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GPF Basics: Reply to a topic or answer a question

March 2019: the Google help forums are moving to a new platform integrated with the Google Help Centers. These instructions no longer apply.

The Google Product Forums are the best place to get assistance from your fellow users - and sometimes the only place other than the product's Help Center.

Your first step is to find the right google product help forum.  You may find the answer to your question or the information you have been looking for in the forum's Pinned topics or after doing a search. Or maybe you stumble on a question you know the answer to.

If you want to add your own voice to a conversation in a Google Product Forum, all you need to do is to click Reply, join the forum (if you haven't done so already), and post your response.

If you want more details about your post reply options, read on!

GPF Basics: getting around the Google Product Forums

1. Find the right google product help forum!
2. Join the forum and configure your membership and email settings
3. Search the forum and read pinned topics 

>> 4. Reply to a topic
  • Open the topic
  • Click "Reply" or the reply icon at the top or bottom of the discussion
  • Enable or disable email notifications
  • Format your reply, insert images, attach references
  • Post
5. Post a new topic of you own 
6. Find your discussions

Reply to a post in the Google Product Forums

When you find a topic that asks for your feedback, describes your issue or is a question you can answer, click "Reply" to add your response.

Note: if a poster is being assisted, or your question is slightly different from theirs, try not to hijack their topic! Better to post a new topic of your own to ask for assistance.

Reply to a new topic

There are two places to reply to a new topic:
  • Click "Add a Reply" on the top right of the main topic post

  • Click "Add Reply" below the post

If there are already responses in an ongoing discussion you can also click the Reply arrow on any post in the discussion.

Tip: if you click the Reply arrow on a post, you will be able to quote that post with a single click.

Post Reply Options

When you click "Reply" a post box will pop up. If you have not yet joined the forum, you will be prompted to join.

Note: Top Contributors, Rising Stars and other forum experts may see additional options.

Type your reply, then click POST

This is all you need to do to reply. The other options are optional!

Enable "Email me discussion activities" 

Click the box to the left to enable email notifications of new replies to the topic.

Minimize or close reply editor

  • Click the X on the top right to close the reply box.  

Tip: if you inadvertently close the reply editor before posting, it's not lost! Just click the same "Reply" button and you should see your draft response.

  • Click the underscore _  to minimize the post editor
Tip: minimize the post editor to re-read the post you are replying to

 Format text

Format the text of your reply, including font size, color and layout.

Insert image

Click the camera icon to insert an image in your post.

Insert link

              Click the chain icon to insert a link. Note that you can simply paste a URL into a post instead.

Attach a reference
Click the paperclip icon to attach a reference. It can be a file, web page, image or video.  
          A thumbnail of the reference will display at the bottom of a post.
Click "web search" on the left to find and attach  a reference from the Help Center

Quote post you are replying to

            Click the quotation mark icon to quote the post you are reply to.  
            You will be able to edit the quoted text. 

Tip: if there are multiple participants in a discussion, adding the quoted text makes clear who you are responding to.


  1. Hello, I am new to these forums !

    I received a warning from Gmail saying my memory was used up. So I followed their advice and tried everything to download Photos from Google Photos (hundreds since 2013) either on a new folder on desktop or directly to a USB key. Nothing works, I cannot download/upload those photos !??? very frustrating.

    After saving the ones I will keep I would like to clear the Google Photos to gain memory space on Gmail.

    Am I doing something wrong ? Yes of course...

    I have a MacBook Pro.

    1. Hi Peter, the best way to download an archive of your Google Photos photos is by using Google Takeout. You can do that here: Select the option to just archive Photos.

      If you have additional questions about Google Photos, I recommend posting in the official Google Photos Help Community (


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