By default, Gmail automatically saves the details of people you reach out to. That’s handy when looking up an old friend, not so handy when trying to tame your unruly Google Contacts. Now Gmail offers an option to get out of contact auto-saving, along with some other little-but-gratifying fixes.
The switch for turning off Gmail’s auto-save feature is in the General tab of your Gmail Settings, and it’s going to make a lot of people happy, including this editor. Your conversation history with people you’ve mailed will still be available from search, so now you get to set when and how Gmail adds somebody to your actual Contacts. If you have an Android phone, or have ever synced your Google Contacts to a desktop app, you’ll know how nice it is not to have hundreds of single-serving friends in the mix. A similar feature for controlling your “My Contacts” list had been slowly rolling out since July, but now you can take control of “All Contacts,” too, right from the Settings.
Beyond that switch, the Gmail team made quite a few other small changes. We’ll briefly recap:
- Better warnings for typos in email addresses: Gmail tells you specifically which addresses you’ve added have a problem.
- Fewer annoying error pop-ups: You don’t just get a warning when trying to reply to messages in the Trash; you get to move the conversation out and just do it.
- Easier transitions between certain actions: After you’ve created a filter from a message, you now head right back to that message.
- Keyboard shortcut guide for everyone: Whether you’ve enabled keyboard shortcuts or not, hitting “?” shows the shortcut list overlay, and offers a quick box for turning them on.
- Refresh button: It was a link; now it’s a button.
What does selective contact saving do for your own Gmail game? What other small fixes should the Gmail team move on? Your fellow Gmail enthusiasts await your responses in the comments.
Fixing the little things [Official Gmail Blog]