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Home / Tips and Tricks / To enable and use Gmail's Smart Reply and Smart Compose tools

To enable and use Gmail's Smart Reply and Smart Compose tools



Before Google Mail's fifteenth birthday this week, Google has expanded its e-mail service with numerous productivity and machine learning tools. (You may also be trying to catch up on the disappearance of the inbox email app, but this is an argument for a different day.) This week, we've added the ability for Gmail to write email subject lines for you and one E-mail to send hires at a later date.

Along with a redesign for the mobile app last year for Desktop and earlier this year, it may be a bit confusing to navigate some of Gmail's newer features. In this tutorial, we will focus on Gmail's autocomplete tools, such as: Smart Reply and Smart Compose, which can save you time.

If you're helping a computer write emails and subject lines, you may feel something out of the ordinary, but if you're open to trying it yourself, here are ways to automate your Gmail responses.

Enable Smart Reply and Smart Compose

To help you generate Gmail responses and e-mail text You must first log in to the Settings menu. If you're a regular Gmail user (instead of G Suite Enterprise Edition), do the following:

On the desktop

  • Click the gear icon in the top right corner and locate the Settings page.
  • Scroll down to Smart Reply and Smart Compose, and select either "On" for both options or both to enable the automated suggestions.
  • You can also have Gmail automatically learn how to customize your suggestions based on the way you write your emails. For example, greeting your colleagues with "hello, team" or "hello everyone" will automate what you use most often.

In the Android or iOS app

  • Tap the Hamburger icon at the top left to open the side drawer. If you have more than one Gmail account linked to the app, select the account you want to contact.
  • Scroll down to Settings and tap the Smart Reply and / or Smart Compose check boxes to enable the mode. (Smart Compose is currently available for Android only.)

If you use G Suite, you may find that the option to switch to Smart Compose is not available. Your G Suite administrator must enable this for the organization. Contact the responsible person if you want to test this at work.

If the settings are turned on, your Gmail system will be set up to suggest responses and help will be supported automatically-based on your writing style.

What It Looks Like

My colleague Dani has a tutorial designed specifically for Smart Compose to write e-mails, but basically just start typing and Gmail will suggest matching words the sentence you're typing

Note that it does not always appear for every email you write. Since Gmail needs a context, you're likely to hear Smart Compose when you reply to an e-mail or when you receive emails with general statements like "Nice to meet you" or "I hope you're fine" Mail has a suggestion, and next to what you type, an opaque set of text is displayed.

In the desktop version of Gmail, you can press the Tab key to accept the suggestion. If a suggested word or phrase appears in the mobile app, swipe right to add it to the email.

New to G Suite customers is the ability for Smart Compose to suggest e-mail subjects as well. Gmail began providing this solution to customers on April 4, with a more comprehensive release coming out on April 23. To take advantage of this feature right away, your G Suite administrator must let users update the Rapid Release track to test the new feature.


When this feature is enabled, it works just like normal Smart Compose. Leave the subject line blank and write your e-mail. Once you've completed the subject line, Gmail will make a suggestion that you can accept by hitting the Tab key in the desktop app or swiping it directly on the phone.

Smart Reply for potted answers

Smart Reply works a bit faster than Smart Compose. Instead of suggesting words or short phrases for you, Gmail offers three answers that may match the email you received. For example, if you've received an email reminding you of an appointment, Smart Reply may suggest answers, such as: For example, "Confirmed," "Thanks," or "I can not do it."

If you tap on these answers, that will not be sent e-mail immediately. You can add more text to the proposed answer before sending it.


If you're in a mail conversation with more than one person, make sure that the answer with a smart response is requesting all users of that email. You must manually remove the people you do not want in this response. For this reason, it is best to select Smart Reply only for emails that you want to send to all users of the thread.

Should you actually use them?

If you choose to have a computer write your emails, it may be impersonal but not meant to write the entire email for you. Smart Compose and Smart Reply work best when you use them to add blanks or quickly reply to yes or no emails. In addition, Gmail has proposed much better answers that make 90 percent sense. (In my experience, answers tend to give positive answers, so they may not work best if you are less inclined to agree on everything.)

Besides, if you try this and find out that you Enter your own answers, go back to Settings and disable these features.

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