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8 ways to troubleshoot if Gmail is not working properly

  • If Gmail is not working properly, there are some troubleshooting steps you can take to get it working again.
  • Make sure that there isn’t a problem with your browser; you can try running Gmail in a different browser and disable browser extensions.
  • You might also need to free up Google Drive space, clear your browser cache, or restart your device.

Gmail is one of those things that almost everyone has in common; no matter whether you use a Mac, PC, iPhone, or Android, work from home or go to a corporate office, odds are good that you have at least one Gmail account. And that means you’ve almost certainly encountered some sort of glitch that caused Gmail to not work properly.

There are a lot of possible reasons why Gmail might have brought your morning email check to a screeching halt, but the good news is that there are a few simple things you can do to narrow down the problem and get back up and running again.

Close and reopen Gmail

If Gmail isn’t working, often the only thing you need to do is to simply close your instance of Gmail and reopen it. If you are in a web browser, close the browser, reopen it, and navigate back to the Gmail website. If you’re on a mobile device, close the app, and restart it.

Try Gmail in another browser

The next simplest way to troubleshoot your glitch is to try Gmail in another browser. If you usually use Chrome, for example, open Gmail in Firefox and see if it works there. If it does, figuring out why it’s not working in Chrome may be something you need to solve another time, but at least you can carry on with your day. Likewise, if it’s not working in the mobile app, switch to a browser and see if you have a better experience there.

Check to see if Gmail is down

Downdetector can tell you if the Gmail service is online.

It’s possible the problem isn’t with your computer or browser, but instead the Gmail service might be offline. To find out, you can check Gmail’s network status at Downdetector or search for “Is Gmail down” in a Google search. If there is a service outage, you’ll need to wait for it to be resolved.

Clear your Google storage space

Check your Google Drive account to see if you’re running dangerously low on free space.

You might run into some problems with Gmail if you run out of storage space in your Google Drive account as well, since Google Drive is where your Gmail is stored. Check to see if you’re running low and free up space if needed.

Make sure you have a solid internet connection

Make sure you have a solid internet connection.

This might seem obvious, but also make sure that you have a reliable internet connection, either via WiFi or cellular. For example, it’s possible that your home internet connection might be offline, but the WiFi is still strong. Your mobile device can be trying to connect via WiFi, but no data is being transmitted. To check, see if other apps or websites aren’t working properly. If you’re on a mobile device, you can also turn off WiFi and force your device to use a cell signal.

Restart your computer

If you still are having no success, shut down your device, whether it’s a computer, Android phone, or iPhone and then restart it. Then try Gmail again. Sometimes restarting the device is what it takes to clear out problems in your memory or with an app or browser.

Disable your browser plug-ins

Disable your browser plug-ins to see if they are conflicting with Gmail.

If the problem with Gmail appears to be limited to a particular web browser, there’s a good chance that you’re using a browser extension or plug-in that conflicts with Gmail. The good news is that it’s easy to disable your extensions and see if that solves the problem. Disable all your extensions (here’s how to disable extensions in Chrome) and see if that fixed the problem. If it did, you can try turning them back on, one at a time, until you find the problematic extension that conflicts with Gmail.

Clear your browser cache

Finally, your browser’s cache might also be preventing Gmail from working properly. To test this, try to clear your browser’s cache and cookies. Here’s how to clear your cache and cookies in Chrome, for example, and if you’re using an iPhone, uninstall the Gmail app and then reinstall it from the App Store. If you are using an Android device, the steps might very slightly depending upon which phone and version of Android you are running, but here’s the general procedure:

1. Start the Settings app.

2. Tap Apps & Notifications.

3. Go to the list of apps (you might need to tap See all apps) and tap Gmail.

4. Tap Storage & cache.

5. Tap Clear cache.