You’ve probably heard of sending disappearing messages in popular messaging apps, but did you know that you can also set an expiration date for emails sent through Gmail, making the message content inaccessible after the set time ? Here’s how.
Add an expiration date to Gmail (Windows and Mac)
You can add due dates to emails by using Gmail confidential mode. When you add an expiration date to an email, the recipient cannot access the content after the set date.
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To add an expiration date to an email, log into your Gmail account using your browser of choice on Windows 10 or Mac, then click “Compose” in the top left corner of the window.
In the email composition window, enter (1) the email address of the recipient, (2) the subject of the email, and (3) the content of the email.
Then click the lock button with a clock in front of it at the bottom of the composition window. This is the confidential mode icon.
Once clicked, the “Confidential Mode” window will appear. In the “Set expiration date” section, click the down arrow to display a list of different expiration times.
Expiration times range from one day to five years. Select the desired expiration time by clicking on it.
The expiration date now appears to the right of the selected time. You can also request an access code. By choosing “No SMS Access Code”, recipients can open the email immediately, while “SMS Access Code” requires the recipient to enter a password that they will receive via SMS.
You must enter their phone number if you choose the latter option.
When you are done, click on ‘Save’.
The email now has a fixed expiration date. A message will appear at the bottom of your email to confirm this. Click on “Send” to send the email.
If you want to remove access to the email before the set due date, click “Sent” in the left pane, then select the message with the due date from the list of emails.
Click ‘Remove access’ at the bottom of the email.
Now the recipient can no longer access the email.
Add an expiration date to Gmail (iPhone, iPad and Android)
You can also add due dates to emails you compose in the Gmail app for iPhone, iPad and Android.
To do this, log into your Gmail account in the mobile app and tap “Compose” in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Then enter (1) the e-mail address of the recipient, (2) the subject of the e-mail and (3) the content of the e-mail. Once this is complete, select the three horizontal dots (three vertical dots on Android) in the top right corner of the screen.
In the menu that appears, tap ‘Confidential Mode’.
In the “Set expiration date” section, tap the blue highlighted text “Expires in #”.
A list of different expiration times appears, ranging from one day to five years. Place the item you want in the center of the list by swiping up or down, then tap Done.
As with the desktop version, you can also set a passcode for the email.
When you’re done, select the check mark in the top right corner of the screen to confirm the settings.
The expiration date is now set. Tap “Send” to send the email.
If you want to revoke access to the email before the set expiration date, tap the three-line hamburger menu icon in the top left corner of the “Mail” tab.
From there, tap on ‘Sent’.
Select the email with the expiration date to open it and tap ‘Remove access’ at the bottom of the email.
The recipient can no longer open or open the email.