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How to Disable Gmail’s ‘Smart’ Features

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My email doesn’t need to be smarter than I am, thanks.

Gmail features a variety of “smart” settings that, at least in theory, make the process of composing and replying to emails faster. You may have noticed sometimes when you’re typing out an email, you’ll get a suggestion prompt for a particular way to conclude a sentence. It seems innocuous, but as with most things associated with Google, it’s accomplished by scouting out your data. The smart features skim through your previous emails in order to assemble a general idea of how you write, which is admittedly a bit creepy.

If you’re not into the idea of your email learning how you write, then the good news is that Google is rolling out an update soon that will allow you to disable these features.

When Google implements this update (whenever that ends up being), you’ll get an automated prompt when you open your Gmail that will allow you to turn the smart features off completely. If you’re feeling impatient, though, it is actually possible to turn them off right now. All you have to do is open your Gmail, open your full settings, and scroll down the General tab a bit. You should see settings for smart compose, smart compose personalization, and smart reply. When you tick those off, you won’t get any more composition suggestions. You can also go into your Inbox settings to disable importance markers. These things flag emails as important based on your past usage, which means more data scouting. Just turn ’em off, they’re usually wrong anyway.

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Turning off personalization settings may make Gmail and other Google programs a little more unwieldy, but it’s a small price to pay when the alternative is having your data under constant watch.