How to disable Gmail’s new compose-new-email pop-up window [How-To Guide]

Google recently introduced a new way to compose e-mails in Gmail. If you switched to the new way and don’t like it, don’t worry — there is a way to switch back. This guide shows you how.

How to switch back to old compose-new-email method in Gmail

UPDATE: It is no longer possible to switch back to the old compose window in Gmail. Google has disabled it. Sorry everyone!

Do the following to turn off Gmail’s new compose-new-email pop-up window and return back to the old method:

  • Visit http://gmail.com and log into your account.
  • Once logged it, click on the red “COMPOSE” button so the new compose-new-email pop-up window appears.
  • Once the pop-up window appears, click on the down arrow button:

  • Next click on “Switch back to old compose”:

  • Done! Once you click on “Switch back to old compose”, the page will reload and you will have the old method back again.

If, after switching back, you realize that you actually did like the new compose method, you can easily re-enable it by:

  • Clicking on the red “COMPOSE” button; and
  • Clicking on “new compose experience” link near the top:

Conclusion

That was easy.

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120 comments

  1. Jill

    this doesn’t work, because when I click the arrow there is no switch back option.
    How to stop the compose window from automatically opening up, when I open Gmail. I’ve cleared Firefox, so it’s not that.

  2. james booth

    Google didn’t say much at all

    there support staff don’t like the new compose, and, are very apologetic about it’s forced implementation to my business apps domain

    however, they cant do anything other than pass on feedback to the gmail product team

    I’ve provided my feedback.

    I’ve established that there is NO compliant btw. process for business apps customers

  3. Daren

    [@james booth]

    There is no way to edit my reply? I don’t know how but sorry for the anger.. I just am really mad about Google doing this gmail is something i use 7,5 hours a day all day long. I send mail’s nearly automatic cause of fireform but the new layout disabled that option for me so my work/business will be slower then ever.

  4. cindy

    [@Zach]

    TOTALLY AGREE WITH ALL THE MESSAGES – ARE YOU LISTENING TO OUR PREFERENCES. SOME DILL THINKS THEY ARE IMPROVING THE SYSTEM…???????

    IF IT AIN’T BROKE WHY ON EARTH TRY TO FIX IT ???????????????????????????????

  5. Daniel

    [@james booth]

    Wait what?! U gotta be kidding me! U MEAN GMAIL IS NOT GOING TO LISTEN TO US?! WHY THE HECK ARE WE BEING FORCED TO USE THIS STUPID NEW COMPOSE? what did Google say btw? And did they explain WHY THE HECK they’re doing this to us? What will they gain from doing this? Please answer because I cannot STAND the new compose AT ALL! The new reply is also just as terrible, I HATE IT! Its HORRIBLE, plain horrible! Does Google check these threads, they’re probably laughing at how helpless we are! Please reply to my post if u can, thank u

  6. Zach

    Come on Google. The new compose sucks. Give me two benefits of this. It blocks your view of the messages underneath, before and after. Give us the flexibility before you force us to take these horrible new features.

  7. james booth

    final comment from me about this

    - there is NO WAY TO GO BACK TO OLD COMPOSE. google have said they will not allow this, and us paying customers will simply have to put up with it.

    - there is no way to COMPLAIN. I have raised a support ticket about this aspect (as a paying google business apps customer), and I’ve spent 45 minutes on the phone with google trying to complain.

    - the google apps support desk staff HATE the new compose feature as well.

    - Google doesn’t care one little bit about my custom, or, my employees, who are now forced to write several thousand emails a month using sub-standard software.

    THIS MEANS WE WILL HAVE TO MOVE TO ANOTHER PROVIDER.

  8. james booth

    here are some useful shortcuts that I’ve used with the new (hatred) compose feature….

    - shift click compose – opens the compose window in floating mode

    - ctrl click compose – opens the compose function in a new tab

    these shortcuts do not solve all the extra mouse clicks required to control text formatting and recipient addressing.

    nor do they address the even worse functionality of the REPLY / compose features, which, are driving me absolutely insane with frustration and annoyance.

    GOOGLE – you suck

  9. James Booth

    the comments about trying to harmonise gmail desktop browser functionality with tablet and mobile functionality are interesting, but, wide of the mark IMHO. I (like just about all the people I know), use the native email apps on my tablet and mobile (both google devices), not the gmail browser client.

  10. Fred Hosea

    This new Compose style should be an opt-in option, not an imposition. It is inferior to the classic style in practically every aspect. This insane movement toward minimalist displays is extremely aggravating, not only in sofware interfaces, but in tablets and phones as well, where all the inputs, buttons, and options are made almost invisible, or inscrutably hidden behind layers of menus that have little or no logical organization. RETURN CLASSIC “COMPOSE” AS A DEFAULT, AND LET PEOPLE WHO WANT THE “NEW” INFERIOR STYLE BE FREE TO CHOOSE IT.

  11. Daniel

    Guys I’m so glad I’m not the only one! The more people we have against the new gmail compose, the merrier! didn’t there used to be a way to switch back to old compose? it was fine then cause u cud change back, and those who liked the old compose cud go back to it if they wanted, but what happened now! that option is gone! Gmail Team I hope u are listening to us, dont u care about ur customers at all! WE DONT LIKE THE NEW COMPOSE AT ALL! PLEASE CHANGE IT BACK, PLEASE! I MISS IT SO MUCH! so sorry for my rant, but i really want it changed back now! Can’t Gmail do THAT much for us?!

  12. ShieldsCW

    This new compose pop-up sucks. Yeah, you can make it “full screen”, but it’s still not as large as the old style, still hides options that i want visible, and accidentally clicking off the pop up minimizes the message.

    This is garbage. Change it back.

  13. Valentin

    Confirm, new compose sucks.

    I dont like to be forced to lose access to tools I am used to on huge 1920×1200 screen for any reasons.

    And this semi modal semi window which cannot be dragged around sucks too.

    Honestly OMG, it sucks super hard.

  14. James Booth

    I agree with everybody else’s comments, the new compose functionality it horrible.

    as a paying google business apps customer, I find this “mandatory change” un-acceptable.

    we will now have to spend our time and money finding and implementing a new business apps suite to replace google business apps, as I’m no longer going to accept all my employees being forced to use software that is cumbersome and slow due to terrible design, especially when we had perfectly good email functionality prior to this change.

    perhaps the people at google who forced these changes upon their paying customers use a 3rd party email client themselves, such as Outlook or thunderbird… maybe if they used gmail themselves they might understand why nobody wants to use the horrid new interface.

  15. Beryl

    I was also force by the gmail to used their new compose experience. It really sucks!!! I don’t know how to go back since their is no option to go back to the old compose. Anybody please help me? I can work better with the old compose.

  16. krapivnik

    August 13.
    Google finally forced this terrible update on me.
    I understand it’s based off the mobile phone interface, but I always send simple emails from my phone, and I keep more difficult ones off until I get home.
    Now having a far bigger screen gives me zero advantage. The formatting functionality is cut to a minimum, I need to mouse over icons to get the buttons I want.
    What’s with invisible buttons and hiding menus anyway? Not everyone likes iMac, you know. Not everyone uses touch-enabled screens with Windows 8 on it, either. Gmail has always been about functionality, and it has been fanatically praised by IT community for innovation and genuinely intuitive, easy, beautiful interface, and now they’re rushing to become like everyone else. Imagine Rolls Royce making economy cars. Same thing is becoming to Google.
    Stop, Google. Stop, before it’s too late. Yes, Android is awesome, but leave us, your loyal users, who’s been with you since GMail was still in Beta, an option to keep the old interface. Please.
    Of course, Google will not listen to anyone. Google now only listens to a voice in their head. This is truly sad.

  17. kanski4u

    Google…do you read…your new Compose feature is HORRIBLE…give people the option to GO BACK to the OLD WAY….YOU do underhanded, updates, without PERMISSION…one TOTALLY CHEESED OFF gmail USER….

  18. john

    As of today, Aug. 13, 2013, I have been forced by Gmail to use the “new reply and compose experience,” and the option to “switch back to old compose” discussed above is no longer available.

  19. Matt Brown

    The new compose is a disaster. On my mac, the gear icon covers the part of the message making it impossible to click send. How forcing my to compose new emails in the bottom right of the screen is an improvement is anybody’s guess. They need to fire the guys who keep making incremental “improvements” to an email program. We liked it the way it was! Stop re-arranging the furniture in my house while I’m at work!

  20. Georgia Stafford

    In your Instructions about how to go back to the “OLD COMPOSE” they do Not Work. I do not get the right Options on how to go back. I Hate the “NEW COMPOSE”. You need to post “New Instructions on how to go back”. And I think the “OLD COMPOSE” should be Permanently Established . Don’t you care what your subscribers want? We ALL seem to Want the ‘OLD COMPOSE”.

  21. SD3

    Unbelievable that Google would make such a disastrous change to something that was user friendly. I too have the wild hope that they would listen to the plethora of complaints and at least give the option. Otherwise, I too will be changing accounts!

  22. Lilac

    I just googled how to get rid of this box, and found myself here! Followed the instructions, and instead of saying “switch back” it said “temporarily switch back”, because….. google tell me next “everyone will be using the new compose soon”. I.e. we are forcing everyone to switch to the rubbish new way. WHAT? It is unintuitive, clunky, hard to use. I absolutely HATE it. For god sakes, don’t fix what isn’t broken, or at least give us the option to stay with the MUCH BETTER old way of composing!!!! Very irritated by this, can you tell?

  23. Georgia Stafford

    I DO NOT LIKE the New Compose. With the “Old Compose” the page was bigger and at the Top was a line of symbols that you could click on, “U” (Underline) “B” (Bold) and so forth all the way across
    with whatever symbol you wanted. Change it BACK
    Permanently.

  24. Very unhappy customer

    The new version of compose email from Gmail is bloody ridiculus! Who wants to look at a small square on the right hand side of the screen..

    Just for what purpose have they done this? What are they trying to achieve? Totally baffled.

  25. joanna

    [@Deborah]

    Totally agree! i use gmail for my businesses and my personal emails and have loved it until this ridiculous and unnecessary change.

    I HOPE they read this feedback and take it on board, so as to give us options instead of being forced to use a completely clunky system

  26. sunny

    Google won’t let me reply to an email, I just get a pop-up window that blacks out my screen to try to
    FORCE ME to go though the tutorial for the new messaging system. The new system just stinks!
    It is counter-intuitive, takes longer to change font or anything else, and some features are not accessible now when you reply to a message. Have they ever heard the expression “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”?
    Now they are gonna force it down our throats!

  27. String

    I agree with everyone here who despises the new compose window. Gmail was the only reason I switched to a web browser based email client. But the new composition window is so awful that I will quit using Gmail altogether.

    Google has in the past added much useful innovation to our online experience but I’m so insulted by this new compose window that I think I’ll trash Chrome and the rest of my Google apps as well.

  28. Abha

    The selection to remove the pop up window no longer exists–there is no “switch back to old compose” as a menu item. I hate the thing. Google is pulling a MSFT–because we are so big and so brilliant, we will FORCE you to use our idea no matter how stupid it is. Great–you just flipped me the bird.

    Hello–I do not care how wonderful you think it is; I want the choice. And soon my choice may be to switch email providers.

  29. Richard A

    The company that cannot fix a browser that constantly crashes due to the Flash “issue” cannot, I fear, be relied upon to pay attention to user complaints about this new useless “improvement”. Will the google empire meet the same fate or previous conquerors? Yahoo … Netscape … Compuserve??

  30. hot

    being blunt, the little box effing sucks and takes time out of my day to do something that should be simple. and in the bottom right corner, the hardest place for me to focus rather than in the middle of my screen so I can see the damn thing. but you can pop it out, yeah, great another step every damn time. I’ve got a boot for someones ass

  31. Richard Adams

    The new google compose destroyed a very important email I just sent out by failing to do any “wrapping” within a paragraph of text.

    Now I look like an idiot.

    Why did they have to muck with it? Couldn’t they do anything more useful with their time (like fixing Chrome)?

  32. Elliander

    By the looks of it, they will eventually force everyone to use it without a way to toggle back. Why would anyone in their right mind want to permanently switch to writing an email in an area 1/4 the size of what they are used to? I am sure that in some cases email from a text message could be useful if you have to read another email at the same time, but in the vast majority of cases this will get in the way.

  33. Cosy

    Why, what? try to write in bold. Try also to underline an allready written sentence. How does it work? nice? It dissapears completely. But the sendt message contains (correctly) all the trials and re-trials You want never see in this new composer window. Tha’ts bad work and real trash for kiddies.
    There are other bad things..

  34. Cosy

    The new composed editor-window does not work properly. And I am afraid about the question “would you change back to old stil for instance?” (or so, I am translating from german). NO!!!! I would not and no more see this kind of alpha- labversion of a composer for Emails!!!!!

  35. anders

    It sucks the new pop up!
    Damm it’s bad.

    When I compose a mail and before sending the mail I want to add a File.
    When I find the file that I want to have in the mail I just made, a NEW mail window pops up with the file in it !

    That means that I can’t add the file in the first mail I composed !

    WTF
    Fuc…… Gmail !!!

    I WANT THE NORMAL OLD GMAIL

  36. Don

    Sometimes programmers make changes to fix bugs. Sometimes they make changes to add useful features. Sometimes programmers make changes to show off that they can.

    I can hardly believe it, but I now have a comcast.net account.

  37. brice

    i truly hate it too. A forced pop-up inside the bottom corner of a window. I thought the popular spread of pop-up blockers would illustrate how much these things are hated. Now we have a new idea, one embedded in the page. And stupidly, in a squished up corner. Simple dreadful!

  38. Patrick

    Thanks for tip. I hope google gets their heads on straight. The new compose window is just more difficult to use, everything from replying to changing font colors and editing the subject has been tucked away further than it should be.

  39. Paul

    Got to agree. Popup windows are counter intuitive and can be easily lost if you are doing a few things at once or have a number of distractions.

    Time to start using my mail.com account a bit more.

  40. EasterTroikaBunny

    Oh yeah settings for using gmail in “thebat!” would be

    Sending….
    SMTP: secure to regular port (STARTTLS) port 587

    Receive
    Secure to dedicated port (TLS) port 995

    If you have 100 accounts they all fit in thebat / kmail..

    Anyway.. there ya go. Happy Easter

  41. EasterTroikaBunny

    There’s just no way you “need” gmail, well maybe if your a tv show, a producer, a band, a label, then I might be able to rationalize it, but then web based mail is inherently unsafe as your browser’s current exploitability, therefore it is far better to get a real ISP with a real email SMTP/pop3 server and use a real email client application to Poll it, filter, down, delete, blacklist etc. The Client I like the best in windows is called “thebat!” is made by ritlabs, In Linux, the similar is kmail.

    But then if you are going to turn on html in your email client viewer (whatever application in linux or windows) it’s probably a lost cause for me telling 100 different reasons (some with security) why you not to used web mail or … Gmail.

    What I know about google and the spying, I wouldn’t use gmail ever again. Google is not alone, you can find the whole known ISP Spy series on cryptome dot org and that’s all I am going to say.

    God bless

  42. mel

    The new compose does not work AT ALL with my tablet. When I try to use the new compose the on screen keyboard bounces around like a fart in a mitten, making it impossible to type anything at all. This does not happen with the old compose. WTF?

  43. Artur

    I don’t want the new composition mode. It keeps saying : oops.. there was server error #103. And it doesn’t send any email. So I definitely DON’T WANT GOOGLE TO DISABLE THE OLD COMPOSITION MODE!!!

  44. wondersnevercease1

    [@Ashraf]
    well what i find interesting is that msn,google, and yahoo are all forcing the same type of thing on email subscribers using diferent modalitiesfor the same result.downgraded functions slower that windows 98 etc it is the same awful scenario and none of them care about users input and what they prefer either! so i have to ask why?are they all pushing the same type of scenario on us? why are we being forced into them? is this a government control situation? I am tired of everything being crammed down our throats as whats good for us or what we will be using! does any one know of a different email provider that isnt shoving these mandatory new email formats down our throats like gmail and msn and yahoo? it is hardly funny!

  45. VietKieu

    [@Ashraf]
    Why Stupid people have been hired to work for Google. When Stupids are in Stupid outcomes are out like this new “COMPOSE”, and when the STUPIDS are in power how can we take them back to reason? Impossible because they are so Stupid to realise that they are stupid.

  46. Helene Aubry

    Tried to get out of this stupid new compose, I clicked on the arrow, nothing happened. Ready to throw my apple out the window, I am 82, I only do one task at a time and I don’t need this impossible “compose” , isn’t life complicated enough as it is, now I have wasted a whole hour on this with no results. Down with Google, they have no right to make our lives impossible.

  47. richard

    Well, where is the link to tell you how or what to do to disable the new compose email feature. I do not like it at all and there is a place where you can switch back to the old compose email but it seems I have to do it for every email so am searching for a way to disable the new compose email and go back to the old compose email. I liked it much better and was used to it. Please let me know where to go to disable the new one.

  48. Daniel Siddiqui

    Look guys, I’m at my wits end with this new compose. Right now I have the old compose but I’m going to be REALLY mad when the old compose is gone for good. I HATE the new compose, its just downright terrible. And I really want to know if the people who decided to swtich to a new compose are able to read our comments about the terrible compose and do something about it to change back. It’s really rude of them to force the new compose down our throats like this.

    If they really wanted to have a new compose, why don’t they just keep the new compose there and the old compose? This way, those who like the old compose can use that and those who are in favor of the new one can use that. Why suddenly start forcing the new compose down our throats? They got us so used to the nice, old compose and now they wish to change it?! How ridiculous, they should just let the old compose and new compose stay and we can just use whichever one we desire at the moment! It’s nice to have 2 options sometimes, but I will be furious if the new compose is here permanently and the old compose goes away. I know, I’m just one person, and one person isn’t going to make a difference at all and Gmail is not going to change back to old compose just for one person! but it’s so good to know that there’s a lot of you who all agree about the terrible new compose.:) I hope that together we can succeed in getting our old compose back!

    Daniel

  49. Daniel Siddiqui

    [@melody] [@Daniel Siddiqui]

    @melody, yes at first I believe in November of 2012 up until a few days ago it said “Switch back to Old Compose.” And you could easily switch back. Just recently, they put “Temporarily switch back to old compose.” Which I guess means that very soon the old compose is going to be gone and we will all be forced to use that stupid, good for nothing, new compose. I just realized that today that the old compose isn’t going to be here for much longer. I really can’t stand the new compose one little bit and is there any way for all of us to protest against that horrible new compose? The old compose was flawless! It was perfect!

  50. AJ

    Highly dislike new compose. Thanks. How to let google know we dislike? Maybe enough complains and they may change. Or not . Worth trying. Where would google see or negative feedback on new compose?

  51. SickOfGoogleCo

    [@melody] yep, because Google the ass-clowns of the digital world are going to FORCE users to use it soon, we don’t get a choise. They did this with the old gmail layout and a few other things. They are literal internet Nazis

  52. Ashley

    I didn’t really like the new Gmail feature, so I looked it up on Google how to disable it, and I found this post. Thanks so much for posting this, it helped me a lot! And if I decide to go back to the new feature, I know how. Thanks once again.

  53. Gmail Made a Mistake on This One

    Unfortunately, this method assumes that the new compose window actually comes up. It assumes that when (if) it does come up, that the menu system actually works. The problem here is that it doesn’t work with my browser version and/or java version. So the new window doesn’t even come up on one of my browsers. And on the other browser, the window comes up but it doesn’t work (and the menu doesn’t work). Hmm… so now I’m stuck without being able to compose anything, and I can’t even switch it back! I have to go find a friend’s machine to log into, I guess. What a pain. Didn’t Google think of this before doing it? Don’t make us switch to something that REQUIRES new technology and then requires that same technology to disable!

  54. Zinc

    Thanks much for this. Tried the new composer, and it was half brain-dead on my favored browser. Half the time the buttons, like “send” and the contact select button were completely unresponsive, until I changed the window display with the diagonal arrow at the top. More trouble than it’s worth. Why do they insist on using bleeding-edge nonstandardized browser features? Less is more.

  55. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Tom: I disagree. I won’t need huge chat windows to write my quick and to the point e-mails. This floating window helps me when I need to source from other emails. However, everyone their own, right?

  56. Tom

    I don’t get it. Why a tiny chat window to compose an email. Maybe a full-sized detached window — one you didn’t have to detach manually — might interest some users, but this is awkwardly small, and tucked away in the lower corner of your screen. #Useless