What to do if Gmail loads slow or got completely stuck

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • Gmail is the preferred e-mail client for millions so when many start having problems, it becomes a serious issue.
  • If your Gmail is stuck or taking too long to open, the solutions below will help you fix these problems.
  • For more information about email or any other online issue, explore our Web & Cloud section.
  • Should you encounter any such software or even a hardware problem you can rely on our Tech Troubleshooting Hub for solutions. 
Fix Gmail loads slow or got completely stuck

Some users have stated on Google forums that Gmail gets stuck on the load screen, or takes ages to load, when they sign in.

One user stated in a forum post: Gmail is stuck on the load screen… It just sits on the load screen. Thus, those users can’t open their emails with Google Mail stuck on the load screen.

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The solutions below will help you fix Gmail when it gets stuck loading.


How do I fix Gmail if it is stuck or slow?

1. Is Gmail Down?

Although unlikely, it might be the case that Gmail is down for most users. A widespread Google outage has happened before.

For example, in 2020, a Gmail outage affected millions for a few hours. And not just Gmail but almost all Google Suite services.

Google Drive was down for a while in 2017; and there has also been at least one notable Gmail outage.

Users can check if Gmail is down at downdetector.com. Downdetector.com currently highlights that Google Mail is not generally down. However, if Gmail was down, users would need to wait for Google to resolve the issue.


2. Open Gmail emails within third-party software

If you think that Gmail has an issue because of your browser, you could always try using it within a third-party email client that is stable, like Mailbird.

In the case at hand, Mailbird will be especially useful especially since importing email addresses and managing them all from within a single inbox is its specialty.

  1. First, open Gmail with the Load basic HTML option as outlined above.
  2. Click Settings to open the General options tab shown below.Gmail settings
  3. Then click Forwarding and POP/IMAP to open the settings below.Gmail's Enable IMAP option
  4. Select the Enable IMAP option, and press the Save Changes button.
  5. Then close the browser.
  6. Download Mailbird and install it on your PC
  7. Click Add account
    • This option will be prompted the first time you open Mailbird
  8. Type in the account address and password
  9. Click Continue
  10. Configure your Network settings
  11. Mailbird will detect most of them automatically
  12. Start using Mailbird
Mailbird

Mailbird

Import your Gmail email messages into the world's most modern, fast, and stable email client, and enjoy a much better experience messaging.

3. Open Gmail in an alternative browser

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Some users find that Gmail gets stuck loading within a specific browser. So, opening Google Mail within another browser is a potential workaround, but not exactly a fix.

One good browser alternative to whatever you may be currently using is Opera. This web browser is built using the Chromium engine, just like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

More so, it can be customized to have better integration with a variety of web services, including Gmail.

All in all, if you prefer Gmail as a web client, then Opera is the browser that you need.

Opera

Opera

An excellent web browser that offers many useful tools, including the ability to save and print your web pages.

4. Clear browser data

  1. Click the Customize Google Chrome button to open the browser’s menu.
  2. Click More tools > Clear browsing data to open the window shown directly below.Clear browsing data options
  3. Select All time on the Time Range drop-down menu.
  4. Select the Browsing history, Cookies , and other site data and Cached images and files options.
  5. Click the Clear data button.

5. Turn off browser extensions

Chrome extensions

Gmail might get stuck loading because of a few browser extensions. Adblockers are among the more likely browser add-ons to break Googe’s webmail. So turning browser extensions off could fix Gmail.

Google Chrome users can turn off extensions by entering chrome://extensions/ in the browser’s URL bar. Then users can turn off add-ons on the Extensions tab.

Alternatively, they can click Remove to eliminate them entirely.

6. Reset the Browser

  1. Input chrome://settings/ in Chrome’s URL bar and press Enter to open the tab shown directly below.Chrome's Settings tab
  2. Scroll down to and press the Advanced button.
  3. Click Restore settings to their original defaults to open a dialog box window.The Reset settings button
  4. Press the Reset settings button to confirm.

7. Select the Load basic HTML option

Gmail's basic HTML view

The Load basic HTML option certainly does fix Gmail loading issues and speeds up the webmail app. However, that option also opens Gmail with a somewhat basic view as shown directly below.

So it’s not an ideal resolution, but users can at least open their emails.

 

Gmail’s loading page includes the Load basic HTML option at the bottom right corner of the page tab. Thus, users can click that option when they try to sign in to Gmail.

That will open Gmail as shown just above, and users can then click a Set basic HTML as default view option.

Those are a few resolutions and workarounds that will ensure Gmail users can still open their emails even when the web app gets stuck loading. Some of the resolutions might also speed up Gmail’s load times.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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