Gmail Self-destruct expiring emails Confidential mode Gmail web & Android iOS app

How to Send a Disappearing/ Self-destructing Email using Gmail Confidential Mode

Gmail Self-destruct expiring emails Confidential mode Gmail web & Android iOS app

One of the most needed features Gmail was lacking is the ability to Send emails which would disappear or expire after a certain set time.

There are times when we have to send Sensitive information or Files to someone for once. But it won’t be safe to leave them in their inbox after you have completed your task.

In such situations, it would be wise to send self-destructing email, which would disappear after a certain time period (say a day) automatically.

In this guide, we will see What is confidential mode and how to send an self-expiring email which will disappear automatically from recipient’s inbox after a certain time which you have set or Manually destruct the email from their inbox through your Sent items.

What is Confidential mode?

The confidential mode is Gmail’s new security feature, which Google has added along with many other features like Smart Compose. Emails which you send with Confidential mode will have following advantages over normal Emails.

Features of Gmail Confidential mode

  • Recipients won’t be able to Forward, Copy/Paste, Print the email.
  • You can set the expiration time for the email
  • You can Protect the email with an OTP.

Send Self-destructing Email through Gmail Website

You can follow these simple steps to send an email with expiration date using Gmail’s Confidential mode:

  1. Login to Gmail.com and Click “+” icon to compose a new email and type in Email address and body.
  2. Now click on the Lock icon in the bottom and a popup will appear. Lock icon Confidential mode self destruct email
  3. Now under Set expiration, select the time within which you want the email to disappear. You can  choose from 1 day, 1 Week, 1 Month, 3 Months and 5 Years. Gmail Web Confidential mode self destruct email Expiration date and SMS passcode
  4. Now under Require passcode, the default option is No Passcode. But if you select the SMS Passcode option, the receiver needs to enter an OTP which will be sent to his Mobile number (you need to enter the mobile number while sending) to view the Email. If you don’t want this option, just leave it as it is.
  5. Now click Save and then click Send to send your email. If you have selected SMS passcode option, now it will ask for Recipient’s mobile number. Enter the number and click “Send” again.
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Send Self-disappearing Email through Gmail Android/ iOS App

Confidential mode was initially released only for Gmail web, but later it was added to Gmail iOS and Android apps. Here’s how you send an email with an expiration time on Gmail app:

  1. Open Gmail app and Compose email as usual and type your email content, but don’t hit send yet.
  2. Now click on 3-dot menu in the top-right corner and tap on Confidential mode. Confidential mode self destruct email Gmail App android Expiration date and SMS passcode
  3. Now similar to Gmail website, you will see options to set an Expiration period and also SMS Passcode. Select the Expiration period of your choice under Set expiration.
  4. Now under Require passcode, the default option is Standard. But you can choose SMS Passcode option, which will ask recipient to enter OTP in order to view the email. After that click on “Save”.
  5. Then click on Send. (If you have selected SMS Passcode option, it will show a popup saying “Missing information” at this point. Just click on Add Missing information and enter recipient’s phone number and tap on Done.)

Undo an Email sent using Gmail Confidential mode

After sending an Email using Gmail Confidential mode, at any point you might want to stop the recipient from viewing the email for a variety of reasons like:

  • You sent the Email to a wrong email address
  • You have set a wrong expiration period
  • You have mistakenly sent files you weren’t supposed to send.

Whichever might be the reason, you can Undo or Revoke the email at any point in time after sending it. In order to do this:

  1. Open Gmail on Website or App and go to Sent emails.
  2. Find and open the email which you want to Undo.
  3. Then click on Remove access button.
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That’s it the recipient won’t be able to see the email content. Please note that the recipient can still see that you have sent an email, but the content of the email will be hidden.

Concluding: Are you using Confidential Mode?

Even though there are certain flaws in confidential mode too, it is still better & secure than sending a normal email.

I would definitely recommend you use Confidential mode when you are sending private details or documents over email because you will have better control over that email content. If you are serious about your Email security you should use ProtonMail, an End-to-end encrypted email service.

So, is Gmail’s disappearing email feature helpful to you? Are you facing any problem with Gmail confidential mode? Please let do let me know by commenting below or you can reach us on Social media sites.

Susheel karam

Susheel is an Electrical Engineer by education, but a Tech Blogger by Passion. He keeps himself updated about latest Apps, Gadgets and anything new in Tech world. When he is not in to computers, he loves to watch Sci-Fi and Horror movies.