All the free ways to make Gmail better and faster.
We know from experience how slow the new Gmail can get. As a user myself, I can’t say otherwise. Some Redditors even claim that actions can go as slow as taking 20 seconds just to load.
It sucks, but what gives?
Apparently, the culprit is its fresh coat of paint. Earlier in 2018, Google decided it’s time to refresh the design of Gmail’s interface. This was in line with the company’s series of design rehashes following a cleaner Material design language.
The design, though doubtless fancy and good-looking, props up some problems. One major example is how it’s snappy only on decent to high-end devices, leaving non-power users high and dry.
In a bid to solve this issue, the Tech Rejects crew have gathered a handful of different adjustments you can make in order to make Gmail faster.
By making these changes, you’ll hopefully come out with a better overall experience using mother Google’s email system.
Use the default Gmail theme
If you have a custom Google theme on, you might want to consider reverting back to the default one.
Themes obviously add some weight to Gmail’s otherwise lightweight default theme, which already looks clean and efficient out of the box.
To make sure you’re using the Gmail default theme, simply tap the Gear icon > Themes.
Then, select the theme “Default” from the pop-up menu.
Turn off the Gmail chat feature
Let’s be real here: who even uses the chat feature on Gmail?
Unfortunately, this feature is turned on by default. But users have the option to disable it by going to their Settings > Chat. Then select “Chat off”.
If you don’t use it, might as well get rid of it.
Decrease the number of emails displayed per page
One effective way of helping Gmail load faster is by decreasing the number of emails displayed per page.
Some users have it at 50 or more. But I find that setting it to 25 works just fine. Point is, few people need 100 email threads displayed all at once.
Keeping the number of email conversations per page low makes it easier to load.
To change this setting, go to Settings > General, then find “Maximum page size”. Choose 25.
Disable browser checking module
Get this. Even before the Gmail website begins to load, it’s already making unnecessary steps.
Its browsing checking module—which as of this writing is effectively obsolete, being that most if not all modern browsers can support Gmail—is one example.
To save bandwidth and make the site load faster, you can force disable this feature by adding the code “nocheckbrowser” at the end of the Gmail URL.
The URL comes to the following web address:
You can also simply click the above link and bookmark it for later use.
Disable or minimize Gmail Labs features
Gmail Labs is a collection of features that Google is testing out on its platform. These are small adjustments that take the Gmail experience a bit further, but they add up when enabled.
Some of these features are legitimately useful (read: canned responses or templates) and some absolutely not (read: right-side chatbox).
Make sure you only have the features you need to be turned on. Or even better, disable the Labs feature altogether. It will make Gmail load faster.
To do this, go to Settings > Advanced, then disable features you think you don’t need.
Disable experimental access
If you want the bloat-free version of Gmail, you’ll want to disable experimental access.
Here’s how to do it: Go to Settings > General, then un-tick the box that says “Enable experimental access”.
Once disabled, Gmail will exempt you from its constant testing of upcoming features. These little power-ups are usually useful, but also sometimes buggy. Best to turn it off and wait when the real deal arrives.
Use “Send & Archive” instead
This is a pretty neat trick that I learned way too late into my life. Archiving past emails is definitely one of the most effective ways of making Gmail load faster.
See, when you archive emails, it’s removed from your Gmail homepage. Meaning, Gmail will have less emails to load, and therefore less resources to spend when loading.
The “Send & Archive” feature is located under Settings > General.
Select the option “Show “Send & Archive” button in reply”.
Clear your browser’s cache
Here’s a no-brainer tip: clear your browser’s cache.
If you constantly find yourself pulling hair out of your scalp waiting for a web page to load, then the problem might exceed Gmail itself. You might want to take a look at your browser.
By clearing its cache, you’re effectively replenishing the browser’s resources making it run smoother again.
The process of clearing your browser’s cache will vary depending on your browser, but for Chrome users, you can find them under Settings > Advanced > Clear Browsing Data.
Use a third-party email client
When you’ve done everything and still Gmail still slugs like a thing from 2000, you might want to look at alternative email clients. If you want to stick with Gmail (there’s no reason why you shouldn’t), there’s a lot of options.
For Windows users, there’s a freemium email client called Mailbird. I’ve used it for months and liked the customization options and the ability to configure the client’s setup just the way I like it.
For Mac users, there’s always Spark Mail, which is arguably the best email client app in the Mac ecosystem.