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Why Is Gmail So Slow and What You Can Do About It

by Gaurav Bidasaria

Most people rely on their Gmail account for their daily dose of newsletters, corporate emails, and other official communications. Imagine, you launch Gmail only to realize that it is sluggish and slower than a snail. What do you do when Gmail is slow and you can’t open one email without cursing Google 10 times?

Why Is Gmail So Slow

There are ways to fix the slow Gmail problem and we are going to list all of them here. Note that the reason Gmail is working slow could be attributed to a slow internet connection. It could also be slow due to an error or bug on Gmail’s end. It has happened before and so, entirely possible it is happening again. You can check if Gmail is down here.

Let’s begin.

Also Read: How To Remove The Meet Tab From Gmail on Android & iOS

1. Fix Browser Problems

I would recommend you begin with another browser. If you are using Chrome which is already known to be slow, try Edge Chromium or Brave. Clear browser cache and cookie and sign back into your Gmail account. You can also clear old temp files on your computer. Check Gmail on smartphone to make sure it’s only happening on your computer. Try the incognito mode or disable browser extensions to remove chances of unknown conflict. Are you using the latest version of the browser? You should notice an option to view Gmail in HTML mode. The option only appears when Gmail is slow or you could click the link I just shared. Click on it to improve load times and check emails before you get back to troubleshooting.

These solutions will help narrow down the possibilities allowing us to move on to other solutions.

Also Read: How to Quickly Check Mails on Gmail

2. Check Labels and Filters

The more labels and filters you apply, the slower your Gmail experience becomes and there is a simple explanation behind this. You use labels to classify or sort emails into different categories. They work like folders in Gmail. You then use filters to further search and sort emails trying to find the one that you probably received months ago and need it now. Using labels and filters asks Gmail to search and retrieve old emails slowing down the fetching process. Make sure you have not selected any labels or filters unless you want to.

Did you know that there is a limit to how many labels and filters you can have in Gmail? Yup, there is a limit. You can’t just keep on creating new ones forever. The upper limit for labels is 500 and that also includes sub-labels and the same limit also applies to filters.

Also Read: 9 Best Gmail Add-Ons to Manage Mails Better

3. Avoid Bulk Operations

Deleting too many emails from trash at the same time or working with hundreds of thousands of emails at the same time can slow down Gmail. This has nothing to do with your internet connection either. These operations take time making your Gmail slow. Google recommends keeping the number below 1000 at a time when deleting emails. I would recommend taking this number as a general guide for other operations too.

4. Number of Emails per Page

How many emails do you have on a single page? The default is 50 emails per page which should be enough for most Gmail users. However, some users go overboard and change this number to something higher increasing the load times in Gmail. Because now, Gmail has to fetch more emails. You can control this value from Settings > See all settings > General > Maximum page size setting.

number of conversations per page gmail

You can choose the max number of conversations (emails with replies also) here. The default number I believe is 50 but I seemed to have changed it to 100 sometime. Works fine for me.

5. Attaching Files

I probably don’t need to tell you this but the size of the attachment you want to upload to Gmail coupled with your internet speed will determine how fast or slow Gmail is working for you. But, there are times when attaching files are just slow on Gmail.

I would recommend using a cloud storage site like Google Drive or Dropbox to upload files. You can not only improve load times, but bypass Gmail limit of 25MB which is pretty small for media files.

6. Malware and Virus

Use Windows Defender or ytour favorite antivirus app to scan your computer for virus and other threats. I would also recommend Malwarebytes (free version is good enough) to scan for malware as antivirus are often not enough in that respect. Quarantine all threats that you find and reboot your computer. Check if Gmail is slow or working normal again.

7. Close or Disable Hangouts and Meet

Close Hangouts and Meet chat window pop-ups inside Gmail as they can consume a lot of resources. That’s another reason why Gmail is so slow on your computer. You should also disable Hangouts and Meet in the sidebar if you are not actively using it. A lot of users like to use the dedicated apps instead. You can try those to speed up Gmail.

disable hangouts and meet in gmail

Open Settings > See all settings > Chat and Meet and there you will find options to disable both of them.

Also Read: How to Retrieve Archived Emails in Gmail

8. Number of Tabs

The three most common tabs users see are Primary, Social, Promotions, and Updates. You will notice more based on your individual preferences and settings. The more tabs you have, the more time Gmail will take to load. Open Settings and click on Customize under the selected Inbox Type.

gmail inbox customization

You can quickly enable or disable tabs here on the fly without having to open the full settings menu.

enable/disable tabs in gmail

9. Default Theme

Are you using a different theme or wallpaper? Using default theme can speed things up because it is lightweight and loads quickly. The option to change themes can be found in the same menu as above.

10. Use Ad-Blocker

Ads are Google’s bread and butter. That’s how they make the bulk of their money. Unfortunately, the same ads are responsible for installing trackers and other scripts making Gmail slow. Using an ad-blocker like uBlock Origin can fix this problem and significatly improve your load times for not just Gmail but all sites.

Wrapping Up: Why Gmail Is So Slow

Gmail works flawlessly for the most part. More often than not, Gmail is loading slow because we changed a setting or there is something wrong with our internet and computer. On rare occassions though, Gmail is slow because there is a server problem as it happened today only. Check everything until you fix the issue. If you found another way to speed Gmail, do share with us in the comments below.

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