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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Opt Out of Google+ Emails from Anyone

Google Plus Logo
Google recently announced some changes to how Gmail and Google+ interact with each other. Normally, Gmail requires you to have an email address to send an email message. With the recent change, that is no longer the case, provided you are connected to the person in Google+.
I'm still trying to figure out if this is really that big of a deal. On Facebook, nobody has my email as I keep it private there. Yes, you see it here on the blog, so perhaps it is time to change that setting on Facebook. Without the email though, I still get messaged on Facebook by tons of people.
Google Plus Connections
With the recent Google+/Gmail interaction change, when you go to send a message in Gmail, autocomplete in the To field will show both matching email addresses with your Google+ connections below.

Even though this just makes Google+ act more like Facebook, I'm not convinced I like this behavior. I don't want emails from random users, specifically spammers. I process Facebook messages different than emails, and even if Google puts these messages in a different tab, I have enough other messages in that tab that this will affect how I handle email.
Google Plus Profile Settings
Thankfully, Google provides a setting that allows you to disable this feature. Disabling the feature does NOT mean your Google+ contacts won't appear in autocomplete for you. What it DOES mean is that your name won't appear in autocomplete for others. There are four options for this setting. By default, the setting is Anyone on Google. In other words, anyone on Google can send you a message, without having your email address. The next more restrictive option is Extended Circles. Extended Circles includes people in your circles and their circles, basically at most one level of indirection away. Circles is the next more restrictive option. This is probably the safest if you want to leave this feature enabled. If you want to totally disable the feature. Select No one. Then you're name won't appear in autocomplete for anyone.

For now, I've disabled this feature. I'm playing the waiting game to hear if others like this feature or not. I'll really need to hear some awesome feedback about the feature before I enable it though.


  1. Thanks so much for the information!

  2. This is good information. Thanks for sharing. I am pretty technologically inept so I totally would not have known this if you hadn't posted it.