That's no longer going to be the case in a matter of months, as Google announced in a post to its G Suite blog on Tuesday. Users attached to the 'old' Gmail and companies wary of the changes will have to get on board, because Google will be pushing the update on all users over the course of the next few months.
To prepare users and IT departments for the inevitable changes, Google laid out a timeline that basically says 'this is happening, whether you like it or not.' Take a look:
"We encourage you to begin testing the new Gmail and preparing your users now," Google says in its blog post.
If you want to get ahead of the curve, opt into the programme by going to Settings, checking "Enable experimental access," and hitting Save at the bottom. After a few hours, "Try the new Gmail" should be the first option under the Settings cog. Opting out is done the same way.
All personal account holders and company admins will start to see "Try the new Gmail" under their Settings. And if you're one of those people itching for the upgrade on your work account, here's when things might start to change for you.
Corporate admins will have three options:
1. Transition employees immediately, but give users the choice to opt out.
2. Allow everyone to opt in whenever they want.
3. Stall for four more weeks, at which point it'll no longer be in your control.
Admin decisions no longer matter, and everyone is able to opt in and back out, freely.
It's a trial-by-fire method, in that Google will be pushing the new Gmail on users who either weren't aware of the upgrade or didn't care enough to give it a shot. Users will still have the choice to opt out, though.
Any account holder not using the new Gmail at this point will automatically be switched back to the new version, and the choice to opt out will be removed completely.
For organisations that haven't transitioned yet, the more sensitive settings (like confidential mode) will be off by default to prevent any company compliance issues. But all employees, like all personal users, will now be forced to adjust to the new look, layout, and features.
You can learn more about the Gmail redesign here.