If you are looking for a way to create and send emails that vanish after a certain period of time, either days or years, this article will show you how to use Gmail’s Mission Impossible style self-destructing (deleting) emails.


How to Enable Lazy Loading in Google Chrome.

Over the last twelve months, Google has spent a lot of time and money refining Gmail in an effort to combat Microsoft’s Outlook upgrade. This major upgrade has seen Google redesign Gmails entire interface, add email forwarding, printing and download protection and of course, one of the most useful features, self-destructing emails.

Although calling these emails self-destructing is a little over dramatic, it is quite an accurate, exciting term for emails that vanish with a given time frame. Using Google self-destructing emails, you can set an email to be removed from a recipient's inbox within 1 day (24 hours), 1 week,1 month, 3 months or 5 years.

By now you’re probably wondering how the system actually works because you can’t technically remove something from someone's email account, especially if it has been delivered to another service. If you’re thinking along these lines you are correct! Instead of removing the email from a users inbox, Google simply sends an email to the recipient with a link directing them to a new location (Gmail) where the message can be viewed. As well as expiring, the message also can’t be forwarded, downloaded or copied. It can, however be screenshot, which makes this part of the protection process a little pointless.  

Related: How to Completely Disable Google Location Tracking on Android Devices.

How Do You Send Emails That Vanish After a While From Gmail?

Sending emails that vanish from Gmail is super simple, though you may miss the option if you aren’t paying attention. To begin head on over to Gmail and sign into your Gmail account as you normally would. Once you are signed in, click Compose to create a new email. In the open New Mail window click the small Lock/Clock icon which symbolizes confidential mail. Now set your desired expiry date and decide if you would like to use an SMS Passcode.

how to send self destructing emails from gmail

If you don’t want to use a passcode you don’t have to, the email will still self-destruct within the time frame even if it wasn’t passcode protected. Once you have set this info, the rest of the process is the same as sending a normal email and will be delivered to the recipient's inbox like so. 

gmail vanishing emails

use self destructing emails from gmail

How Do You Send Emails That Vanish After a While From the Gmail App?

If you use Gmail from the mobile app more often than the desktop version, you can still create self-destructing emails. Open Gmail, start a new email, tap the three dots in the top right-hand corner, then select Confidential Mode and set your message requirements. Finally, tap Save at the top of your message then compile and send your message as you normally would.


While you are in the mood for learning some new Gmail tricks, make sure you check out the following guide showing you How to Block and Unblock People and Addresses on Gmail. (Desktop & Mobile)