I have nothing against Google’s Meet videoconferencing platform — in fact, I’ve used it a few times — but I can’t help being annoyed when the feature is pushed at me via other apps. Specifically, Gmail. Meet first appeared on the desktop Gmail app in the spring of 2020, but it did not take up much space and was reasonably easy to ignore (or remove from your screen, if you so wished).
A few months later, however, Meet made its way onto the mobile Gmail app via two tabs at the bottom of the screen: one labeled “Mail” and one labeled “Meet.” The problem wasn’t only that I was pushed to use a particular videoconferencing app while all I wanted to do was check my email, but it also took up space, expanding the bottom margin of the app and giving me approximately three fewer lines to work with.
And then, in mid-2021, Google added two additional icons for its Chat and Spaces apps.
Now, it may be convenient for some people to have those tabs at the bottom of their Gmail pages. That’s fine. But if you want to maximize your email space, you can easily get rid of all three tabs (the email tab, which appears with them, will disappear automatically).
Here’s how. These instructions apply to the Gmail app on both Android and iOS.
- Select the three-line “hamburger” icon in the upper left corner, scroll down, and tap on “Settings.”
- Select the Gmail account you want to change.
- Scroll down to Chat and uncheck “Show the chat and spaces tabs.”
- Once you do that, Gmail will take you back to your main screen. Go back to the Settings page for that same account, scroll down to the “Meet” category, and uncheck “Show the Meet tab for video calling.”
And that’s it! You’ve reclaimed some space on your Gmail app.
Update July 28th, 2021, 1:50PM ET: This article was originally published on August 11th, 2020. The introductory text has been tweaked, and a screenshot has been replaced to reflect a change in Gmail’s interface.
Update February 11th, 2022, 9:20AM: This article has been changed to include Chat and Spaces as well as Meet.