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How to create and send self-destructing emails on Gmail?

Want to send an email that deletes automatically from the recipient’s inbox? Use Gmail’s automatically self-destructing emails. Confidential Mode in Gmail allows you to set an expiration for the emails. The feature is available on both, Gmail website ( as well as on Gmail mobile app. That means like other settings you don’t need to open your Gmail account in a browser to send self-destructing emails. Along with sending self-destructing emails, Confidential Mode also makes your email unable to forward, download, copy-paste, and as well as print. However, the receiver can still capture a screenshot or photo of your message.

 How to create and send self-destructing email from Gmail website (

  1. Start Google Chrome or your preferred browser.
  2. Search for Gmail or directly go to ‘’ to open Gmail. In Chrome, you can also click the Google apps (grid) icon near the upper side of any new tab and select ‘Gmail.’
  3. Sign in to Gmail, if you aren’t already.
  4. After that, click on ‘Compose’ button in the left column to create a new message.
  5. When the new message window opens, click on the ‘Lock and clock’ button at the bottom. Doing so enables the confidential mode and opens the Confidential mode dialog box on the screen.
  6. Click the SET EXPIRY dropdown button and choose when you want the message to expire.

7. After that, tweak other settings for the message and click on the ‘Save’ button.

8. Now, compose your email as you usually do.

In case, you change your mind and want to send the standard message, then click the ‘Lock and clock’ button again to turn off confidential mode. Or, click the ‘X’ icon in the box appearing under the message body. If you want to change the expiration date or other settings, click ‘Edit.’

  1. When you’re done, click ‘Send.’

Your email will be sent to the receiver and delete itself automatically on the expiration date you’ve chosen for it. The timer starts immediately, as you hit the ‘Send’ button, either the recipient opens your message or not, it will delete when the time ends.

 How to create and send self-destructing email from Gmail app

These steps apply to Android but will be very similar in iOS. If you want to send a confidential message with your mobile, then here is how.

  1. Start ‘Gmail app’ in your device.
  2. Sign in to Gmail, if you aren’t already.
  3. Your Gmail inbox is displaying on your phone screen, click on the ‘+’ button near the lower right side of the display to compose a new message.
  4. In the message composing screen, click on the ‘More’ option button and select ‘Confidential mode.’
  5. Confidential mode settings will now open your screen, make sure the feature is enabled.

6. After that, open the Set expiration dropdown to choose the expiration date for your message.

7. Tweak other settings for the message and click on the ‘Save’ button at the top.

8. Now, compose your email as you usually do.

9. And click ‘Send.’

You’ve successfully created and sent a self-destructing email through Gmail.

Anna Mathew, writer of this blog loves to write and create awareness related to day-to-day internet threats. Major topics of her interest are Printer support like Lexmark Printer Support, Canon Printer Support, HP Printer Support etc.


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