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Clean up the look of Gmail with Gmelius

This browser extension provides a handy checklist to remove or move various elements of Gmail's interface, from ads at the top of the page to the footer at the bottom.

Gmail is just about the perfect e-mail client. Quite frankly, I can't imagine my life without it. (Well, I can but don't want to because it involves my old Hotmail account.) As time goes by, however, Google tweaks the look and feel of Gmail, adding new features while removing or changing others. If you'd like to have some say about how your Gmail experience goes, Gmelius is a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera which lets you customize what elements show up on Gmail and where.

Gmelius has been around for a couple of years, but I just stumbled across it because of this post on AddictiveTips last week. If you have yet to give Gmelius a try, I suggest you do.

The extension is incredibly simple to use. Head to your extensions page, locate Gmelius in the list, and click the Options link to open Gmelius's checkbox list of Gmail features you'd like to change or remove.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

First on the list of items to remove is Ads. Checking the box for Ads removes all ads from the top, right, and bottom of Gmail, though the developer states, "Gmelius does not deactivate the automatic Gmail filtering and scanning system which allows Google to parse for keywords in your e-mails and then match and serve targeted ads when you browse the Web."

If you don't use Google Chat, you can remove all chat-related elements from Gmail. I also like the ability to remove the "Consider including" suggestions that Gmail offers when I'm addressing an e-mail.

In the second section, you can make changes to Gmail's header, and in the third section, you can make changes to your inbox. I particularly like the the "subtle row highlight" when mousing over e-mails in my inbox. And I like the last item (not pictured in the above screenshot), that brings back Gmail's old compose window, though there are other extensions that do that and only that.

Most of Gmelius's settings are located on the first tab, aptly titled Gmelius Settings. The second tab, Premium Features, offers three more settings. These three premium features are offered free of charge because Gmelius is in beta. There are two features to make Gmail smarter (see below) and one to activate Gmelius' clean print style for e-mails.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

To see your changes take effect, hit the "Save changes" button at the bottom of the page. It will reload your Gmail tab with all the items you've checked either moved or removed.