Disable Smart Gmail Features to Avoid Tracking

Google collects data about everything you do while using its products and services. Sometimes this data is sold to advertisers; it is sometimes used to make Google products easier to use.

For example, Google uses data from Gmail, Chat, and Meet to make Google’s entire user interface more user-friendly, such as how it recognizes how you type and offers automatic replies to messages that (hopefully) sound natural.

However, some people do not want their data to be tracked and stored, no matter what convenience it brings. While there are already ways to change how Gmail is collected – more on that in a second – it will soon be easier to opt out of Google tracking thanks to two new Gmail settings rolling out in the coming weeks .

First, users will now have the option to disable smart features in Gmail, such as smart typing, smart reply, and others. While they are handy, Google must root your Gmail, Meet, and Chat data for them to work.

Another setting allows users to prevent other Google apps from using their Gmail, Chat, and Meet data. Similar to disabling smart features, disabling personalization removes certain amenities, such as content suggestions on Google searches, restaurant recommendations on Google Maps, or automatic bill payment reminders from Google Assistant. You might be missing out on a bit of usefulness, but you’ll keep Google out of your inbox at least a little more.

Disable smart Gmail and personalization options in the settings menu.

These new permissions will appear as automatic requests for all Gmail users in the coming weeks. However, if you don’t want to wait, you can change (some) Gmail data options in your Gmail settings right now. Open Gmail and then go to Settings> General to disable the following options:

  • Clever composition
  • Smart essay personalization
  • Nudges
  • Smart answer

Then go to Settings> Inbox. Uncheck all Inbox categories and turn off Importance Markers.

You can change how other Gmail data is used by going to Settings> Accounts and Import> Other Google Account Settings.

Don’t worry if you didn’t know these features collect your data; this is not mentioned anywhere in the Gmail settings. Fortunately, the new Custom Options show much more clearly how smart features work and how Google uses the data it collects.


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