Is there any way to stop Gmail quoting the entire previous message when I hit reply?

I can use the "Quote selected text" labs feature to narrow down when I do want to quote something, but that still leaves me deleting the full message quotes every other time I hit reply, which is a pain.

(I'm hoping there's an obscure option somewhere I've missed, but if it has to be browser-based, I use Chrome.)

  • 2
    I'm so baffled knowing that one of the popular email-services, backed by a huge company, subjects to such shortcomings. And people are forced to ask questions like this. Even worse: the original question was asked 9 years ago, but even today I have to scroll the 20-screens of replies to reach the ATTACHMENTS section at the bottom of the email... Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 14:08
  • @maxkoryukov, do you find odd that this question has only 27 upvotes as of today? I do.
    – zylstra
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 0:42

8 Answers 8


Currently there is no way.

You'll have to trim or remove the quoted text yourself.

You can make use of the "Quote selected text" labs module by highlighting some blank space in the email and replying to that.

That will then leave you with something along the lines of:

On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 4:00 AM, Example <[email protected]> wrote:

Which is far less than before, but sadly still not as empty as wanted.

  • And since 2017, not even this is possible, since GMail removed Labs add-ons. Sad.
    – Diego V
    Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 11:53

Using Ctrl+A and Delete is the fastest way I've found. They should add a box to turn off "quote text" like they do on the phone app.

  • If you have signature, be careful; they get deleted as well. But most of the time, replying implies the recipient already knows who you are, so I suppose signatures are necessary after all?
    – syockit
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 14:59
  • @RicMoulder: This answer deals exclusively with the web interface. It does not attempt to answer for a smartphone app. As such, it is perfectly accurate. If you have a question about the Gmail app for a smartphone, ask on Android Enthusiasts, Ask Different, or Windows Phone as appropriate.
    – ale
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 15:47
  • You care just selecting everything and deleting it!!! The question is how to dequote a quoted portion of the message!
    – user96265
    Commented May 27, 2022 at 21:27

Here is a Chrome extension I wrote. It will keep the signatures and will remove all unnecessary text of previous mails.
UnQuote for Gmail

Here is the demo: YouTube Demo

  • I understand you are the author of this extension. This affiliation must be disclosed in the post.
    – user79865
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 18:11
  • 8
    @zaq: I think "Here is a Chrome extension I wrote" is sufficient disclosure.
    – ale
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 13:19
  • 1
    However, @Vikas, please do not use URL shorteners here.
    – ale
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 13:41

I'm not sure this may be interesting for the OP but may be of interest for others: following the procedure in this answer I managed to quickly un-quote a few hundred lines html email (with my great satisfaction I have to admit).

The procedure I followed (under Firefox) is this one:

  1. placed the cursor over the first quoted line
  2. right-clicked inspect element
  3. instead of <blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="..." selected the previous <div class="gmail_quote"> block
  4. right-clicked edit as html
  5. deleted the first few html blocks related to quoting: <div class="gmail_quote"><div dir="ltr">On such day such hour, this guy wrote:<br></div><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="...">
  6. at the end of the text, deleted the last two blocks </blockquote></div>

Voilà, the quoting disappeared.

  • Brilliant, and how do you go back to the gmail. You do Ctrl S to save and then close the editing panel(s)?
    – user96265
    Commented May 27, 2022 at 21:28
  • Would you believe it if I told you that I don't have a clue not just how I did it, but why I did it in origin?
    – Avio
    Commented May 30, 2022 at 8:12

One option is to use IMAP.

Enable IMAP in Gmail. And use a desktop client like MZLA Thunderbird (formerly Mozilla Thunderbird).

In Thunderbird, there is an option in Account (Gmail) > Composition & Addressing > ☑ Automatically quote the original message when replying.

Uncheck that and save.

I just tried that with my friend and it seems to work fine. My reply was added to his thread. I assume that is because of Message-ID.

Thunderbird can auto-configure a Gmail account based off of the E-mail address used during setup. Thunderbird will also trigger a two-step authentication process which will give it a third-party app registration in your Google account.

I'll also suggest that you limit the number of messages synchronized. As of today, Gmail gives the option to Limit IMAP folders to contain no more than this many messages. I selected the lowest option--1,000--from the drop-down list.

I was interested in removing quotes because I wanted to avoid loading inline images in replies, and I wanted my replies to be more like contemporary messaging apps: no quoting. Imagine if text messages or WhatsApp quoted entire threads.

The only time I've ever been asked to quote was in public mailing lists where missing quotes confuse newcomers. And it is probably a good idea to use full quotes on business project threads.

Also note there is a throttle limit mentioned in the Gmail Help article:

Note: To avoid temporarily locking yourself out of your account, make sure you don't exceed 2500 MB per day for IMAP downloads and 500 MB per day for IMAP uploads. If you're setting up a single IMAP account on multiple computers, try taking a break between each setup.

Each device will have to synchronize. And staggering the setups will prevent you from being locked out because of the initial synchronizations.



At present I have gmail set to put my signature above the message.

Select your signature. Command C to copy. Command A to select all. Command V to paste selected text with paste buffer.

This leaves you with just your signature.


Yes there is, and it's a trick I found (on mobile).

Find the last Gmail message from the recipient you received that you are going to send the message to.

Then, select "Forward" instead of "Reply".

This will close off the quoted text.

Then simply change the drop down from "Forward" back to "Reply". Strangely, the quoted text will disappear, but still allow you to respond to one person rather than forwarding the message on to many.


Put the cursor from the start of the text you want to delete and hit CtrlShiftEnd, then Delete.

  • That is annoying. Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 18:29

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