In context: Gmail received a slight overhaul recently when Google decided to pack its "Meet" app's featureset directly into the Gmail experience. While that added functionality might be helpful to some, others (myself included) have absolutely no use for Meet and don't want it cluttering up our interface.
It's simply too easy to accidentally load up Meet when you're trying to send an email. Even if your fingers are particularly dextrous and you never make that mistake, Meet is still taking up screen space that it really has no business occupying for many -- if not the majority -- of Gmail's users.
Before the Meet tab existed, the bottom portion of the Gmail interface (on mobile) was empty, meaning you could display more emails. Personally, I'll take seeing more of my inbox over the ability to look at a fancy button for a feature I'll never use any day.
Fortunately, if Gmail's Meet integration annoys you, too, there's an easy way to be rid of it entirely and revert Gmail back to the way it used to be.
On mobile, the process is as follows:
- Tap the hamburger menu icon located at the top-left corner of your Gmail app interface.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the pop-up menu and select "Settings."
- Choose the Gmail account that you'd like to disable Meet for.
- Scroll down to the "Meet" section and uncheck the box with the label "Show the Meet tab for video calling."
- All done!
On desktop, Meet is much less annoying -- it only occupies a few inches of space in the left panel below your inbox, drafts, and trash menus. However, if you still want to be rid of it for good, just do the following:
- Click the cog-shaped Settings icon toward the top right of Gmail's browser version (it's the third icon from the right, starting with your profile picture).
- In the new "Quick settings" menu, click on "See all settings" at the top.
- In the Settings interface, look for the "Chat and Meet" tab -- it's the fourth tab from the right, starting with "Themes."
- Simply select the option for "Hide the Meet section in the main menu," and you're good to go.
While you're there, we also recommend turning off Hangouts (the "Chat" portion of this interface). It's shutting down soon, anyway, and there are far better alternatives out there for casual voice, text, and video communications (such as Discord or Skype).
For now, we're just glad that Gmail's Meet integration is optional; at least on the front end. However, knowing Google, we wouldn't be surprised if the tech giant finds some way to force Meet (or some other unwanted app) into Gmail again down the line, so stay vigilant.