Why is Gmail so slow and what can you do about it?

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

Why is Gmail so slow?

There are ways to fix the slow Gmail problem and we will list them all here. Please note that the reason Gmail is slow could be attributed to a slow internet connection. It could also be slow due to a bug or glitch on the Gmail endpoint. Has it happened before And so, it is very possible that it will happen again. You can check if Gmail is down here.

Let’s start.

Read also: How to remove the Meet tab from Gmail on Android and iOS

1. Fix browser problems

I would recommend that you start with another browser. If you’re using Chrome, which is already known to be slow, try Edge Chromium or Brave. Clear your browser’s cache and cookies and log back into your Gmail account. You can also delete old temporary files from your computer. Check Gmail on smartphone to make sure it’s only happening on your computer. Try incognito mode or disable browser extensions to eliminate the possibility of an 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 can click the link I just shared. Click on it to improve load times and check emails before going back to troubleshooting.

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

Read also: How to quickly check emails in Gmail

2. Check the labels and filters

The more labels and filters you apply, the slower your Gmail experience will be and there is a simple explanation behind this. Use tags to classify or sort emails into different categories. They work like folders in Gmail. Then you use filters to search and sort the emails trying to find the one you probably got months ago and need now. Using labels and filters asks Gmail to find and retrieve old emails, slowing down the search process. Make sure you haven’t selected any labels or filters unless you want to.

Did you know that there is a limit to the amount of labels and filters you can have in Gmail? Yes, there is a limit. You can’t keep creating new ones forever. The upper limit for labels is 500 and that also includes subtags and the same limit also applies to filters.

Read also: 9 best Gmail add-ons to better manage emails

3. Avoid bulk operations

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

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 sufficient for most Gmail users. However, some users go overboard and change this number to something higher, which increases load times in Gmail. Because now, Gmail has to search for more emails. You can control this value from Settings> View all settings> General> Maximum page size settings.

number of conversations per gmail page

You can choose the maximum number of conversations (emails with replies too) here. I think the default number is 50, but it seems like I’ve changed it to 100 at some point. It works well for me.

5. Attach files

I probably don’t need to tell you this, but the size of the attachment you want to upload to Gmail along with your internet speed will determine how fast or slow Gmail works for you. However, there are times when attaching files is slow in 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 also avoid Gmail’s 25MB limit, which is quite small for media files.

6. Malicious software and viruses

Use Windows Defender or your favorite antivirus application to scan your computer for viruses and other threats. I would also recommend Malwarebytes (the free version is good enough) to scan for malware, as antiviruses are often not enough in that regard. Quarantine all threats you find and restart your computer. Check if Gmail is slow or working normally again.

7. Close or disable Hangouts and Meet

Close the Hangouts and Meet chat pop-ups within Gmail as they can be resource intensive. That is 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. Instead, many users like to use the dedicated apps. You can try them to speed up Gmail.

disable hangouts and meet in gmail

Open Settings> View all settings> Chat and meet up and there you will find options to disable them.

Read also: How to recover archived emails in Gmail

8. Number of tabs

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

gmail inbox customization

You can quickly enable or disable the 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 the default theme can speed things up because it’s lightweight and loads quickly. The option to change themes can be found in the same menu as above.

10. Use an ad blocker

Ads are the bread and butter of Google. This is how they earn most of their money. Unfortunately, the same ads are responsible for installing trackers and other scripts that slow down Gmail. Using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin You can fix this problem and significantly improve your load times not just for Gmail but for all sites.

Conclusion: why Gmail is so slow

Gmail works flawlessly for the most part. Most of the time, Gmail loads slow because we change a setting or there is something wrong with the internet and the computer. However, on rare occasions, Gmail is slow because there is a problem with the server. today only. Check everything until you fix the problem. If you found another way to speed up Gmail, please share it with us in the comments below.

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