Gmail is a free e -mail service of the search engine company Google Inc. After his announcement and a closed beta from April 2004 to sign a Registration Key or an invitation by an already registered user by August 2005 was possible. In February 2007, the service has been made ​​generally available to public testing phase lasted until July 2009.

Gmail brought by his announcement at large movement in the free email market. The realized largely via Ajax feature set of the browser-based interface based on stand-alone mail programs. In addition to Webmail access the retrieval of mails is through POP3 and IMAP4 possible. Since mid-2012 Gmail is considered the world's most widely used email service.


Gmail brought from his announcement April 1, 2004 mainly due to the initial mailbox size of a gigabyte of memory large movement in the free email market. Other vendors that dominated Hotmail, Yahoo!, and in Germany by GMX and market had granted their users in comparison to previously only between two and twenty megabytes.

This discrepancy led to the message on the Gmail launch was wrongly interpreted by many as the first April Fool's joke. Several times Google had previously disseminated April Fools, so for example for a rogue PigeonRank system or the offer of a place in the Google Copernicus Center on the moon. Jonathan Rosenberg faced BBC News, however, clear: " We are very serious about Gmail " (engl.: "We feel it with Gmail very seriously ").

Ultimately, increased most Gmail rivals, the storage capacity of their offers after the start of the public beta of Gmail sometimes drastically. Then again responded Gmail for the first anniversary of the free service by doubling the memory to 2 GB. Since then, the maximum mailbox size is continually increasing in small steps, the temporary expansion is accelerated. As part of the launch of cloud-based Google Drive storage space was increased to 10 GB in April 2012. By combining Gmail and Google Drive in June 2013, the user has been set to 15 GB.

Google has a spam filter, the possibility of abuse in their mail service - as phishing - to report, and the additional possibility of access to a mail program installed on TLS POP3 and SMTP TLS; Since October 2007, the retrieval via IMAP is possible. Google also offered the ability to synchronize Gmail via the ActiveSync protocol with multiple mobile devices. In December 2012, accessed via the ActiveSync protocol has been limited, so that no new devices longer be allowed. Alternatively, Google provides the ability to synchronize mobile devices through the use of open protocols IMAP, CardDAV and CalDAV.

Brand problems


Originally called this service in Germany Gmail, but had to be renamed in 2005 due to a dispute over the German trademark with a hamburger mail companies. The latter had the brand name G-mail account before Google and used commercially. In July of the same year, Google introduced that e- mail addresses of new users instead of the German [email protected] get the [email protected] In April 2012, Google could out of court in Germany achieve the takeover of the Gmail trademark and the domain. Since June 20, 2012 will receive all new users [email protected] an e- mail address. Existing users can switch 2012 [email protected] in [email protected] since June 26.

United Kingdom

On 19 October 2005 the British version of Gmail has been renamed to Gmail because " Gmail " was an account of a company other than a brand name. Again, the name change led to the fact that e- mail addresses denominated meantime [email protected] Since May 3, 2010 Gmail in the UK is available again under the name of Gmail.


In February 2007, Google lost a lawsuit against the owners of, a group of poets from Poland ( Grupa Mlodych Artystów i Literatów, abbreviated Gmail).


An IT company has registered the name before Google offers such as Google e- mail addresses whose extension but


The main difference from Gmail to other free e-mail services is in the feature set of the browser-based interface that is independent of mail clients (such as Outlook Express, The Bat or Thunderbird) -oriented. This was realized in large parts with a designated as Ajax Technology in JavaScript and DHTML and includes an address book, a spell checker, and more accessible by hotkey functions. These are also comparably fast and comfortable as a locally installed email program, since the functions mostly on the client side, ie on the local computer to run.

A just processed mail is automatically cached by Gmail, so that when disconnections or timeouts can only be lost parts of the written text. Also reviewed by a realized using JavaScript Window Security check whether a page break by the user is really intended, if unsaved text would be lost in this way.

The filing of received e- mails are not, as yet a common practice in different folders, but in a central mail archive. This can be similarly searched the known Google search and found. Furthermore, messages in threads, called Google " conversations " are summarized. In place of folders appear in Gmail called "Labels", which can be freely defined and allocated by e-mail filters or manually on the news. With these labels, it is possible to mails - in contrast to the usual folder structure - assign multiple categories. This is to better track can be guaranteed.

Gmail ignores dots in the front part of the e - mail address, mails so [email protected] come to the account even if the address @ or benutz.ername @ is. So there is the possibility to forward mails with such an address, for example, or to be directly move to the Trash using filter. The same applies to plus sign after the user name. To get emails to username [email protected] or username [email protected] just like emails to [email protected]

There is now a variety of non - authorized extensions for Gmail. For example, there is news - checker, which represent the current number of new messages, or programs such as gmailfs that make Gmail accounts as virtual drives available.

In addition, the web interface of Gmail can be extended to most useful functions by activating new features in Gmail Labs.

Other Features

Under / mail / x / there is a Gmail WAP service for the benefit of most of the features with mobile phones, / app a J2ME client for mobile phones.

Finally, the Google Talk service was integrated into the web interface of Gmail. This method based on XMPP standard function offers the possibility to contact people from your own address book, just pick up their e- mails to write directly to chat with them (similar to Instant Messaging), or a voice and / or establish video connection. The chat logs are archived here in a separate directory. The connection is made with users external messaging communities (ICQ, MSN, AIM, Yahoo! ) via so-called " XMPP transport " is possible. Early December 2007, AIM was integrated into the Gmail chat.

Gmail allows you to send under different identities and addresses of sender (From :) emails. In addition, other providers may be retrieved via POP3 e- mail accounts.

Using Google Apps own domains can be switched to Gmail.

To ensure the use of Gmail in offline mode, used the service since early 2009 Gears. However, to reach more users, is set in the future for the project instead of Gears to HTML5.

Gmail logs the last ten hits on the mailbox with the IP address and time stamp. It also shows where the same mailbox is still open at the same time ( with the IP address and browser type, accessible on the Mailbox page bottom).

On 9 February 2010, Google introduced Google Buzz ago in California. The new product is added Gmail to services in the field of social network. It summarized the functions of a mail program and components of social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter together. In fall 2011, Google Buzz was closed because Google wants to focus on the social network Google .

A link the service to social media Google application is planned. For example, introduced in 2008 Gmail Video Chat function through Google Hangouts, the video chat conferencing feature of Google was replaced in the fall of 2012.


The maximum size of an e -mail is around 25 MB; until May 2007, the limit was 10 MB.

As a security measure to prevent potential viruses to be a Gmail account sent e- mails that an annex with executable files (which Google recognizes on the file extension ), not delivered, but the sender sent back. This security measure can be circumvented by a change in the file extension for the duration of the transmission. Since Gmail 7z archives and encoding UUencode (*. Uue ) does not recognize, can be sent in these executables.

User names must be at least six characters.


The free for the end user service Gmail is funded through contextual, that is, on the content of e -mails customized text advertising (Google AdWords ), which appears similar to the surface of search engines Google right. For this, the open e -mail is not only analyzed, but also the most recently received messages included. Unlike many other free mail providers Google waives the automatic addition of a promotional text at the end of each e -mail or banners on the website.


Various privacy experts warn of a further softening of privacy because all Gmail emails by automatically searches in order to then show contextual advertising can. Any further use of the data collected is for marketing purposes is not excluded from Google. At a first major slugfest occurred during the conference Computers, Freedom & Privacy in Berkeley. Chris Hoofnagle of the Electronic Privacy Information Center warned that would " Gmail lower the lowest common denominator in the privacy of all webmail ".

Although the operator of Google indicates that each user these Terms of Use must agree to when creating his accession, the point of data protection is considered to be problematic: because senders of e- mails that are not Gmail users themselves, not their approval for opening and processing have given the mail, accepting the Terms of Use is not sufficient by its own users.

Furthermore, there was the launch of Gmail criticism due to the license terms, since they not only allow you to index the e- mails, but no guarantee is given that the user deleted emails really deleted. It turned out that Google was referring to the regular backups.

In addition, can be found in the Privacy Policy, many formulations, Gmail give the far-reaching scope of action to curtail the privacy of users. For example, Gmail personal data ( including contents of e -mails) to pass, if it could "assume good faith ", for example, " to protect the rights, property or safety of ... the public. "