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About Gmail

As part of Google's mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful, we're testing an email service called Gmail.

Gmail is a free, search-based webmail service that includes 1,000 megabytes (1 gigabyte) of storage. The backbone of Gmail is a powerful Google search engine that quickly recalls any message an account owner has ever sent or received. That means there's no need to file messages in order to find them again.

When Gmail displays an email, it automatically shows all the replies to that email as well, so users can view a message in the context of a conversation. There are no pop-ups or banner ads in Gmail, which places relevant text ads and links to related web pages adjacent to email messages.

Frequently asked questions
  1. What makes Gmail different?
  2. How much does Gmail cost?
  3. How do I sign up? When can I get a Gmail account?
  4. Is Gmail available in other languages?
  5. What are Gmail's system requirements?
  6. Does Gmail support automatic forwarding and POP3 access?
  7. What about spam?
  8. Are there ads in Gmail?
  9. What is Gmail's privacy policy?
  10. Why is Google offering email? I thought you were a search company.

1. What makes Gmail different?

Gmail uses Google search technology to automatically organize and find messages. And because Gmail includes 1,000 megabytes of storage, a typical user won't ever have to worry about deleting mail. Everything just gets archived so it can be found again if needed.

There are other differences in the way Gmail provides access to your email. For example, Gmail automatically groups an email and the replies to it as a conversation. That means you always see a message in its proper context. And there are no pop-ups or banner ads in Gmail, just relevant text ads and links to related pages. Gmail's other distinctive features include a labeling system, a spam reporter and a system for filtering your mail as it comes into your inbox.

2. How much does Gmail cost?

Gmail is a free service and includes 1,000 megabytes of storage with each account. However, Gmail is still in preview mode as we test it to work out the kinks. So for now, it's not generally available.

3. How do I sign up? When can I get a Gmail account?

We're currently only offering Gmail as part of a preview release and limited test. We don't have details on when Gmail will be made more widely available, as that depends in part on the results of the test. If you're interested in receiving updates on Gmail, submit your email address using the form at the bottom of this page.

4. Is Gmail available in other languages?

During this testing period, the Gmail interface is only available in English. However, we're committed to making Gmail available to as many people in as many languages as possible. And Gmail accounts can already be used to read and send email in most languages (even Klingon).

5. What are Gmail's system requirements?

Gmail currently supports the following browsers:

  • Microsoft IE 5.5 and newer (Windows)
  • Netscape 7.1 and newer (Windows, Macintosh, Linux)
  • Mozilla 1.4 and newer (Windows, Macintosh, Linux)
  • Mozilla Firefox 0.8 and newer (Windows, Macintosh, Linux)

Regardless of the browser used, you must have JavaScript and cookies enabled. We hope to expand this list of supported browsers in the near future. To get updates on our progress with Gmail, add your email address using the form at the bottom of this page.

6. Does Gmail support automatic forwarding and POP3 access?

Not at the moment, but Google believes in helping people access information whenever and however they want to do so. Your email should never be held hostage by a service provider. In the future you will be able to access Gmail messages from non-Gmail accounts for free or at a nominal fee.

7. What about spam?

Google is committed to keeping unwanted messages out of your inbox. Gmail includes a sophisticated spam filter that we're continuing to improve. The Report Spam link in Gmail is a way for users to help with this effort. It removes spam from the inbox and sends valuable data to the Gmail team working on spam blocking.

8. Are there ads in Gmail?

There are no pop-ups or banner ads in Gmail. Gmail does include relevant text ads that are similar to the ads appearing on the right side of Google search results pages. The matching of ads to content is a completely automated process performed by computers using the same technology that powers the Google AdSense program. This technology already places targeted ads on thousands of sites across the web by quickly analyzing the content of pages and determining which ads are most relevant to them. No humans read your email to target the ads, and no email content or other personally identifiable information is ever provided to advertisers.

9. What is Gmail's privacy policy?

Google respects our users' privacy. For details, please read our email privacy policy.

10. Why is Google offering email? I thought you were a search company.

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally useful and accessible. For many people, email contains valuable information that can be difficult to retrieve. We believe we can help with that.

Gmail uses Google search technology to find messages so users don't have to create folders and file their individual emails. Many of Gmail's other features also incorporate search technology to improve their effectiveness. Used this way, search enhances the efficiency of email, so we believe it's a natural area for Google to offer a service.

Interested in an account?

As we're in a testing period, we don't have more details for when Gmail will be made widely available, but we thank you for your interest in Gmail. In the meantime, if you'd like to be updated about Gmail, feel free to submit your email address below. We will only use your email to send you more information about Gmail. It will not be shared with any third parties.

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