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This Gmail Will Self Destruct: Confidential Mode Is Coming

Google is preparing to give Gmail a makeover, but the revamp may include more than just new layouts. Google is reportedly introducing a confidential mode that will prevent the recipient from downloading, printing, copying, pasting or forwarding the message you send them.

Credit: The Verge

(Image credit: The Verge)

The tool, denoted with a lock icon in leaked images obtained by TechCrunch, will allow you to set a date for when the email will self-destruct. You’ll also be able to add a passcode to the email. According to the TechCrunch report and additional details found by The Verge, it sounds like Google creates a link to the confidential email and then emails that link to the recipient, who will be required to log in with Google account details or enter the SMS-generated passcode to view the message behind the link.

MORE: What Is Google Authenticator (and How to Use It)

Like other services that allow you to send disappearing messages, such as Snapchat and Instagram, Gmail’s confidential mode doesn’t prevent someone from taking a screenshot or photo of the email.

It’s unclear whether this feature will only be available to Gmail users, or if people who use Gmail with non-Gmail accounts will also be able to send disappearing messages.

The new feature will likely be announced alongside Gmail’s redesign for the web, which is expected to take place during Google’s upcoming I/O developers conference starting May 8. The company is rumored to be including three layouts, a sidebar to view your calendar or notes, smart replies with prewritten responses and a snooze button to mute email threads until you’re written to answer them.

Caitlin is a Senior editor for Gizmodo. She has also worked on Tom's Guide, Macworld, PCWorld and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. When she's not testing out the latest devices, you can find her running around the streets of Los Angeles, putting in morning miles or searching for the best tacos.

  • leslie.satenstein
    When a service is keeping others out, by design, and it becomes too difficult for my grandfather to use, then Google will find the people migrating to other email servers. I for one find gmail adequate, but not something gives me enthusiasm.

    If the new features are optional, then I will not mind trying it. And then, if I like it, I will persist.
  • klevisnowlle
    The latest Yahoo revamp is too sterile cuckoo like Europe based Have to use Yahoo though because it has more data capacity. Google may add more data capacity on Gmail ?