How To Hide Gmail's 'Smart Replies' On Your Desktop Or Laptop

GIF: Google

Gmail's Smart Replies feature, now cemented into the service's latest design update for desktop clients, are a great way to send pithy responses when you don't feel like typing out a real one. Sure, they might annoy recipients; and you might even tap the wrong reply, inadvertently telling your boss "love it!" when he or she asks you to put in some extra work this weekend. But aren't they convenient?

If you're not a fan of Smart Replies — so much so, that you can't wait for Google to let you get rid of them entirely on the desktop — you can use this quick trick to hide them forever.

First, download Ublock Origin for your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge). We'll wait. Once it's installed, pull up Gmail.

Make sure uBlock Origin is turned on for Gmail (the icon in your browser toolbar should be red, not grey) and click on messages in your inbox until you see one that pulls up Gmails' Smart Replies feature. It'll look like this:

Screenshot: David Murphy

Right-click slightly to the right of the last Smart Reply and select the "Block Element" option that appears in your context menu. It'll look like this:

Screenshot: David Murphy

When you do, a big red overlay should appear, containing the Smart Replies. If not, click on whatever is highlighted, and then hover your mouse over the Smart Replies until you see something like this (then click to lock in your selection):

Screenshot: David Murphy

Once you're locked in (your mouse cursor should feature a circle with a line through it), move the cursor to the right until it activates UBlock Origin's grey overlay — for lack of a better way to describe it:

Screenshot: David Murphy

Click on "Create" to set up your new filtering rule, and then refresh Gmail in your browser. You should no longer see Smart Replies on any messages. If, for whatever reason, you miss them, just pull up uBlock Origin's options (typically by right-clicking on the uBlock Origin icon in your browser toolbar) and visit the "My Filters" tab. Delete the entry for "mail.google.com," click Apply Changes, and your Smart Replies should return.


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