Custom Themes Let You Set Photos as Gmail Background

It's been a long time since Gmail sported the plain UI that we remember from the service's launch. Google launched themes for Gmail four years ago, in 2008, for people who didn't like the default theme for their web mail. Now, Gmail is adding a solution for those that want something a little more creative than the themes selected by Google.

"When we unveiled Gmail's new look back in November, we introduced a number of new, beautiful HD themes," explained Google's Greg Bullock. "We also heard that many of you wanted to bring an even more personal touch by setting your own background."

As a result, the search giant this week announced the arrival of custom themes, which will allow users to upload their photo or graphic to use as a background image one of two light or dark custom themes. Users can upload their own images directly, via Google+ or an image URL, or browse Google's catalogue of Featured Photos to find one they like.

Check the video below to see some examples of custom themes in Gmail:

Bullock says these new custom themes will be rolled out in the next couple of days, so if you don't see it yet, don't panic. Be patient and check back in a day or so.

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Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.