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Two Chrome Store extensions bring back Gmail's old compose window

Hate Gmail's new pop-out compose window? There are two extensions in the Chrome Web Store that let you return to the compose window days of yore.

Yesterday, I wrote about a third-party Chrome app that lets you reject the Gmail's new pop-out compose window and return to the old way of composing e-mails. Third-party app Old Compose worked without issue, but there is always more of a risk installing a third-party app than with one that's been vetted by Google. Also, the Old Compose extension requires you to pay with a Tweet or Facebook post in order to download the file.

Developer OldSchoolCompose helpfully commented on yesterday's Old Compose post that he or she has an app in the Chrome Web Store that offers the same functionality but with one-click install ease.

And wouldn't you know, OldSchoolCompose is right. The extension Classic Gmail Compose returns you to the classic compose window. Not only does it install with one click, but it also does not require you to restart Chrome. Simply reload your Gmail page in Chrome and you'll be gleefully composing e-mails in Gmail's old compose window.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Like the Old Compose extension, Classic Gmail Compose added some extra padding to the formatting of my inbox, making it so I could see fewer lines of e-mails on my screen, but after a few minutes and without me lifting a mousing finger, the formatting returned to its regular compact layout. And like Old Compose, too, Classic Gmail Compose plays nice with other Gmail extensions as well as Gmail's new inbox tabs.

Meanwhile, another commenter on yesterday's Old Compose post mentioned another extension available in the Chrome Web Store: Retro Compose for Gmail. It works in the same manner as Classic Gmail Compose -- no issues with other Gmail extensions or inbox tabs, for instance -- and does so without any of the temporary inbox formatting issues. It also places a button to the right of Chrome's URL bar, which lets you toggle the extension on and off.

For Gmail users looking for a Chrome extension to rid themselves of the new compose window, take your pick between Classic Gmail Compose and Retro Compose for Gmail.