great questions of our time has been thoroughly debated and resolved. Great job today, everyone.

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