Google notes

Notes about various Google online products. They’ve gone way downhill in my opinion, from simple and usable to complex and confusing - lots of interacting services sharing data in spurious ways and no decent documentation. I guess that’s what happens when a company gets that large.



How to delete emails from the bin / trash

When you delete an email in gmail it is not actually deleted - it’s moved to a folder called Bin (which is sometimes also called Trash). To permanently delete an email either go to the Bin and click the ‘Empty Bin now’ link, or open the email and click the ‘Delete forever’ button.


No product updates

It’s impossible to keep track of what they’re changing in their products day to day. For example, search features seem to come and go. See The decline of Google Search.

Google Groups


Post not appearing

I recently posted to a group and the post did not appear. No message, nothing. According to one of their help pages, this could be because the group is moderated. See Posts not appearing.

It seems that there’s no way to determine if a particular group is moderated or not, which means that if you post to a moderated group you’ve no idea whether the post has succeeded or if it’s just been lost. Yet another usability problem with Google.

View your posts

To view your posts on any or all groups, visit the group and add a filter for ‘All of these’ -> ‘Are my discussions’ -> ‘All’ or ‘Topics I stared’ or ‘Topics I replied to’, depending on which posts you’d like to see, then apply the filter.

However, as far as I can tell this doesn’t show any post that is awaiting moderation - it’s essentially lost until accepted, which I think is pretty crap given that you’ve no way of knowing whether you actually posted something or not.


Notes about the Chrome app, on no particular device.

Devices not syncing

If you find that a device is not listed under ‘Other Devices’ when you open a new tab, then sign out of all your devices, visit the Google Dashboard and clear your sync history, then sign in again.



Showing and hiding calendars

To prevent a calendar showing, click the dropdown next to the calendar and select “Hide this calendar from the list”.

To get the calendar back, go to Settings (cog icon -> Settings) Calendars tab and tick the “show in list” box next to the calendar.



Problems with stories

Google stories are a slideshow of a set of your photos. I initially thought they were great until I actually tried to use them and then I found the following problems:

  1. You can not create stories yourself. Stories are automatically created and if you accidentally delete one it will be lost forever.
  2. You can not share the story with new people. After sharing a story with a circle you can edit its sharing settings to add/remove people, but the list will only include those who the story was originally shared with.

Sharing a story with new people

There is a work around to share a story with new people (those who the story wasn’t originally shared with): Rebuild the story via the story’s menu (the down arrow) -> Rebuild story, then share the story with new people. You should get an email when the story has been rebuilt.

The old story will still appear in your feed but if you click on it you will be ‘This story could not be found’.

Last modified: 19/09/2015 Tags:

This website is a personal resource. Nothing here is guaranteed correct or complete, so use at your own risk and try not to delete the Internet. -Stephan

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