Enable swipe-to-delete in Gmail 4.2 on Android

Gmail 4.2 for Android was released yesterday, bringing with it swipe-to-delete or archive. Here's how you adjust the settings.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read
Jason Cipriani/CNET

One feature Android users have been asking for in the Gmail app has been the ability to swipe and delete or archive a message. With the release of Gmail 4.2, that's now possible.

By default, the swipe gesture is set to archive or delete a message, depending on whether the message has already been archived. Should you want to change it to always delete (or disable the feature altogether), you'll need to dive into the settings.

  • To enable swipe-to-delete, make sure you have the latest version of Gmail running on your Android device.
  • After you've updated, you can swipe on a message to archive it. You'll see a prompt letting you know that the message was archived; it will also give you the option to undo the action. Swiping on the prompt will only clear the prompt; there is no other action to take. If you're viewing a message that's already been archived (in the All Mail label, for example), the gesture will delete the message instead.
  • With Gmail running on your device, tap on the menu button and select Settings > General Settings.
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • In the middle of the General Settings screen you'll see a "Swiping conversation list" option. Select it.
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • Here you can disable the gesture with the top option, Has no effect. Or you can change the gesture to always delete a message. Select your preferred behavior and back out to your inbox.

This feature is long-overdue addition to Android and the Gmail app. What's your preferred setting for the swipe gesture? Let us know in the comments below!