Is Google Sunsetting Gmail? Future of Email Service Revealed

Old school HTML holds the answer to the internet's latest mystery about why Google might be killing off Gmail this year.

If you’ve been online this week, chances are you might have heard the rumors that Google is sunsetting Gmail, with the gossip coming hot on the heels of millions of Google accounts being deleted last year.

We’re here to separate fact from fiction and the good news for users of Google’s widely used email platform is that it’s not going anywhere. The whole “Google sunsetting Gmail” schtick is little more than an online hoax, the latest round of fake news to do the rounds on X (previously Twitter).

Instead, what Gmail is actually sunsetting is its now outdated HTML view. This is apparently starting from February 2024 but was announced a while ago, so it’s not even new news – just #inspo for the feckless band of trolls pushing the misinformation on X.

In fairness to X, you can see that the post either promoting or just confused by the hoax has now been flagged as misinformation.

Google Sunsetting Gmail’s HTML View Only

News that Google was going to force Gmail users to permanently move away from the platform’s HTML view actually first surfaced over five months ago, according to forums.

This was then backed up by Google itself via its support pages, where you can now find a detailed guide on migrating from HTML to Standard view in Gmail.

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The company now says it is shuttering HTML view “from February 2024,” but when I went to access it manually, I was still given the “Not Now” option to defer switching over.

Check out the glories of my Spam folder in even more glorious HTML:

Screenshot of Gmail's HTML view, which is being sunset by Google this month

Gmail Features Unavailable in HTML View

One of the reasons Google is killing off the old school HTML view in Gmail is because using it means users don’t have access to a number of the email service’s best features.

I wouldn’t even say they’re particularly cutting edge, but if you use (or used) HTML view in Gmail you didn’t have access to the following tools:

  • Chat
  • Spell checker
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Add or import contacts
  • Custom “from” addresses
  • Rich formatting

These are things most of us having been using for years now, so it really should come as no surprise Google has finally insisted we all get with the times and rely on Gmail’s main interface.

Gmail is Here to Stay – and so Is Gemini AI

The misinformation surrounding Google sunsetting Gmail caused enough of a stir for the internet giant to issue a statement of sorts, which came via its own X account.

On the contrary, Google is continuing to invest heavily in its email service and other parts of its Workspace productivity suite. These also include Google Drive, which we recently named one of the best free cloud storage providers.

The bulk of new updates coming Gmail’s way are now focused around AI. Powered by what’s now known as its Gemini AI model, Gmail has been getting AI upgrades since last year.

More recently, Google announced that its Gemini (formerly Bard) chatbot was being integrated directly into Gmail and other products like Docs help you do everything from search meeting notes to compose emails.

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Written by:
James Laird is a technology journalist with 10+ years experience working on some of the world's biggest websites. These include TechRadar, Trusted Reviews, Lifehacker, Gizmodo and The Sun, as well as industry-specific titles such as ITProPortal. His particular areas of interest and expertise are cyber security, VPNs and general hardware.
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