custom-gmail-theme-introGmail is super popular, there is no doubt about it. Everyone from governments to businesses to the everyday Joe is using Gmail for their emailing needs. Even as popular as Gmail is, there is a certain lack of customizing options. Sure you can turn on the Labs features and change the theme or the layout, but these are all pre-designed and not really unique to you… Until now.

Google recently added Custom Themes as an option for Gmail. Having the option to personalize your inbox will make it feel less like you are working. It works a lot like a Twitter background. The picture you choose is added behind everything so the middle of the picture may be covered by your full inbox.

 

Customizing your Gmail Inbox

Adding a custom theme to Gmail is no different from adding one of the premade themes you may already be using. If you are not familiar with the process, here is a quick run through on how to change your Gmail theme.

Click on the gear icon in the top right corner of Gmail inbox and find themes. The theme feature should be enabled in all the Gmail account but may not show up if you are using a Google Apps email account.

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Once in the Themes portion of the settings, scroll down until you see Custom Themes. You will have a choice between Light or Dark.

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The difference is the color of the background around the messages.

Light Theme

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Dark Theme

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Picture choices

Several choices are available for adding a picture to your Gmail inbox background. After selecting the Light or the Dark Theme, you will see an option to change the background picture.

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When you click the link, you will see a bunch of featured images. There are a lot of pictures to choose from here. To add one, simply click on it and your Gmail background will change.

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Using your picture

In the left side bar, you can see options to add your own pictures. You can upload your own picture, use the pictures you have already uploaded to Picasa or Google+ or even pasting in the URL for a page with a picture you like.

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Here is a before and after of what your inbox could look like.

Before

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After

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See how much more exciting the background is now?

 

Final thoughts

When opening your inbox on a cold, gray, gloomy morning and seeing the Hawaiian island you are vacationing soon? Wont that ne better than a cartoon ninja that you had as an option before? Say thank you Google for making your inbox more pleasant.

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