You can send messages and attachments with Gmail's confidential mode to help protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. You can use confidential mode to set an expiration date for messages or revoke access at any time. Recipients of the confidential message will have options to forward, copy, print, and download disabled.  


Note: Although confidential mode helps prevent the recipients from accidentally sharing your email, it doesn't prevent recipients from taking screenshots or photos of your messages or attachments. Recipients who have malicious programs on their computer may still be able to copy or download your messages or attachments. 


To send an email with confidential mode active


  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. Click Compose.
  3. In the bottom right of the window, click Turn on confidential mode Turn on confidential mode.Tip: If you've already turned on confidential mode for an email, go to the bottom of the email, then click Edit.
  4. Set an expiration date and passcode. These settings impact both the message text and any attachments. 
    • If you choose "No SMS passcode," recipients using the Gmail app will be able to open it directly. Recipients who don't use Gmail will get emailed a passcode.

    • If you choose "SMS passcode," recipients will get a passcode by text message. Make sure you enter the recipient's phone number, not your own.

  5. Click Save.


You can stop your recipient from viewing the email before the expiration date by doing the following.


  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. On the left, click Sent.
  3. Open the confidential email.
  4. Click Remove access.



If the sender used confidential mode to send the email:


  • You can view the message and attachments until the expiration date or until the sender removes access.
  • Options to copy, paste, download, print, and forward the message text and attachments will be disabled.
  • You might need to enter a passcode to open the email.