Why is GMail so slow and how can I make it faster?

Tilman November 15, 2010
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I have followed the official GMail blog for a long time and I have noticed that the GMail staff emphasizes that they want to make GMail as fast as possible for the users.

This surprises me, as I always wonder why GMail is so slow! Simple archiving or opening a label takes me always many seconds. Could it be because of my computer?

I noticed that simply selecting/deselecting a message in the inbox by ticking the checkmark momentarily raises my CPU usage to 10%, clearly visible in the CPU usage graph in the task manager! Is this normal?

When I will buy a new high-performance computer, will also GMail work for me much faster than now? Is there a way to make it work faster already now with the slow computer that I have now (except for html mode, of course)?

Thanks for your help!


  1. Thejgdish
    January 24, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I sent an email about 30 minutes ago to multiple recipients, including myself, and it has still not arrived

  2. Tilman
    November 17, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    @jhpot: My internet connection is definitely not the limiting factor. Speedtest.net tells me: Download 13,3 MB/s and Upload 0,8 MB/s. That should be sufficient, right?

    I reduced my labs from 33 to 16 - but no difference in speed :( Is 16 still much?

    I am using currently an Asus eee mini-laptop with an Intel Atom N475 CPU and 2gb RAM. Is that very low? Generally it seems that the Gmail interface is just too heavy for my computer! For instance, when I want to scroll down in my inbox by turning my mous wheel, the screen moves erratically down but not smoothly as it is supposed to.

    Any other ideas?

  3. Tilman
    November 16, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    @Coolefriend: Nope, I don't want to use any addons, as I want to use the main Gmail interface as it is. Disabling the chat feature isn't feasible either :( Perhaps I have too many labs on? I counted that I have in total 33 labs turned on (out of a total of 56). Could that be the reason?

    @Mark: Nope, haven't noticed any differences. Could you give me a link to the news, please?

    @jhpot: I'm using Chrome already for a long time. Still, it's slow :(

    @All: Does the speed of the Gmail interface depend on computer performance? Does Gmail function faster if I have a faster CPU and more RAM?

    • jhpot
      November 16, 2010 at 11:03 pm

      Unless the specs on your computer area really, really low I don't think that could affecting anything. The limiting factor is more likely to be your network speed. How fast is your Internet connection?

      • jhpot
        November 16, 2010 at 11:03 pm

        And 33 labs is an awful lot. That could be a real problem too.

  4. jhpot
    November 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    What browser are you using? Gmail became a lot faster for me when I switched to Chrome, you should give it a try.

  5. Mark O'Neill
    November 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Gmail has recently indicated that there was a problem in one of their data centers which was making Gmail slow. The problem was apparently fixed so you should see an improvement in speed now.

  6. Coolefriend
    November 16, 2010 at 3:23 am

    The best thing you can do is use a browser addon like chrome-Gmail checker plus, which automatically displays new messages. Other option is use basic HTML mode,it is very quick, but unfortunately you sacrifice some of the AJAX-driven features and niceties. Try to decrease the number of experimental “Gmail Labs” settings that you have enabled and check for any gmail lab features make the gmail loads slower or not by enabling and disabling the features.Disable the chat feature by clicking on the "standard without chat" text link in your inbox's footer. several times I noticed that chat feature takes a lot of time to load, you can also try to keep the chat menu in collapsable mode. You can use the mobile version it is too fast. For more you can look at http://coolefriend.com.

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