Set an expiration date for your emails

Have you heard about Gmail’s confidential mode? It allows you to set an expiration date for emails you send. This can prevent confidential information from lingering forever in someone’s inbox. These emails cannot be forwarded, downloaded, or copied.

Let’s check out how to use it. First, open Gmail in your browser.

Click Compose to create a new email.

At the bottom of the message, you’ll find an icon that looks like a lock.

Here’s a closer look:


Click it and the confidential mode window will open.

To set the expiration date, click the arrow in the gray box. One week is the default.

You can choose a day, a month, or even five years.

You can also choose to require that the recipient enter an SMS text message code that will be sent to the recipient’s phone.


Here’s what it looks like when it’s ready to send.

If you choose the passcode option, you’ll need to enter the phone number of the recipient.


Here’s what the email looks like to the recipient.

If you’ve selected passcode protection, they’ll have to authorize a code being sent to their phone.


The email will then open in a browser. The recipient won’t be able to download the message to their inbox, forward it, or even copy/paste the content. However, they could take a screenshot.

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