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How to get a full-screen Gmail compose window every time

Last week we talked about Gmail's spiffy new inbox-sorting tabs. Today let's look at another new feature, one that's just starting to roll out to users: a full-screen new-message window.

By default, when you click Gmail's Compose button, you get a window that appears in the right corner of the screen.

Now there's a new option. In the top-right corner of that Compose window, you'll see three icons: Minimize, Full-screen, and Close. Clicking that middle one enlarges the window, though the description "full-screen" is a little disingenuous here: you actually get a larger, centered window that darkens the background.

At least, that's how it appears on my system, which runs at 1,920 x 1,080. If you have a lower-resolution screen, the window may indeed seem closer to full-screen. (Anyone running, say, a 1,366 x 768 display? Hit the comments and let your fellow readers know if the window really is "full-screen," or still just bigger and centered.)

In any case, I greatly prefer that enlarged Compose window, and want it to appear every time I write a message--without me having to click the aforementioned icon.

Fortunately, it's easy to make this the default:

1. After you click Compose, look for the little arrow in the lower-right corner of the Compose window.

2. Click that arrow, then choose Default to full-screen.

That's it! Now you'll get the big window every time. If you decide you prefer the smaller window, just repeat the process.

Speaking of which, which size do you prefer: big or small?

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.com. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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