Gmail Recommended Settings

Your NC State Gmail account is very similar to a personal Gmail account if you have one; however your NC State account has more security controls and of course, you have an “” address. 

As with most Google products, there are a myriad of settings that you can use to customize Gmail and make reading and managing your email more efficient. This page highlights a few of the more commonly used features.

Accessing your Google Workspace Gmail account

In general, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) recommends the Chrome browser for Gmail and other Google  Workspace applications and use the Gmail app (and other Google mobile apps such as Calendar) on your personal devices. You can also use other apps native to your device’s OS to read email and access your NC State Google Workspace account. If you are planning to use other apps, especially for Gmail, be sure to review Google’s Choose your IMAP email client settings for Gmail

For additional information on how to use Gmail, please see the Google Workspace Learning Center: Gmail training and help.

Mail Settings

To change your mail settings click on the Options link (denoted by a gear) in the upper right hand corner. Gmail pops up a sidebar with commonly changed settings, all you can easily view all settings. Other settings are available by selecting See all settings. We encourage you to explore all the available settings and customize your Gmail so it works best for you. Below are a few that we’ve found helpful.

  • How you read your email – Conversation view
    • On by default.
    • Groups all replies with the original message, creating what is referred to as a “single conversation” or “thread.”
    • A conversation is a collection of all messages that have the same Subject.
  • Signature file to identify you
    • Recommend you enter a signature that identifies you and provides other contact information as desired.
    • NC State branding guidelines for Email Signature.
    • Create a Gmail signature. Note: You can have multiple signatures.
  • Sending attachments
    • Although Gmail supports attachments, consider sharing a link to Google Drive rather than attaching files. It’s much more efficient and manageable.
    • Be sure any files you share do not contain any sensitive data or information.
    • For more about the service, such as security, copyright, and file retention policy considerations, contact the NC State IT Service Portal at or 919.515.HELP (4357).
  • Receiving desktop notifications
    • When enabled, gives you a pop-up bubble on your desktop when new email or new chat messages arrive.
    • Gmail notifications
  • Use your vacation responder
    • Use if you will be out of the office. Don’t forget you can use “Out of Office” in the calendar as well.
    • Does not respond to message lists that honor the X-Message-List header; Google Groups honors this header. 
    • See: Out of office or vacation reply
  • Safe time with keyboard shortcuts
  • Use Labels for organizing
    • Labels are similar to folders, except that they do so much more!
      • apply more than one label to a message (i.e., “file” the message in more than one “folder”)
      • view all messages with a given label
      • “move” messages to a label so they no longer appear in your Inbox
      • search within a label.
    • For more information, see Organize your Gmail inbox using labels.
  • Change your “send as” address  
  • Filters
    • Use a filter to manage incoming mail messages.
    • Create filters to label, archive, delete, star or forward mail.
    • For more information, see Create rules to filter your emails in Gmail.
  • Undo Send
    • If you accidentally click Send, you can undo the send.
    • Options are 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 seconds.
    • After 30 seconds, the mail has already left your inbox and is on its way to the intended recipient.
    • See: In Gmail, Settings (gear icon), See all settings, General, Undo send:, Save Changes.