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How to schedule an email in Gmail

How to schedule an email in Gmail

8
min read

Have you ever finished drafting an email but realized now isn’t the ideal time to hit send? It’s possible to schedule emails in Gmail for exactly the date and time that you’d rather send the message. 

Gmail accounts include a “Schedule send” feature, and you can also use Streak’s “Send later” feature and mail merge tool to schedule emails from your Gmail inbox.

Learn three different ways to schedule an email in Gmail and the benefits of each one below. 

Why would you schedule an email to send later in Gmail?

Rather than sending your emails as soon as you finish writing them, scheduling an email in Gmail gives you more flexibility over when your emails appear in your recipients’ inboxes.

There are a few reasons why you might want to schedule emails in Gmail, including:

  • Time zones: For recipients in different time zones, for example, you can schedule emails to go out during their work hours—no matter how different they are from your own. 
  • Business hours: Maybe you’re someone who prefers to write or respond to emails late at night or over the weekend. Scheduling emails allows you to draft messages whenever you want and have Gmail send them when your recipients are online. 
  • Delay for edits and updates: Scheduling emails can also help you avoid awkward mishaps like leaving off an attachment by giving you time to remember anything you forgot. 
  • Lifecycle outreach: If you’re using emails or mail merges to reach out to customers and contacts, you likely want to space out your messages so you don’t overwhelm them. Scheduling emails allows you to send emails at a regular cadence, rather than returning repeatedly to hit send or sending them all at once.

Which method of scheduling emails in Gmail should you choose? 

We'll walk you through three methods of scheduling emails - and help you decide which one is best for you. They are: 

1. Gmail's schedule send feature

Gmail's schedule send feature is built into your Gmail account and allows you to schedule a new email or a response for a later time.

a date selector for Gmail's schedule send feature
Gmail's schedule send feature

Pros

  • Already built into Gmail
  • Gets the job done
  • Available on mobile Gmail app
  • Separate "Scheduled" email folder in your inbox

Cons

  • Editing a scheduled email is more complicated than other options
  • Time and date selector is less streamlined than other options
  • Streak email tracking is not compatible with Gmail’s schedule send feature.

⬇️ Skip to <a href="#gmail-scehdule-send">How to use Gmail's schedule send feature</a> to learn more.

2. Streak's send later feature

Streak's send later feature is a free tool that gives you a bit more flexibility and ease of use, along with email tracking capabilities.

a date selector or Streak's send later feature
Streak's send later feature

Pros

  • Free to use - just add Streak to your Chrome or Safari browser
  • Easy to edit or cancel scheduled emails
  • Pick a date or time with natural language - ie. "next Wednesday at 2pm"
  • Track views on your scheduled emails

Cons

  • Not available on mobile devices

⬇️ Skip to <a href="#streak-send-later">How to use Streak to schedule emails in Gmail</a> to learn more.

3. Schedule mail merges and automatic follow-up with Streak

Streak's mail merge with automatic follow-up allows you to send personalized mass emails in Gmail and automatically follow-up to get more responses.

a series of email follow-ups scheduled with Streak's mail merge feature
Streak's mail merge with automatic follow-up

This allows you to:

  • Send directly from your Gmail inbox
  • Schedule bulk emails to a list of recipients
  • Schedule automatic follow-up to recipients who don't respond
  • Track email views, link clicks, and responses
  • Add new people to your mail merge at any time

⬇️ Skip to <a href="#streak-mail-merge">Scheduling mass emails</a> to learn more.

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How to use Gmail’s schedule send feature

The first method of scheduling an email in Gmail is Gmail’s own schedule send feature. 

Gmail’s schedule send feature allows you to schedule an email on your desktop computer or from your mobile device using the Gmail app. 

Anyone can schedule emails in Gmail without changing settings or using any additional software. 

How to schedule an email using Gmail on your desktop computer

1. Go to Gmail on your computer and click the compose button in the top left corner to begin drafting your email.

2. Once you’ve written your email, click the downward arrow to the right of the “Send” button. (Make sure not to click the regular send button—that will send your email to the recipient right away.)

arrow button next to Gmail send button

3. Once you click this arrow, a button will appear that says “Schedule send.” Click this button. 

Schedule send menu option by gmail send button

4. A window will pop up with three automatically generated suggested times for you to schedule your email send. Choose from one of these three options or click “Pick date & time” to create your own option. 

Note: Gmail will send your scheduled emails according to the timezone shown in this window, even if you change locations after you set the schedule. For example, in the image below, times are shown in Eastern Daylight Time. 

Gmail's schedule send date selector

5. If you choose “Pick date & time,” you’ll see a calendar on the left where you can select the day you want to send your email. You can also type in the day on the right above the line where you type in your desired send time. Once you’re happy with your selections, click the blue “Schedule send” button in the bottom right of the window. 

A calendar view titled "Pick date and time"

6. After you click “Schedule send,” a notification will pop up in the lower left corner of your screen confirming your scheduled email. You’ll have the option to view the message or undo the scheduled email from this window. 

a gmail confirmation that the email is scheduled

7. That’s it! Your email will automatically go out to your recipient(s) on the day and time you selected. You don’t have to do anything else on that day. 

Important: You’re limited to no more than 100 scheduled emails at once in Gmail. 

How to schedule an email in the Gmail app on a mobile device

You can also schedule emails in the Gmail app on your mobile device. Here’s how to schedule an email in Gmail mobile:

1. Open the Gmail app on your mobile device and tap “Compose” in the bottom right. 

Gmail compose icon

2. Write your email as usual. When you’re done, tap the three dots at the top right. 

menu options with the three-dot option emphasized

3. A menu will pop up at the bottom of the screen. Select “Schedule send.”

menu options with "schedule send" circled

4. Like on the computer, a new window will appear with three automatically generated date and time options. You can also pick a customized date and time. 

menu with suggestions of when to schedule your email

5. If you want to pick a customized time, select “Pick date & time.” A new window will appear with a calendar to select the date and a box to choose the time. Once you make your selection, click “Save.”

a calendar showing the month of April

6. You’ll return to your inbox and see a notification at the bottom of the screen confirming your scheduled date and time for your email. 

a confirmation that an email has been scheduled

Viewing and editing your scheduled emails using Gmail’s schedule send

If you realize later that you need to make changes to an email you scheduled, don’t worry. You can still view or edit your scheduled emails at any time before Gmail sends them out. Here’s how:

In Gmail on the left-hand menu under “Inbox,” you’ll see a category called “Scheduled.” 

gmail folders with "scheduled" circled

Click on “Scheduled” to view all your scheduled emails in a list. Then click on one of these emails to see more details or make changes. You’ll see your email in full.  

If you want to change anything about the email—including the scheduled send time—click “Cancel send.”

cancel send button circled

Once you do, you’ll return to the regular email drafting view where you can make changes. Then, send the email out immediately or schedule it for a new time using the steps above. 

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div  id="streak-send-later" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

Using Streak to schedule emails in Gmail

You don’t necessarily have to use Gmail’s built-in feature to schedule your emails. Depending on your needs, you may be better off using a different tool like Streak to schedule emails in Gmail. 

There are several benefits of using Streak to schedule emails in Gmail: 

  • Free download and email scheduling tool
  • Use email tracking to see if and when your scheduled emails have been opened
  • More intuitive date and time options and UI
  • Easier to edit scheduled emails if needed

Streak’s send later feature is not available on mobile devices, but is a great free option for scheduling emails in Gmail from your desktop computer.

How to use Streak’s send later feature to schedule emails in Gmail 

1. With the free Streak browser extension installed, open up Gmail on your computer and begin drafting a new email. Once the email is ready, select the clock button from the menu at the bottom of the window.

toolbar at the bottom of an email in gmail with a clock icon circled

If you don’t see the clock button, you may need to select the “More tools” button (which looks like 3x3 squares) to make it appear.

toolbar at the bottom of an email in gmail with a "more tools" icon circled

2. Using natural language (e.g. “three hours from now” or “Wednesday at 9am”), describe when you want Gmail to send your email. You can also choose from the list of suggestions or select your desired send date on a calendar.

a menu that says "when do you want to send it" and includes suggestions and a space to type in an answer

3. Once you select a time, you’ll get a notification confirming you scheduled an email.

message scheduled confirmation

Viewing and editing your scheduled emails using Gmail’s schedule send

To see emails you scheduled using Streak, you’ll have to head to the Gmail “Drafts” rather than “Scheduled.” 

gmail folders with drafts circled

You’ll find the scheduled email in your drafts and can see the scheduled date to the right of the subject line.

shows a line of an email draft in the drafts folder, with "sending in 5d" as the date

If you want to edit or update the subject line or the email body, simply make your edits and close the draft window. Your changes will be saved and the message will remain in your drafts until the scheduled send time. 

the bottom of an email draft that says "sending on Mon 04/3/23 at 8:00am PDT"

You can also click “Cancel Send Later” at the bottom of your draft if you no longer want to send the email. Canceling a Send Later will remove the scheduled time and leave the message in your drafts just like a normal email.


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Scheduling mass emails

But what if you want to schedule mass emails and follow-up messages instead of one-off emails? You can do that in Streak, too, using the free mail merge feature. 

Streak's mail merge showing a series of scheduled emails next to an email draft.

Mail merges allow you to send personalized mass emails to your contacts at the date and time of your choosing.

Once you finish setting up a mail merge, you can choose to send the first message in the mail merge immediately, or choose to send it later, just like Streak’s Send Later feature for regular emails. 

a menu with options for scheduling the first message in the mail merge

You can also schedule automatic follow-ups to these messages after a set amount of time to stay engaged with your contacts.

For example, say you schedule your first message for the upcoming Monday. In Streak, you can set up an automatic follow-up message to go out to any contacts who don’t respond to that first email. Select the number of business days to wait and the time of day you want the follow-up to send. Keep adding automatic follow-up emails until you’re happy with the sequence. 

In under 2 minutes using Streak, you can create an entire personalized mass email sequence that goes out automatically on your schedule. 

Schedule emails in Gmail to reach your recipients at the right time

With three ways to schedule emails in Gmail, you have a few options for sending your emails later. 

Gmail’s schedule send is the best option for scheduling emails from your mobile app, while Streak’s send later gives you more flexibility for scheduling and editing drafts, and allows you to track email views. If you need to send email sequences or perform mass outreach, Streak’s mail merge will help you get the job done.

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