Gmail's new default behavior is to pop-up a sub-window when I press "Compose"—not a new window managed by my desktop window manager (WM), but a new HTML-based "window," like for chat. I consider this (typical of Gmail) to be an extremely good interface design decision. This allows me to browse other emails and chat easy as I reply, without having to fuss with my desktop window manager.

I like this behavior so much that when I hit "Reply" to an email, I wish I had the option of popping it out to this Gmail-managed window. Being able to pop it out into a WM-managed window is a nice option if I'm wanting to reference other tabs in my browser, but if I am working primarily in Gmail, it is would be nice to be able to have the option of positioning the reply as if it was a new compose "window".

Is this possible? Am I missing some button or shortcut to accomplish this? Or is this something which has not been implemented in Gmail?

1 Answer 1


You can do this if you click on the arrow at the top of the reply and select "Pop out reply"

This should open your reply into the sub-window-format compose.

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Edit @justingordon asked about a keyboard shortcut for this behavior. Updating the answer.

Holding Shift+ R or A will reply (or replay-all, respectively) in a pop-out window.

  • Excellent! Thank you. Don't know why I didn't find that when I looked before. That will be a great boon to me.
    – Kazark
    Feb 22, 2013 at 2:42
  • Can this be set to be the default behaviour?
    – abc123
    May 22, 2013 at 21:08
  • 1
    You can also shift-click "Reply" and it will do the same thing.
    – ale
    Jul 18, 2013 at 12:55
  • Any way to do this from keyboard? Nov 21, 2013 at 23:27
  • Yes there is! Shift + R or A will reply (or reply-all, respectively) in a pop-out window. I'll add this to my answer. Nov 22, 2013 at 0:10

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